Queen’s Climbing Club: Let’s chalk about it

Recreational club creates safe and supportive climbing community

Image supplied by: Supplied by Geneviève Norris-Roozmon
The Queen’s Climbing Club at the Kingston Mills this September.

The Queen’s Climbing Club (QCC) is bringing exercise to new heights while creating an inclusive environment for new and experienced climbers. 

The club was founded around 1984 by Executives Alistair Foreman and Chris Lloyd. One of the founding members was Robert “Chissy” Chisnall, who taught himself how to climb through trial and error when climbers used sailing ropes and big boots.

Today, Chisnall plays an active role in the club by offering his expertise and wisdom in climbing safety for club members. He believes the club is a positive community for people learning to climb and wants to give students something he didn’t have starting out. 

“Climbing originated with a mentor-mentee model back then in [the] 80s,” Club President Geneviève Norris-Roozmon, BioChem Eng ’23, said in an interview with The Journal. “This club is a way of providing that safe, supportive environment.”

The QCC continues to introduce newcomers to rock climbing while teaching advanced climbers important safety and technique lessons.

Club members are given access to harnesses for free on Tuesday nights at the Boiler Room. In addition, the club runs multiple outdoor climbing trips each year, travelling throughout Ontario and Quebec in the fall.

The club also hosts socials and movie nights for students.

In the past, the QCC has allowed teams to compete in indoor climbing competitions against other schools using the University Bouldering Series (UBS) circuit. 

Annually in September, the QCC runs an “Intro to Outdoors” climbing trip, where students learn to climb outdoors at the Kingston Mills.

This year, the club is bringing back their Kentucky winter trip, a tradition that was put on pause because of COVID-19. The club will head to the Red River Gorge during the February reading week, where they will introduce new climbers to outdoor climbing. 

“As climbing is growing as a sport, our aim as a club is to continue fostering that supportive community of climbers at Queen’s and facilitating trips to get climbers outside as well,” Norris-Roozmon told The Journal.

Norris-Roozmon didn’t have much climbing experience before coming to Queen’s, but believes getting involved with QCC during her first year really helped grow her passion for the sport.

She told The Journal how QCC has since become a huge part of her experience at Queen’s since landing a last-minute spot on the Kentucky trip in 2019.

“Since the Kentucky trip over reading week in my first year, I have just gotten more and more involved,” she said.

Norris-Roozmon has taken the lessons she’s learned from mentors at the QCC and applied it to her own personal outdoor endeavors. Last year, on internship in Boston, she got into trad and multipitch climbing and is excited to bring her new knowledge to her peers.

“I’ve become really interested in those kinds of climbing, mainly because they add an element of thinking about your rope systems, and they provide a more holistic experience” Norris-Roozmon said.

“It’s not just about the climbing moves to get you up the rock, it’s also alpinism and some elements of mountaineering.”

In addition to bringing back pre-COVID-19 traditions, events, and trips, this year’s executives intend to create more instructional and logistical resources for future execs, allowing them to plan these things smoother in future years.

To learn more about the QCC and stay up to date with their multitude of different events, students can register through the ARC at gogaelsgo.com, join their email list, and follow the club on their Facebook page and Instagram @queensclimbingclub


A previous version of this article misspelled the names of Alistair Foreman and Robert Chisnall.

The Journal regrets the error


Climbing, Outdoors, Queen’s Climbing Club, rock climbing

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