Activities: Part II, Rock Climbing

Marine Military Academy Rock Climbing

Maj Harold Compton

Rock Climbing Background

rock climbingRock climbing began as an activity at the Marine Military Academy in 1999 under the supervision of GySgt Raul Garcia,  a lifelong climber.  The original rock climbing wall was installed on the north side wall of the Academy tower and was a flat 30′ X 12′ climbing surface.  Over the next several years the tower had rock climbing walls added to the east and west walls and an overhang added to the north wall which was increased to 30′ X 24′.   Maj Harold Compton began working as an assistant to GySgt Garcia and the Rock Climbing activity grew to an average of 12-14 cadets each year.  Maj. Compton took over the program in 2009 and has coached the program ever since.  During 2010 the north wall of the tower was removed and a new rock climbing wall installed.  Plans are for the remaining walls to be replaced over the next few years.

Rock Climbing Syllabus

GySgt Garcia and Maj Compton attended the American Mountain Guide Association Top Rope Site Managers Course in 2002 and were certified as instructors.  A course syllabus was developed which began the first semester with basic knot tying, equipment, basic rock climbing techniques, belay techniques, rappeling and self and buddy rescue.  Cadets were required to complete a knots test and physical fitness testing prior to being allowed to climb.  During the second semester the course went into more advanced climbing techniques and included anchor systems, mechnical advantage, ascending.  During 2005 both GySgt Garcia and Maj Compton upgraded their certification to AMGA Single Pitch Instructor.

Rock Climbing Events

rock climbingDuring the course of the year cadets were taken on rock climbing trips to such locations as Enchanted Rock State Park, Reimers Ranch State Park and Continental Ranch.   These were normally weekend trips which included camping out at the parks.  Cadets also were taken to the University of Texas, Pan American where they enjoyed climbing on their 35′ indoor climbing wall.  The university also invited cadets to participate in several climbing competitions held at their indoor facility and the Academy cadets did very well against  college age climbers, taking home many awards.

Rock Climbing Photos

Check out some of the rock climbing photos at

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