Climbing Wall at Iowa Rec Center Remains Closed after Student Fall

The climbing wall at the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center remains closed after a climber fell there earlier this month.

The university’s student newspaper, The Daily Iowan, reported that the climbing wall was scheduled to reopen at 11 a.m. today. Tom Moore, a spokesperson for the University of Iowa, told Club Industry today that the climbing wall remains closed. As to when the climbing wall will reopen, Moore said, “There is no set timeline.”

“A review of the incident is still ongoing,” Moore said, adding that the cause of the fall will be determined through the review.

Spencer Bean, a senior at the university, fell between 30 and 40 feet from the wall on Nov. 8. Bean, an experienced rock climber, landed on his feet, but he suffered two crushed vertebrae and almost was paralyzed.

Eight days later, Bean was walking with a brace at University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, as detailed on the website According to the blog, Bean had undergone eight hours of surgery at the hospital after the fall.

The University of Iowa requires climbers to pass a safety check to use the rock climbing wall, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Climbers usually are spotted by someone on the ground through a belay system, the newspaper reported. It is not clear whether Bean had a spotter the night of his fall.

The climbing wall has been in use since the rec center was opened in the summer of 2010.

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