The Valemount Climbing Club
Submitted by Kelsey Brick
The Valemount Climbing Club registered as a nonprofit in early 2021 and began planning a three-phase climbing gym project. Thanks to the early granting, we were able to finance the first planning phase of the project. Over the past year, we have completed the first phase: we secured a local gym space in early summer, which made it possible to create high performance climbing walls, and brought in a company Climbing Design Professional to design a climbing gym at our specific location. We are delighted with what they came up with and have shared the designs on our website (www.valemountclimbingclub.org). We are also delighted with the enthusiasm of community members for the project.
Bouldering is a social sport that takes place in a smaller area filled with bouldering issues. In a sports hall, courses made of colored artificial rocks go up the wall. So while someone is trying to fix the problem, everyone is there to support them, offer suggestions, or just have fun and connect.
Recently, we launched a fundraising campaign to raise funds for the second phase of the project which will allow us to build the facility and open in Spring / Summer 2022. We will need $ 73,000 by April 2022 to build the walls and an additional $ 62,000 to add the wall units, security floor, security system and other items.
We are happy to see all the people who believe in the project and who are ready to support it financially. Our website has a fundraising thermometer that shows our progress towards our fundraising goal. We continue to seek grants throughout the winter, but are seeking donations from community members, local businesses and other corporate sponsors to increase the initial amount required to open on time.
Once funding is reached, we aim to open a secure gym space for monthly and annual members. It will have extended daily hours of operation for people with irregular or late work schedules, or those who are at home during the day looking for physical activity. There will be weekend walk-in days for non-members new to the sport. We also have a strong and sustainable 10 year financial plan.
Part of the design of our gym has been made to accommodate birthdays. We know that children are natural climbers and rock climbing is a wonderful exercise. The space will be accessible and pleasant to anyone who wants to try. Our bodies are unique; the way a climber completes one route may be totally different from another. There are people of all genders, ages, abilities and backgrounds who thrive in the sport and compete at the highest level.
The popularity of rock climbing continues to grow. Movies like Free Solo and climbers like Alex Honeld started bringing the sport to mainstream audiences about five years ago. Indoor climbing was first introduced to the world last summer when it became a sport at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. The future of rock climbing is just beginning and the Valemount Climbing Club is excited to promote the sport of rock climbing and create community spaces where we can climb here in our beautiful Robson Valley.
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