A climber is always fixated on the ultimate climb, their dream climb. For Mountain View High School sophomore Lukas Wiborg, this dream climb was the “Wherever I may Roam” climb in Smith Rock, Oregon, a challenging ascent that attracts rock climbers nationwide.
The morning of the climb, Wiborg and his parents woke up at dawn to hike up to the rock. Despite the bitter 19 degree weather and the strenuous path to the top, Wiborg finished the 400 foot climb within a few hours.
Wiborg has been rock climbing for nearly his whole life, starting with trees and small rocks in his parents’ house’s backyard. He now climbs at an advanced level on some of the hardest climbs at an inside gym, as well as routes outside. He climbs primarily at Planet Granite and holds the highest level of certification there, which allows him to “lead climb” any course. Lead climbing involves climbing beyond where you are secure, which means greater risk and bigger falls.
Wiborg has been a member of Planet Granite for 2 years, and despite his busy school year schedule and MVHS track and field, he still manages to participate in smaller competitions. Wiborg might end up working at the gym next summer, but for now he mostly rock climbs on summer trips. This summer, he is planning a climbing trip with his parents to Yosemite and Mallorca (an Island in Spain), both famous for their beautiful and challenging rocks.
Some world-famous parks Wiborg has traveled to in past years are Castle Rock in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Joshua Tree National park in Southern California, Lizards Mouth in Santa Barbara, Granite Creek and Smith rock in Oregon.
Climbing with friends and family creates a special experience, according to Wiborg.
“I like the teamwork that is essential to not only success but safety, so you get super strong being the person on the other end of your rope,” Wiborg said.
One of his favorite parts of rock climbing is the places it takes you, the people you meet there, and how you bond with the people you come with. While it is still important to train indoors, climbing outdoors is gives Wiborg a bigger sense of thrill and excitement.
There is both a mental and physical side to climbing, according to Wiborg. Wiborg senses that he has become more relaxed and stress free from everyday life and school from his climbing.
Learning to control panic and fear on cliffs plays a big part of determination. Determination is built during climbing and it is a quality that sticks through life. It helps to make commitments and pursue something important to a person in life.
“Turning back during some points of the climb is not an option,” Wiborg said.
**this article was previously published in the May edition of the Oracle**