Seventeen-year-old Zoe Beauchemin will be competing in the youth boulder national competition in February.

Esquimalt athlete climbing to new heights

Rock climbing isn't just a sport for Zoe Beauchemin, but a complex problem begging to be solved.

Rock climbing isn’t just a sport for Zoe Beauchemin, but a complex problem begging to be solved.

Scaling the walls at rock climbing gyms in Greater Victoria and analyzing her next move is when Beauchemin gets in the zone, slowly inching closer hold by hold before she completes the puzzle and reaches the top of a wall.

“You don’t care about anything else and it’s just the problem in front of you that matters,” said the Grade 12 Esquimalt High student. “That’s where I want to be when I climb . . . and just block everything else out.”

It’s a sport the 17-year-old has found success in, in recent years.

For the past two years, Beauchemin has competed in the youth national bouldering competitions, finishing eighth in the girls aged 15 to 16 age bouldering category in the country.

Currently, she’s one of the best climbers on Vancouver Island and will be representing her hometown, returning to the youth national bouldering competition in February.

Beauchemin competes in two different styles of rock climbing: lead and bouldering. Lead involves ropes and the goal is to climb as high as possible. In bouldering, climbers want to climb as high as possible as well, but without the assistance of ropes or a harness. It also involves more complicated moves (getting from one hole to another) to be completed in a shorter amount of space on the wall.

Beauchemin picked up the sport competitively three years ago, after trying it at a birthday party, and she hasn’t looked back since.

“Climbing in general, I love the community. I think that it’s a very motivated group of individuals who bring to climbing a lot of different things. It’s interesting to learn about these people’s lives because they’re so different,” said Beauchemin, who is on the youth team at The Boulders Climbing Gym in Saanichton.

“Bouldering is like problem solving, it’s a new challenge every time you turn onto the wall. It’s really cool in how diverse it is.”

In preparation for nationals, Beauchemin trains eight to nine hours a week at one of four rock climbing gyms around Greater Victoria, including CragX Indoor Climbing Centre and Boulder House Climbing. Each gym offers a different style and size wall for her to scale — an infinite number of problems for her to solve. In addition to her on the wall training, she also does strength training at the Pacific Institue for Sport Excellence.

But when it comes time to competing and standing in front of a rock climbing wall, it’s all about positive reinforcement for Beauchemin.

“I just think motivational things, positive reinforcement,” she said. “I just think ‘you can do this, you’ve prepared for this’.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

Quadriplegic Saanich man seeks continuity of home care from Island Health

Island Health took over home care services in November

Public hearing coming for Victoria police officer accused of sexual misconduct

Police watchdog hearing follows VPD investigation into allegations

Lawyer says substitute teacher fought sexual urges for 30 years

Former Victoria badminton coach Harry Charles Sadd to be sentenced for sexual abuse of boys

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

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

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Most Read