The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School


The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School


The online student newspaper of Palisades Charter High School


Pali Students Climb to New Heights


From beginner climbers to professional athletes, many students are forming an up-and-coming rock climbing community at Pali. The sport’s rising popularity is evident in both increased recreational participation among students, as well as the emergence of Pali climbers who are making themselves known on regional and world stages.

At the forefront of rock climbing at Pali are two students and avid rock climbers, Paige Elliot and Thomas Lin. Their dedication to the sport has led them to creating organizations, participating in national and global competitions, and being officers of Pali’s rock climbing club. 

In 2024, Elliot founded Climb 4 All, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization dedicated to making rock climbing more accessible by providing resources and training to students.

Climb 4 All partners with other organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club, to help alleviate the cost of climbing for kids. In addition to providing financial support for students, it connects students with volunteers who are experienced climbers. According to Climb 4 All’s website, the donations help to offset the cost of climbing for students, which includes gear, gym and rental costs.

On the Climb 4 All website, Elliot describes how her “vision for Climb 4 All is that one day, any child who dreams of climbing gets the chance to experience it.”

Lin has participated in various competitions for rock climbing around the world.

On April 12 to 14, 2024, Lin debuted in the International Federation of Sports Climbing (IFSC) World Cup in Wujiang, China. According to the IFSC Climbing Website, he participated in the men’s Speed competition alongside other globally ranked climbers.

Additionally, Lin competed in the 2024 USA Climbing National Team Trials in Gaithersburg, Maryland in early March, placing third in Men’s Speed Climbing, according to 

“[Competitions] can be strenuous and stressful, but there’s always a feeling of comradery and pride within the community, no matter where you are,” Lin said. “They’ve definitely pushed me to do better and train harder.”

Lin noted that his most memorable competition was in October of 2023, at the National U.S. Open for rock climbing in Boise, Idaho. 

He said he was “intimidated because [he] was competing against World Cup climbers.” While many climbers prioritize speed, Lin said he focused on his technique. As a result, he placed second in the competition. 

“It was definitely an I-made-it moment,” he said. 

However, Lin said his accomplishments require mental preparation. For Lin, turning his nerves into motivation is an essential part of competitions. 

“The day of competitions, I get a lump in my throat that will cause me to vomit. I try to tell myself to lean into it and think, ‘Let’s not fight the lump in my throat. Let’s not fight the stress,’” Lin said. “[I tell myself that] this lump in my throat is actually me getting ready to go climb and do my best.”

In order to meet the demands of their schedules, Lin and Elliot participate in Pali’s Virtual Academy program. Lin said preparing for competitions requires hours of weekly training, which, he said, wouldn’t be possible if they attended in-person schooling.  

“[Joining Virtual Academy] allowed me to implement my own critical thinking and decide this day I want to do homework, this day I want to train…. It was a mindset I had to adopt,” Lin said. “Then, I could start competing more often.” 

Elliot and Lin said that their shared passion for rock climbing inspired them to organize Pali’s Rock Climbing Club. This student-led space gives members of various skill levels an opportunity to connect with fellow climbers.

Elliot added that during the past year, “climbing has become a lot more known,” which has led to an increase in club members. The club’s main events are hosted at various climbing gyms, where members can climb together. 

“By organizing [the club], I’ve gotten to climb in a different way, where it’s non-competitive and more like teaching as well,” Elliot said. 

Lin agreed with Elliot’s sentiments: “It’s therapeutic to have somewhere supportive like [a climbing gym]. I’m trying to draw this light part of climbing into other areas of my life.”

Elliot offered advice to aspiring climbers who are looking to break into the sport. 

“If you want to rock climb, you should try joining the club or going to climbing gyms,” she said. “We are all trying to improve and help each other. If you’re thinking about it, I’d say give it a chance.”

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About the Contributor
Reina Stem 
Reina Stem , Staff Writer
Reina Stem, a junior, is excited to grow her writing abilities throughout her first year as a staff writer in Tideline. She’s written creative pieces for as long as she can remember, and is ready to delve into writing Pali-based news pieces. Reina is co-president of March for Our Lives and the secretary for My Body My Choice, so she can be found in the quad doing bake sales. When not in school, she spends her weekends thrifting, painting, or perfecting her iced matcha recipe.