Midnight Madness at the PEIF


Nathan Kwapisz/ NW

CLIMB – Korfker and DeVries help each other climbing during Midnight Madness.

Nathan Kwapisz

Midnight Madness is a unique event that Northern Michigan Rec Sports puts on for students. This event brings students together to climb starting in the late evening, usually around 9 or 10 p.m., and ending at midnight. The climbing wall is lit up by multiple lights as students come together to clamber up the wall.

Hanna DeVries, an Environmental Studies major, described Midnight Madness as just climbing late at night with friends. They first got involved interested in climbing after watching the documentary, “Free Solo” and has been climbing recreationally ever since.

“I was bored in the winter,” DeVries said. “I wanted something interesting to do and I watched a documentary on rock climbing. I was like that was cool and I found a gym. I just started going.”

For DeVries, the community surrounding rock climbing has also been motivation for her to keep coming back. The safety precautions in rock climbing require at least two people to assist each other while climbing, which creates unique bonding experiences.

“I’ve met some really cool people and gotten a lot closer to them as well. I think it’s just awesome,” DeVries said. “It’s such an interesting situation that you really have to trust your partner.”

DeVries said the unique and trustworthy community found within other rock climbers enables people of all skill levels to join and have fun. DeVries consistent climbing partner and friend is Carly Korfker, a psychology and criminal justice double major at NMU.

“We’re just great friends,” DeVries said. “We get along fantastically, and we have a lot of fun together.”

Korfker said she got into climbing because it provided a more adrenaline pumping way to get into shape besides just going to the gym.

“I really like it because I like finding ways to work out that aren’t just sitting in the gym,” Korfker said. “I like trying new things that get your adrenaline going.”

Korfker enjoys both the physical and social benefits of climbing, and keeps coming back to rock climbing because she is able to make constant progression in the sport.

“I like that it’s very social. You meet a lot of new people. There’s just a lot of different places you can go to climb,” Korfker said.

Specifically with the rock wall in the PIEF, Korfker has found the set-up to be a convenient location and a great community builder, with events like Midnight Madness.

“I think it would be nice to have more walls but honestly I think it’s a great place,” Korfker said. “Eventually getting a more accessible bouldering gym at some point would be really nice.”

For DeVries, Korfker and other climbers, rock climbing provides a unique physical exercise and has mental and social aspects as well. DeVries encourages anyone interested in rock climbing to come check it out at the PIEF.

“It’s awesome to be able to get outside and go and see the world look alive and just be able to see everything. It’s just an awesome experience,” DeVries said. “I think just being active and it’s a fun way to be active and social at the same time which is awesome.”

Find out further dates for Midnight Madness and more information about rock climbing on the Northern Michigan University Rec Sports (nmu.edu) website.