The phrase “social climber” may have a bit of a negative connotation in our society, but to Quad Cities Climbing Club members, it’s a positive term.
Founded by Davenport’s David Hinkle, this group gets together to socialize and climbs things. Literally. Rocks, mountainous terrain and indoor climbing walls are all fair game.
The club’s group climbs offer a great opportunity for novice climbers to try the sport under the tutelage of those with years of experience under their belts.
This is the club’s first official season, but Hinkle and his friends have taken groups of people to climb for a number of years.
“I started the club because I wanted to start offering the experience to the whole community. I want to promote climbing as a fun, adventurous and safe fitness activity for everyone,” Hinkle says.
Hinkle stresses that you don’t need to have climbing experience to join the club. His own journey into climbing didn’t begin with the same sure footing that he has now.
Hinkle was trying to lose weight when he started. He weighed more than 350 pounds at the time.
“I was involved in an organization called the QC Co-Lab, and one of our members was an experienced climbing guide. He organized a climbing trip, and that sounded like a great idea to me because running and weightlifting were things I felt very uninterested in at the time,” he says.
The “first time I tried to climb, I didn’t get more than a couple feet up the easy wall. I just wasn’t strong enough to get my mass any higher. I was among friends though, so it was OK.
The club went rappelling, too, which Hinkle says he really enjoyed. “It was great exercise because after each rappel, you have to hike back to the top of the cliff to do it again. It was a really hardcore workout day for me, and I repeated it as often as he would take us. Eventually, I made…