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Student Spotlight: Ryder Dacones

By: Lily Criswell and Tracy Truong

Ryder at Asana Indoor Climbing Gym

When you think of rock climbing, you may envision dangerous scenes in action movies where people are holding on to dear life. But believe it or not, you can be just as cool as the people in the movies.


One of MMACHS’s juniors, Ryder Dacones, partakes in indoor rock climbing on a weekly basis.


“There’s outside climbing and indoor climbing. Indoors, you can be attached to a hook and climb really high. On the other hand, you can do bouldering which is climbing shorter distances, but it's much harder, and you're not attached to anything,” he explained.


Ryder explained that indoor rock climbing has differing levels that increasingly get more difficult.

“There's levels to climbing and bouldering, V0 to V16. I’ve worked up to V5 right now. The difficulty grows exponentially because the jump from V3 to V4 was much harder than the jump from V2 to V3. The holds, which are the things you grab onto, will be spaced differently and in different shapes.”


Although Ryder didn’t start taking rock climbing more seriously until this past year, it is evident he has always had a passion for it.


“I started really rock climbing this year. But, when I was little, I used to go a lot. I even used to climb the doors in my own house,” he exclaimed.


Climbing is seen as a perfect opportunity to spend time with those closest to him.


“I go with Lauren, friends, and family. I’m usually not by myself.”


Ryder mentioned multiple Youtubers for being the source of his inspiration.


“I watch YouTube videos of people who climb really well and they help me improve my skills. One of them is Magnus Midtbø.”


One of the things that Ryder enjoys the most when it comes to rock climbing is going up in different skill levels.


“I really enjoy going up levels. The higher it goes, the harder it is, so going up a level is very fulfilling,” Ryder exclaimed.


Ryder also mentioned the physical benefits when it comes to the strength and endurance put into rock climbing.


He explained, “You get to build up a lot of upper body, core, back, and arm strength.”


As with most sports, there can be some challenges. Rock climbing can not only be physically demanding, but also requires intelligence to solve problems.


“A challenging aspect is not knowing how to do something. In rock climbing, there’s something called routes that you have to figure out how to solve. There are multiple different ways to solve them, so it can be challenging because you don't always know how to start them.”


Although there are challenges that come with rock climbing, Ryder shares his knowledge and experiences with those around him.


Mr. Allemand, MMACHS’s science teacher, expressed, “I know about Ryder and his rock climbing and it's been a ton of fun having him in crossfit because the things that you do in there have a direct correlation to the thing that he absolutely loves to do. I love hearing about his adventures and the new routes that he has been challenged by and the new ones that he has to do. In my mind I'm thinking, ‘Something that we’re doing here at MMACHS is helping him get where he wants to be.’”


With that, Ryder has a ton of great advice for any beginners who want to try out rock climbing.


“Just take your time and really think out how you're going to do the climb. To make climbing easier, don't hold your hands close to your body and don’t change how you hold the hold. Some beginners will grab onto the hold and then move their hand around for a really long time trying to get somewhere really comfy, but that will just take more time and make you more exhausted. There’s also flagging, which is where you use the actual wall and not a hold. You can stretch your foot out and put it against the wall to help you get a more comfortable position to reach out.”


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