The Revelstoke Climbing Co-op is moving forward with a new board and renewed focus one year after it’s formation.
The co-op held its first annual general meeting at Benoit’s Wine Bar last Tuesday, Oct. 22, at which director Mark Hartley laid out the status of the group.
The climbing co-op was formed in 2012 with the aim of supporting rock climbing in Revelstoke – notably developing an indoor bouldering gym and advocating for climbing issues such as access and development of climbing areas.
The focus in it’s first year was develop a bouldering gym, but the group is not much closer to that goal now than it was a year ago.
They received funding from the Columbia Basin Trust to develop a bouldering gym in a building at Second and Orton, but returned the money after issues with the proposed space turned up. The co-op is now looking into funding from the tourism infrastructure fund, but the issue of a space remains.
“If we have a plan, I don’t see why they wouldn’t give us a chunk of change,” Hartley told about 30 people who attended the AGM. “The catch with that is it has to be attractive to tourists. It has to make people stay in town an extra day, another night in a hotel, to justify them giving us money. A little cave in a garage isn’t going to do that. We’ve come full circle.”
Hartley said the co-op has looked into a number of locations, both private and public, but the search for a space continues.
The group also wants to focus on access issues for climbers, particularly for climbing areas alongside the Trans-Canada Highway like the Columbia Buttress and the Victor Lake Wall; and the Begbie Bluffs, where Hartley said there was talk of re-opening a nearby quarry.
Begbie Bluffs and Shaketown are both designated recreation sites with some level of protection, but other local climbing areas aren’t.
Moving forward, the co-op formed a new board consisting of Hartley, Darek Glowacki, Chris Gooliaff, Adam Winterton, Mireille Dufour, and Meghan Anderson. Different committees were set up to look at fundraising, grant writing, access, issues and the bouldering gym.
The gym remains the big push, said Hartley following the meeting. They are looking for a space with at least 16-foot high ceilings. If they are successful with receiving tourism infrastructure funding, they would need to build a facility that would attract tourists, and that would mean even higher ceilings. – up to 40 feet.
They will also be working on access issues, said Hartley. “I think some people are keen to start developing relationships with the MInistry of Forests, the BC Climbing Access Society and Parks Canada, to make sure we’re connected if issues of access come up.”