Onto New Heights
Knuckles scraped, chalk-whitened fingertips stretching to grasp the miniscule hand-hold barely protruding from the top of the overhang, the triumphant rock climber scales the last meter, and yells “Take” to their partner far below. Previously, Brentwood students had little opportunity to experience this challenge, and feel the thrill of successfully conquering a harder route, but with our new rock climbing gym, this dream has become a reality.
On September 22nd, the Eldon & Anne Foote Athletic Center was officially opened, and within the amazing complex is Brentwood’s own rock climbing gym. For many, the climbing gym is the highlight of the new facility, and has been eagerly anticipated since the announcement of its construction. As Aatya U, Allard ‘20 put it, “It’s a really good opportunity and lots of fun to be in.”
The gym has routes for everyone, from short and fun climbs featuring large handholds, to sparsely set routes that even professional climbers are challenged by. In addition, it will soon feature two auto-belay devices, as well as an internationally regulated speed climbing route, the only one of its kind between Nanaimo and Victoria.
With great student interest, the climbing gym is always full when it is open. Offering everything from belay tests to introduction to climbing courses, to bouldering top-roping, everyone interested has had a chance to climb, wherever their skill set may be. This term, the Outdoor Pursuits is using the gym on sport afternoons in addition to the open climbing for all students on Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sundays, and by term two, rock climbing will likely be offered as a sport on its own to maximize the use of this amazing facility. Outdoor Pursuits veteran Grady R, Privett ‘19, said that “The new climbing wall in the Foote Centre is a great addition to the Outdoor Pursuits program, and to the school. It’ll test students’ abilities to reach dizzying heights, as well as teach students teamwork and trust.” This statement, I think, sums up our new climbing gym and the opportunity if offers.
On behalf of all the passionate climbers of the school, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you Mr Norman, Ms Bell, Mrs Olszewski, the Foote Center construction team, and everyone else who worked so hard to bring the gym to life, and who continue to keep students safe and challenged while using it!
Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20