News (Update Sept 9, 2017) —
As you may have noticed, we are still not open. We continue to wait patiently until the building we are in gets finished enough to get its occupancy permit from the city.
We have given up with predicting when this will happen, but we do feel like things are somewhat close now. Hang tight!
About the Co-Op and the Indoor Climbing Gym
Imagine this: a place for Powell Riverites of all ages – children, youth, and adults – to gather, get fit, and have fun during the dreary winter months?
The above photos are so close to being a reality for Powell River… but we still need your help!
Who We Are & What We Want To Do For You
The Powell River Climbing Co-op is a group of local people who are passionate about rock climbing and are bringing a not-for-profit co-operative indoor gym to the Powell River community.
Rock climbing gyms are springing up literally everywhere and there is a good reason for it – rock climbing is empowering, fun, and physically and mentally challenging. It is an amazing way to get fit and connect with others.
It would be an incredible asset to the Powell River community.
The benefits of such a facility would be:
- A place for Powell Riverites to socialize and gather around a healthy activity, especially in the winter months
- A place for Powell Riverities to get fit in a fun way
- A place to grow the Powell River climbing community, which will lead to the development of our outdoor climbing, which will attract tourism to the town
The plan is to build a modest indoor climbing gym in the Townsite, with two separate forms of climbing.
The main type of climbing will be something called bouldering, which is climbing without ropes. Instead, the walls are shorter (13 feet high in our planned facility), and the floors covered in cushy pads which absorb falls safely, as shown in the photos at the top of the website.
Bouldering is fast, challenging, and just as much fun as roped climbing.
In fact, bouldering gyms are quickly becoming more popular than roped facilities, and for good reason. It is the most accessible type of climbing, as you do not need any technical equipment, knowledge to use it, or even a climbing partner.
We also plan to have a smaller section for traditional roped top-rope climbing. In this form of climbing, you use ropes through an anchor, a harness, and a “belay” buddy to keep you safe as you climb up a larger span of wall (close to 27 feet in our planned facility).
The reason we have formed as a not-for-profit co-op (as opposed to a traditional business) is so that we can make climbing accessible to everyone in the community by offering you lower rates than you’d find at commercial gyms.
It also means that if you are 16 or older, you can get directly involved with how the gym is run, by running for the board of directors and voting on important issues.
We Can Do This, But Not Without You!
So – do you want Powell River to have its own climbing gym to benefit the community for years to come?
If so, we absolutely need your help!
This is an independent grass-roots effort that will not succeed without you and your support. We are average community members with no start-up capital, and no investors.
We have found a space to build the gym, have had the climbing wall professionally designed, and we have received a huge portion of funding from the Powell River Community Forest grant and other sponsors and donations.
And as of August 2016, the climbing wall has finished being constructed! (click here for pics)
This is an incredible feat in such a short amount of time! We are overwhelmed with gratitude for all the local support.
However, there is still work to be done before the doors can open and we still need your help!
- The Project Progress page to find out more details of where we are in the process
- The Our Planned Facility page to learn more details about the planned facility
- The How You Can Help page to find out what you can do to help us open the doors
Powell River Climbing Co-operative
Our Board Members’ Bios:
Kevan grew up climbing outdoors in the Powell River area and an indoor gym for the community has been a long time dream of his. He is passionate about climbing and his community, and his major goal beyond completing his degree in social work is to see this gym become a reality.
In addition to school, climbing, and putting up new bouldering routes, he is now a program coordinator at Powell River’s Outdoor Learning Centre. He also recently worked in the service centre of the head office of Mountain Equipment Co-op, and as a bouldering instructor at Vancouver’s premiere bouldering gym, The Hive.
Tracy Raftl is a successful online entrepreneur who also grew up in Powell River, climbing outdoors with the Brooks BOATT program (now Coast Mountain Academy) for the first time at the tender age of 18.
Ten years later, Tracy can’t get enough of rock climbing and has settled down to once again call Powell River home, recently buying a house in the historic townsite. The only thing Powell River is missing, in her opinion? A climbing gym to get us off the couch and having fun in the winter months. She plans to use her business and marketing skills to make this project a success.
Luke hails from Sydney, Australia, and met Tracy while traveling in Europe back in 2008. Enchanted by the stories of life on the wild west coast, Luke followed Tracy back to Powell River and fell in love with the area and the community.
Luke has an academic background in law and journalism, as well as as extensive array of professional adventure tourism experience, most recently working as a lead kayak guide for Powell River Sea Kayak, and for Natural Habitat polar bear tours in Churchill, Manitoba.
A total nature-lover from the North Shore of Vancouver, Anna moved to Powell River this Spring. In Vancouver she had worked on Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Social Media Team and volunteered for the David Suzuki Foundation. She had previously completed her post-grad in Sustainable Business Leadership at BCIT where she learned the many benefits of the cooperative model.
Anna learned to climb a year ago when she met her partner, Kevan. She is now hooked and looking forward to seeing more of what Powell River’s rock has to offer!
Cam is a registered nurse who is new to the Powell River scene, moving here in 2015 on a whim. He grew up in Nelson, BC, naturally spending all his free time and money getting into the mountains. Whether it’s been back country skiing at Whitewater or climbing at Waterline, he’s always been an outdoors kinda guy!
Cam also worked at a small bouldering gym at Selkirk College back in the Kootenays, so is obviously extremely excited about an indoor gym here in Powell River. Cam plans on spending many of his free hours at the gym, see you there!
Want to stay current on the climbing gym project? Please join our Facebook group for frequent news and updates