Crystal Schick/Yukon News Kevin McLachlan climbs a rock face at the Rock Gardens in Whitehorse for the 2019 “Rock” Garden Party.

Yukon climbing groups gather for end of season celebration

“It was fantastic. It was a great showing”

With morning temperatures getting crisper and leaves falling from the trees, the climbing community gathered on Sept. 14 at the Rock Gardens in Whitehorse for the 2019 “Rock” Garden Party.

Hosted by the Climb Yukon Association alongside the Alpine Club of Canada and the Yukon Climbing Access Society, the day included an afternoon of free drop-in climbing, followed by a barbecue and a screening of the film Metanoia on the rocks at sundown.

Samantha Li, president of Climb Yukon, said the event was both a celebration and a chance to launch the organization’s new memberships.

“It just was a reason to get together, celebrate the end of the season, do some rock climbing,” said Li. “We actually did try to launch our membership program, so this is the first time you can buy a Climb Yukon membership and support our organization.”

The memberships are $20 for the year and give holders half off the price of drop-in climbing, with the funds helping support the youth team with new equipment and assistance to travel to Outside competitions.

Li said the event’s attendance peaked with somewhere between 30 and 40 people at one time, and that all together more than 100 people attended the event.

“I really appreciated how the climbing community came together and helped volunteer,” said Li, explaining that the usual crowd for Climb Yukon events turned up to climb but ended up doing more.

“They came to climb and because it was so busy, they ended up helping out and belaying people and welcoming new people to the community,” said Li. “It was fantastic. It was a great showing.”

The event also included a number of clinics teaching climbers techniques like how to set an anchor, how to belay and how to rappel.

Li said there was so much going on it’s difficult to give credit to all the right people.

“It was super busy all day, so I’m not quite sure who did what,” said Li.

Climb Yukon runs drop-in climbing on Mondays and Wednesdays at Porter Creek Secondary School. It’s $10 to climb — $5 for members — and includes free shoe rental.

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

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