Members of the Yukon Youth Climbing Team were scaling the standings at the Rock Dump Climbing Competition in Juneau over the weekend.
Of the 12 Yukon climbers at the competition, three placed in the top-five.
“I think everyone was really happy to expose themselves to competition,” said Yukon coach Alain Dallaire. “Half of them came to the competition last year, the other half it was their first experience.
“It’s really good. Why do we do these sports? It’s bonding … The competition is important, but getting out and making sure the kids are enjoying their time is the most important thing.”
The Yukon’s best result came from Whitehorse’s Julian Beairsto, who placed first in the boys 13-and-under division.
It was the 13-year-old’s first Outside competition. The F.H. Collins Secondary student completed a V3-rated problem for the win.
“Excited. It makes me feel like I can do this,” said Beairsto. “I started climbing because of my brothers who have been doing it for a while, and I was excited when I thought I was doing well because it’s something I accomplished.”
Teammate Kassi Wright climbed to third place in the open women division.
“I’m pretty happy,” said Wright. “Last year I didn’t do as well, I was pretty surprised by this year.”
Wright, who also attends F.H. Collins, completed a V4, “or something around there,” she said.
Though she was in open women, Wright is just 16, but as Dallaire explains: “Youth can compete against adults.
“In terms of weight ratio to finger strength, usually kids are pretty good. They are small and their fingers are fairly strong for their size.”
The Yukon club’s other top-five results came from Calden Hoefs placing fourth in open men. Hoefs graduated high school last year and is now a coach with the team.
The Yukon Youth Climbing Team is just beginning its fifth season together and has over 20 active members. The high-school age team meets three times a week at F.H. Collins Secondary but welcomes students from any Whitehorse high school.
The team specializes in bouldering.
“Bouldering is way faster, I don’t have to handle ropes, I don’t have to handle equipment,” said Dallaire.
The club will host the Yukon Open Pump For Fun on Dec. 4, a competition open to the public.
They host a fundraising night every Wednesday night 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at F.H. Collins. The open night is to help pay for the expense of traveling to Outside competitions.
“Instead of doing grocery bagging, we open the climbing wall to the public and we charge $10 for two hours,” said Dallaire. “It’s a bit pricey, but it’s a fundraiser.”
The youth team plans to return to Juneau for another competition in January, host a second Yukon competition in February and attend the Tour de Bloc competition in Vancouver to end the season.
“It’s great. Alain is a great coach and everyone gets along so well,” said Wright. “So traveling together is perfect.”
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