CANMORE – Four climbers will get the chance to represent Canmore on the national stage at the upcoming national youth bouldering championships in North Vancouver on Feb. 15-17.
The four Canmore Indoor Climbing Society (CICS) athletes packing their bags for the west coast are Alexa Vanier, Louka Gay, Ruby Baty and RyAnne Advice, thanks to their top results in the west junior regionals last weekend in Calgary.
“It is great to see four of our climbers qualify for the nationals. I think all-in-all most of our climbers achieved what they set out to do. We had seven kids reach the semis. It was great to see the walls full of Canmore climbers," said CICS coach Chris Neve.
In the western regionals, Vanier powered through the competition to claim the top spot on the podium.
“I am very pleased with the way I climbed,” said Vanier, who competes in the youth B female division. “Climbing against the best climbers in the west really pushed me to do my best.”
Neve said Vanier’s best quality is her strength. This season he said her mental toughness has started to develop more and he has seen her become a more mature climber, which he cites has the real key to her continued success.
“I have to remind myself to just focus on having fun, that’s the key. If I start thinking too much about the result I psych myself out,” Vanier said.
Climbing in the youth B male division, Gay finished in second.
“Louka is such a calculated climber, he is slow and steady and fights harder than most not to let go. Not many have that mental fortitude, which I think helps set him apart.”
Both Vanier and Gay have their sights set on finishing in the top three at nationals, which would earn them a spot at the Canadian selection camp for the world championships.
The pair of Baty and Advice qualified for nationals in the youth A female division. Baty finished in 13th while Advice claimed the 18th spot, and Neve is hopeful the two climbers will also finish in the top 20 at nationals.
Also competing in the regionals last weekend was a trio of youth C female climbers Oceane Gelinas, who finished sixth, Ella Ricci 15th and Lane Baty 18th.