The Prospector

The Prospector

The Prospector

Rock Climber: Nicholas Kann


From swinging over a rock like an agile monkey to hanging from a strategic foothold, Senior Nicholas Kann pursues a sport that only a few people at Tino do.


Nicholas Kann’s journey of rock climbing began 4 years ago when he started top rock climbing and later moved on to bouldering, which he believes is a more exciting and challenging part of rock climbing. Since then, Kann has gone to the nearly Movement rock climbing gyms in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale twice a week. 


During the summer, Kann extended his passion for rock climbing to his volunteering as a counselor at Walden West, an outdoor summer camp in Santa Clara, where Kann has been participating for over 6 years. Kann is in charge of the high ropes course and the climbing wall by ensuring the safety and enjoyment of the participating campers. 


At Walden West, Kann enjoys working with kids passionate about rock climbing and cherishes funny moments with them. While assisting a camp member with their harness, he found nearly 20 USB flash drives in the participant’s pockets.


Through his experiences, Kann reflects on rock climbing’s unique ability to improve himself physically and mentally.


First, due to the athletic demand of the sport, Kann was able to gain significant upper body and finger strength. He is capable of an impressive feat of doing pull-ups with 90-pound weights attached to his body, a result of his dedication and passion for his sport.


Additionally, rock climbing helped Nicholas refine his problem-solving skills by improving his situation analysis. “There is a lot of problem-solving[in rock climbing]. Routes can be done in so many different ways and because body positioning and how you distribute your weight are super important.” Rock climbing requires its participants to not only have a well-thought-out plan beforehand but also test their decision-making skills while dangling 30 feet above the ground.  Making sure to adjust details like feet and hip positions based on the situation is crucial to the success of completing the climbing route.


At school, Kann translates these skills to his studies, where he found efficient strategies for tackling large and challenging tasks, something he found similar to a difficult rock climbing course. “It got me a lot better at breaking stuff down. If I’m studying for a test, I break it down to different chapters and every question I do I break down the task, because in climbing there is a lot of breaking down too.” 


Despite rock climbing not being a mainstream sport, Kann highly encourages people to try the sport of rock climbing because it is not only thrilling but also extremely rewarding as the climbers can see themselves improve and progress through tougher and tougher courses.


“I like how [rock climbing] is a race against yourself, you are not competing with anyone, so you can see your improvement. It’s a game against yourself.” 


Kann’s favorite memories of rock climbing are moments he shares with people he encourages to rock climb. “When I go climbing with other people, which is not often, all those moments are memorable, it is fun to share my passion with other people.”


In college, Kann hopes to continue his passion for rock climbing where he hopes to find more peers equally excited about rock climbing as him. 

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Benjamin Liu
Benjamin Liu, News Editor, Investigations Editor

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