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Rock Climbing

For over a hundred years Northwood students have been experiencing a wide range of outdoor activities.

One of the most popular outdoor pursuits at Northwood is the Rock Climbing Program. Students learn the basics of knots, harnesses, belaying, and rappelling techniques on our indoor climbing wall. Then they take their skills outdoors – on the endless cliff faces of nearby Chapel Pond, Wilmington Notch, and Cascade Lake.

As students advance through the program, they can move on to multi-pitch climbing, ice climbing, and maybe even a first ascent. (Check the Adirondack guidebook, and you’ll find quite a legacy here.) Northwood’s Rock Climbing Program is developmental. We start at the beginning and move students along individually so that they are ready for each challenge that comes their way. The climbing program is under the direction of Northwood English teacher and acclaimed climber and author, Don Mellor '71. 

  • Over 35 years of professional guiding
  • 9 books on climbing, including the instructional Rock Climbing: A Trailside Guide
  • Member High Angle Rescue Team for DEC
  • Lecturer in the Expeditionary Studies Program, SUNY Plattsburgh

Rock climbing is only one part of a wider array of outdoor offerings, including camping, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and ice climbing.  

Athletic Teams