Zion Climbing Center

Zion is a place where rock climbing meets community and where community meets Christ. The Principal concentration of the organization is to foster mentoring relationships, develop leadership in the community, and prepare persons to be successful in life. the organization also endeavors to be advocates for responsibility, equality, and justice in the community. It is the intention of the organization to use rock climbing as a medium to provide a value-based service to our community.

King of the Crag

Our own Madeline Strother made the school newspaper, The Bison, telling about her recent wins this season. Check out this article written about her by Dailey Thomas:

On Oct. 14, junior Madeline Strother became king — King of the Crag that is. Strother competed in the King of the Crag rock climbing competition in Batesville, Arkansas, and won first place in the women’s advanced division. The weekend before, Strother placed first in the women’s division at the Ozark Climbing Gym in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Strother has been competing in rock climbing since her senior year of high school and has continued since. Strother works at a climbing gym back home, and trains and volunteers at the Zion Climbing Center in Searcy. Strother said she loves seeing herself progress in the sport and the community that she is surrounded by when climbing. “When you start out you just progress really easily,” Strother said. “It’s really hard at the beginning but as you continue you can see yourself getting better each time you come back to the gym.”

Strother said that she trains three times per week and tries to climb outdoors on the weekends. Mack Peters also trains and volunteers at Zion Climbing Center, and expressed that Strother has a great attitude and technique when they climb together.

“Madeline has a good base of flexibility and overall strength, but I really think it’s her attitude toward climbing,” Peters said. “She is always excited to climb and always wants to go out and try hard on something. She’s very thoughtful about her climbing as well, seeking out methods to get stronger but also evaluating her previous performance.”

Abby Tran, Harding alumna and Strother’s rock climbing partner, said their relationship has grown through rock climbing. “I love that in rock climbing there is this huge community within it. at’s how I met Madeline,”Tran said. “She and I have completely di erent friend groups, interests and backgrounds, but because of our love for climbing and the outdoors, we have really bonded.”

Strother is continually working on improving her skills in rock climbing and hopes to win more competitions with the encouragement of the rock climbing community, friends and family.

“What makes Madeline such a great climber is her love for the sport and her unwavering attitude when she climbs,” Tran said. “I’ve watched her set goals for herself and then push herself to achieve them.”