Tread wall gives good climbing workout close to the floor

Tanner Price on the tread wall, supervised by Simeon Lang
Tanner Price on the tread wall, supervised by Simeon Lang

Rock climbing has come to Jefferson… almost.

A tread wall at the Greene County Community Center allows patrons to simulate climbing, to infinity and beyond. Just as someone using a step machine can “climb” flights of stairs without getting anywhere, someone on the tread wall can climb hundreds of feet without getting more than four feet off the floor.

The tread wall is not motorized. The climber pushes the footholds downward, simulating climbing. The tension is adjustable; less tension makes the footholds easier to move, requiring less strength. The angle of the wall is also adjustable. The more perpendicular the wall is, the more upper body strength is required. “You can get quite a good workout on it, depending on how you adjust it,” Jefferson park and recreation director Vicky Lautner said.

Tread walls cost $10,000, but JPRD got it for the cost of moving it from the Easter Seals camp in Des Moines. Lautner called their virtually no-cost acquisition “a big fluke.”

She called the manufacturer to find out what other Iowa facilities have them, and she learned there was one at the Easter Seals camp. JPRD assistant director Sean Ostendorf and wellness supervisor Simeon Lang went to see it but found it pushed aside and covered up. Staff at the camp said their clients are unable to use it, and they offered to give it to JPRD if someone would haul it out. They were happy to have it moved out, and JPRD was happy to have a tread wall for the cost of moving it.

The tread wall is available for adult members of the Greene County Community Center who first do an orientation on it and then sign a liability waiver specific to the tread wall. Members can call to reserve times to use it.

Members younger than 18 can use it only with the supervision of JPRD staff. At this time, open climbing for youngsters is Wednesdays from 4 to 5 pm.

Persons who would like more information about the tread wall can call the community center at 515-386-3412.


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