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Sgt. Matthew S. Davies, a 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit radio operator, climbs the rock wall at the Wallace Creek Fitness Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 12. The indoor rock wall stands 35 ft. tall and has 15 separate belay lines to ensure climber safety.

Photo by Cpl. Charlie Clark

Rock wall features unique workout at fitness center

12 Nov 2013 | Cpl. Charlie Clark

The Wallace Creek Fitness Center, which celebrated its one month anniversary Tuesday, contains many features for service members and civilians aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, but none as unique as the rock wall.

The indoor rock wall stands 35 ft. tall and has 15 separate belay lines to ensure climber safety.

“The rock wall is one of the most state-of-the-art pieces of workout equipment we have,” said Brian R. Crawford, the fitness center’s facility manager. “It’s a great workout for anyone who tries it.”

The wall is equipped with an auto-belay system. The system relieves new climber’s fears of falling without needing someone to act as the belay. This frees up workout schedules for individuals to climb the wall alone whenever they want.

“Some people think the belay system will help support them going up,” Crawford said. “The system will only tighten the rope if you fall. It will slowly lower you to the ground. When you’re climbing, it’s only you who’s holding your weight. It’s hard to find someone who will spend 20 minutes of their workout just standing there acting as the belay, so this really does benefit the patrons a lot.”

Fifteen different routes are featured on the wall, but that will change in the coming months as more “holds.” the ledges used to scale the wall, are installed.

“We’re working with some experts aboard base who are qualified climbers to help us with adding more diverse routes to the wall,” Crawford said. “We can create 20 to 25 different routes to the wall. One of our goals is to have about 25 different routes on the wall by next year.”

“The rock wall is a lot of fun and helps me get loose and warmed up for my workout,” said Matthew S. Davies, a fitness center patron who visits the fitness center regularly.

For first time climbers, the rules and regulations must be read and a waiver signed before receiving a harness.

The staff at the facility demonstrates to climbers how to put the harnesses on their body and how to attach the auto-belay cables to the harness.

For more information about the rock wall or fitness center, call 451-7649 or visit

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