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

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Oak Bay grants 60 days of protection for century-old mansion

J.W. Morris House slated for removal by Abstract Developments

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Ogden Point officially rebranded as The Breakwater District

New signage and logos accompany plans for the area’s future

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Sooke athletes win gold at 55+ Games

Myrtle Acton, 86, leads way with three first place finishes

Most Read