One of the few of its kind left in the world, Closson Center stands at the South side of campus with three humps, two dips, and a whole lot of charm. This is the type of charm that attracts all kinds of students – economics majors and spoken word poets, film fanatics and pre-med students – up to its dangerous peaks in the middle of the night throughout the school year.
You may ask yourself, “Why climb the gym in the first place?” But the real question is: why not? While the Graceland community lasts forever, these few years on the Lamoni campus go by quicker than anyone would be able to imagine. Four short, crazy years – less for some, more for others – and having to pack all of these adventures in such a small amount of time is more daunting than the climb itself. There are many Graceland traditions that some people just can’t wrap their heads around, from screw-your-roommate dates at the Coliseum during Thursday Night Movie to homecoming dodgeball wearing anything but typical clothes. Climbing the Closson Center Gym is just another Graceland activity some can’t seem to pass up.
An unknown source has disclosed that the easiest way to climb up Mt. Closson is to crab walk up the peaks backwards, using your legs to stabilize the weight of your body and making it easier to stop if need be in the process. Whether or not this method has been tested by the more qualified trekkers is unknown, but the murmurings of Graceland’s underclassman tell that the backwards-crab-like style is the way to go.
One senior told me that climbing the gym is much better to do on a weekday instead of a late night on the weekend. There’s always the looming threat that you’ll run into other people at the top when you’re trying to hang with your friends. Another student recommended the weekend climb for people who are more worried about being discreet with their hike up Mt. Closson.
The same two students said that climbing the gym probably burns around 100 calories. It’s definitely something you can add to your workout routine if you’re looking for a change of pace – or elevation.
While the roof is thin at some spaces and the risk of sinking through crawls over you, our anonymous senior gave the climb a 4/5 star rating, and the other student rated it at 5/5 stars. “It’s a definite thing you have to do for the Graceland Experience,” said the senior, and the other student agreed: “I wouldn’t compare it to any other part of the Graceland Experience. It’s unique and something that not a lot of people do.”
Have you climbed Mt. Closson? Too scared for the journey? Done it a thousand times already? If you need a weekend (or weekday) activity, climbing the gym has earned an average rating of 4.5/5 stars, so it may just be worth your time. Other students may stick to the perilous climb up lofted dorm beds- that’s dangerous enough! Just remember to slink up the sides backwards like a crab if you really want to make it to the top of the gym.
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