A growing community of climbers

From the bottom of the boulder to the top

  • Growing community of indoor climbers and boulderers
  • Great for mental and physical health
  • Sport Climbing had Olympic debut at 2020 Summer Games

Rock climbing has traditionally been known as an extreme sport for adrenaline junkies.

But there is a form of climbing, known as bouldering, that’s recently gained popularity, and involves being much closer to the ground.

“The object of the sport of bouldering is to get from the bottom of the boulder, through whatever line you’re working on, to top out on the top of the boulder,” lead boulder setter at Beyond the Crux, Zach Fedechko, told Kelowna 10.

Fedechko said the sport is generally done outside with mats, there for when you fall, as no ropes are involved.

“So if you fall, you do fall to the ground,” he added.

When Fedechko first moved to Kelowna, he didn’t really have a friend group and was looking for a community to be a part of. Bouldering initially captured his interest from an athletic standpoint, but he quickly made friends through the hobby.

“I had a tough time kind of finding a group of friends until I started climbing, and honestly, most of the friends I have here in Kelowna came from this gym,” Fedechko said.

Bouldering is a very physical sport, and involves not only durability and agility, but mental strength as well.

“Bouldering, in terms of physical and mental health, is amazing,” Fedechko said.

Bouldering, he said, can act as a great mental switch, helping climbers disconnect from whatever is going on in their life. Solving the problem of getting up the boulder, and working with people and building community is also great for mental health.

“It’s awesome to come here and get a send, and feel really good and leave here feeling awesome,” Fedechko said.

Sport climbing made its Olympic debut at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan, bringing even more awareness to the sport.

“The whole climbing genre in general being in [the Olympics] is really cool. People are seeing how amazing and cool it can be, and how great it is for anyone to go and try,” Fedechko said.

He said it doesn’t matter what body type you have, or how tall or how small you are, you can go to the gym, rent a pair of shoes and try it out.

“I think it’s just a great way to expose the sport [to] more and more people, and show people what it can be [at] kind of the top level of it. It’s just an amazing fun thing to participate in and watch,” Fedechko said.

Published 2021-12-15 by Keelan Bourdon

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