The Williams Lake Climbing Association is hoping to scale to new heights with the upcoming launch of its first-ever bouldering program.
Offered through the city’s Recreation Services Department, the program is aimed at all ages and runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m., beginning on Jan. 19, and running until June 23.
“With bouldering you use no ropes. It’s a different style of climbing — what climbers call more dynamic,” said Erika Driedger, president of the WLCA.
Bouldering is low-to-the-ground, no rope climbing. The WLCA recently finished revamping the existing bouldering wall with multiple holds creating several different routes for all levels of climbers inside the small gymnasium at Lake City Secondary School’s Williams Lake Campus. Cushiony mats are setup in the event of a fall.
Driedger said volunteers with the WLCA are excited to get the program started.
“The thing about bouldering is a lot of rope climbers use it as training,” she said. “You can come here, you don’t have to have a partner, it’s a great workout and fun for kids and adults.”
She said the climbing community in Williams Lake is particularly friendly, and noted during the program everyone will be working together to solve a problem, or find the best route on the wall.
“Everyone does it different ways depending on strength, style, height — everyone solves problems in a different way.”
Driedger added climbing has been proven to have therapeutic benefits not only physically, but also mentally.
“It’s good for body injuries or for kids with exceptionalities, whether physical or emotional,” she said.
During the first session participants will be given a safety orientation and taught climbing techniques.
“After that [what we get into] will depend on the crowd,” she said. “For the kids we’ll do more games and for the adults we’ll be helping each other and giving each other tips. Members of the club will be there helping everyone along.”
The WLCA was formed in March of 2015 and Driedger said the bouldering program will be focused strictly on indoor climbing. Additionally, roughly 50 pairs of climbing shoes were recently donated to the WLCA by the Vancouver Rock Climbing Group and Cliffhanger Gym to help get the club started.
The cost of the seven-month program is $80 per person or $120 for one parent and one child with additional family members at regular price.
Registration is available by person at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex or by calling 250-398-7665. For more visit the WLCA’s Facebook page at “Williams Lake Climbing Association – Bouldering Program.”