Her hands are covered with callouses and dirt, but that’s the way Elizabeth Endo ’18 likes it.
Since the age of 10, Endo has participated in competitive rock climbing. Rock climbing is a sport where the climber scales real or artificial rocks or boulders.
Endo was introduced to the sport at a young age. “Whenever I went to amusement parks, I would always climb on the little rock walls there,” Endo said. Since then, she has won the Southern California regional championship five times and a divisional championship once.
The way competitions are judged differ, but for the ones Endo attends, the climber receives a score based on the time it takes them to complete a course, the vertical distance they cover and the difficulty.
“I like the challenge and having to figure out which [climbing] route is right for me,” said Endo, “It’s more individualized [than a conventional sport]. You aren’t really competing directly against anyone, but improving against your own score.”
Endo trains eight to 12 hours a week by climbing and doing conditioning exercises.
“It’s nice to physically stand on top of a boulder. You feel like you’ve accomplished something,” Endo said.