Rock climbers were lining up to compete last week. Literally.
In what was a good sign for the health of the sport in Whitehorse, more than 55 competitors came out for the Pump for Fun indoor climbing competition at F.H. Collins Secondary School on Nov. 8.
“We had a huge amount of people – kind of capacity for the climbing gym,” said Kathleen McDade, one of the event’s organizers. “Everyone was super excited to have some problems to work on because adults don’t really have a venue to climb on in Whitehorse except for their own personal gyms. So it was great for everyone; good for the climbing community.”
Members of the Yukon Youth Climbing Team almost completely blanketed the youth results at the competition organized by Climb Yukon.
Team member Calden Hoefs, who won the youth male division, was impressed by the large turnout.
“It was the biggest one ever, so I expected a lot of competition,” said Hoefs. “I like that. It’s good to mix things up a bit.”
Hoefs has won local competitions before, but at this one he set a personal best score of 100 points.
“I’ve been climbing in the club ever since Grade 9, so this is my third year,” said Hoefs. “We’ve had many local competitions, and I’ve been to two outside of the Yukon … but this is by far the best.”
The youth female division saw a tie for first between two first-time competitors who are members of the youth team.
The two winners, Sara Burke-Forsyth and Selina Pinter, were also excited about the turnout.
“It was so much fun,” said Burke-Forsyth. “There were so many people there and there was so much energy. I was talking to my friend playing volleyball (at F.H. Collins) and she said, ‘It was so hard to practise because there was so much noise coming from the gym.’”
“It was a lot of fun and a good environment,” said Pinter. “There were more people than I thought would come.”
Last week’s competition was good preparation as the Yukon Youth Climbing Team prepares to travel to Juneau, Alaska, for a competition on Dec. 15.
The team, which meets three times a week after school at the F.H. Collins gym, has about 20 members this year.
“It’s open to students Grade 8 to 12 across Whitehorse – and beyond that if there’s interest, but typically we haven’t had people from communities come in for it,” said McDade, a coach with the team.
“Competition is optional for them, but typically, for the past few years, we try to go to Juneau a couple of times. This year we’re hoping to go to Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton for a bouldering competition as well.”
In case you are wondering, the “pump” in the competition name refers to the feeling of exhaustion a climber gets in his or her forearms during climbing.
1st Calden Hoefs – 100 points
2nd Pelly Vincent Braun – 86 points
3rd Cameron Cottrell-Tribes – 79 points
4th Mac Prawdzik – 75 points
5th Henry Bearisto – 74 points
6th Kyran Allen – 60 points
7th Francis Belanger – 37 points
8th Finn Matrishon – 36.5 points
8th Julian Bearisto – 36.5 points
1st Sara Burke-Forsyth – 57 points
1st Selina Pinter – 57 points
3rd Cassie Wright – 49 points
4th Aimee Parker – 11 points
1st Brian Ng – 106 points
2nd Ethan Allen – 105 points
3rd Gareth Earl – 90 points
4th Abby Genier – 88 points
5th Justin Wallace – 77 points
6th Karl McEwean – 68 points
7th Chris Rider – 61 points
1st Verena Konig – 64 points
2nd Bhreagh Dabbs – 61 points
3rd Holly Goulding – 59 points
4th Kawina Robichaud – 56 points
5th Lauren Whyte – 49 points
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