i was in princeton, nj this weekend on a photography assignment and decided to check out princeton university's climbing wall.
as i walked into the old armory building, where the wall is housed, i wondered how i completely missed knowing that the university had a climbing wall. i graduated in 1998. the wall has apparently been there since 1983.
religion professor john gager was hanging out at the wall when i arrived. he greeted me and after a few casual exchanges explained that he suspects the original princeton climbing wall was the first collegiate climbing wall in the country. he also went on to describe how mike freeman - who currently serves as climbing magazine's assistant art director and who worked in princeton as a draftsman at the engineering school - made some of the first holds on the wall out of "metal machined in the e-quad and rock filched from a scrap pile in the geology department." (source: james morton turner, princeton alumni weekly, 11.08.00)
talk about an interesting piece of climbing history! sadly, the wall, as photographed above, is scheduled for demolition later this summer. the university and the student group outdoor action are currently working on plans to fund a new state-of-the-art wall to be built in one of the pillars of the university's football stadium.