Carrie Cameron belays her climbing partner

Rock climbing centre opens new facility

Crag X Climbing Centre gives passer-bus a glimpse into the life of a Victoria rock climber.

  • Dec. 17, 2015 7:00 p.m.

— Kevin Underhill

The smell of new mats and the sound of excited chatter fill the new Crag X Climbing Centre downtown. The massive windowed-frontage on the 700 block of Pandora Avenue gives passer-bys a glimpse into the life of a Victoria rock climber.

The massive undertaking of moving from their decades-old Rock Bay location has taken a toll on head of operations Drew Lauder.

“It’s a ridiculous endeavour,” Lauder said. “Just stripping every route and cleaning every single hold that comes down was a crazy process.”

After commissioning the tallest crane on Vancouver Island, trucking in 80,000-pound cement slabs from Duncan and spending upward of $2.5 million, Crag X finally has a new place to call home.

The indoor climbing centre has an expansive 46-foot wall and offers more and safer bouldering areas than their previous site. The new gym officially opened their doors on Nov. 30 and is already swarming with climbers.

“We’re an incredibly busy facility; we have well over 200 people every day,” Lauder said.

Crag X caters to all skill levels but focuses primarily on adult members, of which they have about 500 active. Deborah Bricks, a new member, moved to Victoria from Toronto two months ago and has been coming to Crag X every two days since it opened.

“Climbing is a great social activity. You get to meet, connect and talk with people who are fit, healthy and like-minded,” she said.

Bricks met Carrie Cameron during opening week and the two have since become climbing partners — something Cameron said is common in the Victoria climbing community.

“You just get to know people in here. You end up chatting and it’s a really friendly community,” Cameron said, they’ll likely continue to climb together for a long time.

Lauder said the community atmosphere is something that Crag X takes great pride in. The people are open and welcoming to each other and the staff.

Crag X is not the only new climbing option in town. Last November, UVic opened their new Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities featuring a climbing wall over 50 feet. Lauder said that Crag X has one advantage over every other gym.

“The thing that has kept us alive is our route setting,” Lauder said. “We have just a silly standard for route setting and it’s the reason people keep coming back.”

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria police search for missing senior last seen in James Bay at noon today

Elsie Habbick, 75, is quite mobile, despite suffering from dementia

PHOTOS: 120th Annual Victoria Day Parade

Check out the photo gallery, watch our live feed of the festivities

Esquimalt Farmers Market kicks off summer season

Recently named Best Mid-sized Farmers Market in B.C., weekly event returns to Memorial Park

Preserving Victoria’s character buildings costly, but worth it

Pemberton and Son recognized for heritage preservation of Promis Block

Reporter gets serious with Tour de Victoria’s 140km ride

Travis Paterson’s training blog for Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria on Aug. 18, Volume 1

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

SAR scaling back in Kilmer search, but friends will keep looking

Search for 41-year-old Cobble Hill dad hits six-day mark

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Still no sign of missing father in Cowichan Valley

Search group for Ben Kilmer now stands 40 SAR volunteers and another 100 friends and concerned community members

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

Most Read