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New Climbing Program Teaches Skills Despite No Access to a Wall

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | January 13, 2017 11:06am | Updated on January 16, 2017 8:39am
 A new Rego Park program for kids teaches them rock climbing skills for free.
A new Rego Park program for kids teaches them rock climbing skills for free.
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Shutterstock/Olga Danylenko

QUEENS — Teens in Rego Park can now master rock climbing skills without actually scaling a single wall.

A free program was launched at Lost Battalion Hall, a Parks Department recreation center on Queens Boulevard — despite it not having a climbing wall.

Dario Veraldi, a New York State licensed rock climbing guide, decided he could still use the center's gym and its vertical space to teach climbing skills during his new Urban Adventures class.

“I set up ropes so that the kids can practice all the skills that are associated with climbing,” said Veraldi, who discussed the program at a Community Board 6 meeting Wednesday night.

During the class, which is held twice a week, teens aged 12 to 14 learn how to climb the ropes using rock climbing equipment, how to protect each other and knot tying, he said.

They also learn to overcome their fear of heights and gain confidence, Veraldi said.

“They are turning into real rock climbers,” he said.

Veraldi said that if there's enough interest, he hopes to establish a relationship with a climbing gym so that the kids can try their skills there in the future. He might even “take them on real cliffs” one day, he said.

The activity has been gaining popularity and several rock climbing gyms have opened in recent years throughout the city, including in Queens.

Urban Adventures is held every Tuesday and Thursday at Lost Battalion Hall at 93-29 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park from 3 to 4 p.m. Membership for under 18s is free. For more information go here or call 718 263 1163.