Stephanie Saal moves from a horizontal wall to a vertical wall at the for-fun bouldering competition in Whitehorse on Nov. 26. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Climb Yukon hosts fall bouldering competition

Competitors had three hours to tackle 25 problems

The Climb Yukon Association held its fall bouldering competition at Porter Creek Secondary School on Nov. 26.

Thirty participants took part in the competition, with each athlete having three hours to complete as many of the 25 bouldering problems as they wished. The hardest five counted towards the athlete’s score.

Competition organizer Max Parker said the event was bigger than he expected.

“The turnout was actually incredible,” said Parker. “Honestly, it went as well as it could have. We do it twice a year … but it was by far the biggest turnout we had.”

Parker said the quality of climbing was also impressive.

“We set some pretty hard problems — I’d say harder than last year — and we were really surprised,” said Parker. “I think the climbers are getting stronger in town. Normally with sports teams, if they get better they’re playing against each other, whereas this is a personal thing so you can really tell when people are bringing their ‘A’ game.”

Athletes competed in male, female and youth categories.

In the female category, Emeraude Dallaire was the winner with Stephanie Saal in second and Caitlyn MacMaster in third.

The top male climber was Jonathan Lowey while Simon Pelletier was second and Kevin Erdoino was third.

In the youth category, Cooper Fraser was first, Lou Samson-Noormohamed was second and John London was third.

Parker said the competition started as a chance for local youth to compete against each other but has grown recently to include more of the general public.

“The whole comp kind of started with the youth team,” said Parker. “Then the public started coming and it became just the Whitehorse climbing competition.”

The youth team is prepping for a competition in Juneau, Alaska, in January and Parker said Climb Yukon is taking a break from planning events for a while in order to focus on the organization’s push to get a dedicated climbing gym in the city.

“We have public nights open Monday and Wednesday from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Porter Creek and we have loaner shoes for that as well,” said Parker. “We’ve been pushing to get a gym for three years and we have meetings with the city and (the Yukon government), so there’s going to be a lot more of those behind-the-scenes kind of things.”

The takeaway from the competition for Parker was the state of the sport in the Yukon.

“The climbers this year were really strong; it was great to see,” said Parker. “As a whole, Climb Yukon has grown quite a bit and has gained a lot of momentum, so we’re starting to see a big turnout at our events.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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A climber with a taped thumb grips a small hold at the for-fun bouldering competition in Whitehorse on Nov. 26. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Dozens turned out for the for-fun bouldering competition in Whitehorse on Nov. 26. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

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