A&M-Commerce alumnus sets record for indoor climbing

Joseph Miller, Opinion Editor

Andrew Dahir scales the indoor climbing wall at Morris Recreation Center. East Texan Photo | Joseph Miller

Joseph Miller | Opinion editor 

A&M-Commerce alumnus Andrew Dahir unofficially set two Guinness World Records in indoor climbing Sept. 21.

He started at 9 a.m., and less than two hours later Dahir set the record for greatest distance climbed on a climbing wall in one hour, climbing 928 meters in 51:56. This potential new mark surpassed the previous record by 128 meters.

Dahir also set a new mark for the fastest vertical mile climbed on a climbing wall by a male with a time of 1:51:37.

Heat and exhaustion caused Dahir to scratch his attempt at the fastest time to climb the height of Mount Everest on an indoor climbing wall, the main record he had set out to break. The pace he had set toward this goal enabled him to break the other two records.

Dahir was climbing the 40-foot wall at a pace of about 40 seconds a climb and the heat at the top combined with the physical exertion slowed his pace enough that he decided to postpone his attempt to break the Everest record for another day.

Dahir started climbing almost ten years ago when he was a TAMUC freshman. Dahir said that he prefers his hobbies to be goal-oriented.

“With rock climbing, you work on a route or a problem, and there is an end goal or something to work towards,” Dahir said.

Dahir is primarily an indoor rock climber and has been thinking of breaking the records for around five years.

Dahir was a member of the TAMUC Climbing Society team that set two Guinness World Records in 2013 for greatest distance climbed in six hours by a team and the fastest time to climb Everest on an indoor climbing wall for a team, which still stand today.

Dahir moved to Colorado for graduate school to work on his studies in aerospace engineering but continued to train and think about setting world records.

Dahir trained for this specific attempt for the last year and a half, incorporating endurance training, running Spartan obstacle course races and CrossFit training.

The climbing wall inside the MRC stands 40 feet or roughly 12 meters in height. East Texan Photo | Joseph Miller

“It’s like training for a marathon, you never just go out and run a marathon every weekend, you build up to it. Not climbing has been my training,” Dahir said.

Dahir crediting the logistics of climbing as the reason for his and the 2013 team’s success. Setting up a route specific to him and approaching the task logically is Dahir’s strength, and he said aerospace engineering aids his success in climbing.

“I approach it like a satellite. From a systems perspective, how do all these pieces fit together in an optimal way,” Dahir said.

Thinking about the next move or foot and hand placement is what Dahir loves about the sport.

“My favorite thing about climbing is the technicality behind it. This is what appeals to me because not only is it a physical workout, it is a mental workout as well,” Dahir said.

Dahir said that family, friends and university

support is what made him travel from Colorado to his alma mater to set these records.

“It’s like family here,” Dahir said.

Dahir lies down exhaustedly after setting two world records, but he had to postpone the attempt to break a third because he was slowing down. East Texan Photo | Joseph Miller