Rock Wall climbers take on the world

Two Maple Ridge’ climbers will be in Paris competing in the world championships next month.

Christy Spurrell

Two Maple Ridge’ climbers will be in Paris competing in the world championships next month.

Christy Spurrell and Jaylene Pratt are members of the climbing team from the Rock Wall Climbing Gym in Maple Ridge, and have been selected for the national team. They will represent Canada at three world cup events in Europe: at Imst, Austria; Arco, Italy; and the Open World Championships in Paris, France.

Spurrell has experience competing internationally as a youth climber, but the 23-year-old took time away from the sport while she completed her kinesiology degree at the University of the Fraser Valley.

It is a similar story for Pratt, who is making a comeback in the sport after attending Simon Fraser University, where she majored in music and theatre.

The women have been training partners for about nine years, and now hope to take their climbing careers to a new level, starting with August’s international competition.

Spurrell said her education has helped her in training, and she feels stronger than ever.

“Having a more definite training plan really helps. I’m feeling really good.”

Spurrell has been climbing since the age of eight, and her father Terry bought the local climbing gym as the family business when she was nine.

“I spent pretty much every day there after school,” she remembers.

As a youth she competed for Team Canada in Denver, Montreal, Ecuador and her last youth event was in Chile. Since graduating to the open class Spurrell competed at a World Cup in Belgium a couple of years ago. She was the national champion that season in the difficulty event, which is called lead climbing on the national scene.

In Canada, she competes in all three of the climbing disciplines – bouldering, difficulty and speed climbing, but in Europe this summer she will compete only in difficulty.

As the head coach for the Rock Wall youth team, she is having most of her success in the speed category, sending local kids on to Team Canada.

“She has developed an impressive speed climbing program and is a leader in Canada for training on short walls,” said her father Terry. “She was asked to lead speak last fall in Banff in the Canadian Climbing Coaches Conference about training on short walls. With the official World Cup speed wall being 15-metre high, Central Saanich has the only one in Canada. Montreal has an official 10m wall. The Rock Wall has the shortest wall in the Canada where speed climbers train and next to Central Saanich, put the most climbers on the podium for speed.”

One of her athletes, Teyha Rogers, qualified for Team Canada in speed for her second year in a row. Rogers finished as national champion and will compete in China this fall.

Pratt has competed in two youth worlds, in France and Scotland, a number of years ago. But between university and injuries, she hasn’t competed much since. She has trained with the Rock Wall team since she was 15 or 16, and this season qualified for the world cup events after having her best season ever.

Spurrell said she can draw inspiration from Pratt.

“She’s super passionate about the sport, and very motivated.”

They have a lot of time between their world cup events, and they plan to make it a climbing vacation.

“We’re planning our trip around the cool climbing gyms of Europe,” said Spurrell.











Just Posted

Sun shines on Car Free Day in Maple Ridge

First ever event featured live music, vendors and activity stations

Cyclists take over Maple Ridge

More than 100 cyclists took part in the 17th annual Race the Ridge

Flowers and ceramics take over the ACT Art Gallery

Ceramica Botanica runs until July 27

Streets blocked off downtown Maple Ridge for Race the Ridge

The 17th annual bike race kicked off at 8:30 a.m.

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Parents of B.C. murder victim want her personal belongings back

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read