• Baylor prof sets Guinness World Record on SLC climbing wall

    Dr. Alexander Pruss climbing "The Rock" in Baylor's McLane Student Life Center

    Rock climbing began as a leisurely activity that Dr. Alexander Pruss could enjoy with his son. Now, the Baylor philosophy professor holds a Guinness World Record for his prowess — and it all began in the McLane Student Life Center (SLC).

    After coming to Baylor, Pruss found he enjoyed both the challenge and the health benefits of indoor rock climbing at the SLC. Over time, he began to take on some of “The Rock’s” more challenging routes. Eventually, he set his mind on breaking the world record for greatest vertical distance climbed on a climbing wall in one hour.

    Pruss documented his months of training on his blog. Last December, with two witnesses and two timekeepers (plus photos and videos) as proof, Pruss crushed the previous Guinness World Record, climbing 1013.71 meters (3,325 feet, 8 inches) in an hour. (For reference: The 22-story ALICO building in downtown Waco is 282 feet high; Pruss effectively climbed that height almost a dozen times in just 60 minutes!)

    A Baylor philosophy professor since 2007, Pruss says he was drawn to BU because he was impressed by the intellectual rigor and Christian community he saw in the philosophy department. Now also the department’s co-director of graduate studies, he relates rock climbing to his profession by seeking to find the philosophy of sport.

    Pruss says he’s not done with record-setting; he hopes to next break the record for fastest vertical mile record. With an unofficial time of 1 hour and 46 minutes, the Guinness record — 1 hour and 51 minutes — is certainly within Pruss’ sight.

    Sic ’em, Dr. Pruss!