Yukoners climb high at Juneau bouldering competition

Whitehorse rock climbers scaled the standings higher than ever in Juneau last Friday.

Whitehorse rock climbers scaled the standings higher than ever in Juneau last Friday.

Members of the Yukon Youth Climbing Team had its “best showing to date” at the fifth annual Rock Dump Climbing Competition.

The team didn’t let the pressures of competition get to them at the bouldering contest, said Yukon coach Alain Dallaire.

“I think it went really well,” said Dallaire. “Almost half of my team is Grade 12 and they’ve been doing competitions since Grade 8 and I think there was less pressure than usual. The athletes were pretty laid back and calm and did pretty well.

“I did have a few newcomers from this year who were a bit more nervous. They did not perform as well, but I think the whole team in general performed really well.”

Sixteen members of the Yukon team competed at the event that presented climbers with 49 problems — the first worth 100 points, the second worth 200 points, up to the 49th problem worth 4,900 points.

Pelly Vincent-Braun and Sigourney Whipple-Grantham had the highest finishes for the Yukon team.

Whipple-Grantham placed second in open women with a score of 7,200 points. Vincent-Braun, who placed fourth last year, placed second in open men with 16,200 points.

“He climbed really well and was quite proud of his results,” said Dallaire.

Whipple-Grantham placed first in open and junior women divisions at last year’s Yukon Open Cold Finger Snap competition. Vincent-Braun, who is also a world-class slalom canoeist, placed second in open and junior men divisions at last years’ Yukon Open.

Teammate Tomas Tokic took fourth with a score of 14,700 last Friday, completing problem number 46. He placed third last year at the competition.

Yukon’s Daniel Saunders climbed to sixth place with a score of 12,500, followed by Gabriel Nadon with 9400 points.

Teammate Sam Fleeming took ninth at 7,700 points.

Ljlubi Tokic, the youngest female climber on the Yukon team, produced a score of 4,800 points for sixth place in open women.

Teammates Fionnula Marion and Julia Frasher claimed eighth and ninth, respectively, with 2,400 and 2,000 points.

While it was the Yukon’s best showing at the Rock Dump climbing gym, it could be their last too.

“I’m not sure if there’s going to be a competition next year because the climbing gym there — the building — has been sold to a bus company,” said Dallaire. “So I’m not sure if they’re going to be able to save the climbing wall.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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