Reaching the summit


Sophomore Emily Strother gives a thumbs up while rock climbing on Southeast Mountain in Kentucky. Photo contributed

Tanu Kaur, Staff Writer

Ever since starting rock climbing in the fifth grade, sophomore Emily Strother has continued to find her way to the summit as an expert level rock climber. 

“I used to do indoor rubber rock climbing,” Strother said. “Eventually, I moved on to the actual rock climbing areas, the expert ones, and I love it.”

Although Strother enjoys her climbs, she doesn’t deny that the peak can be difficult to reach. For example, the expert level climbing areas are steep and can sometimes tilt at a backwards angle. 

“You have to be one with your body,” Strother said. “You have to know where you’re at and know how your body will handle it, otherwise you will fall.”

 During a climb in Kentucky in June 2020, Strother’s second time with an expert area, she faced a challenge. 

“I was confident because my first climb had gone well,” Strother said. “I hooked onto the wrong clip thinking nothing of it, but as soon as I let go, I fell back. It was scary, and I was a little nervous to climb after that. I just had to keep reassuring myself.”

Even though she fell again and again as a beginner, Strother still has the same eagerness to make it to the top successfully. 

“My past self is my biggest motivation because I got hurt so many times. Now, when I go up there, I don’t worry as much,” Strother said. “I just want to look down at the view and not really think about anything else.” 

Strother would like to continue rock climbing in the future, but she still has a long way to go and plenty more challenges to overcome. For now, she prefers to sit at the top of the summit to witness how far she has come through her own hard work and dedication to rock climbing.