It’s the end of an era in Canmore as the final indoor bouldering-only space closes and the walls and holds go up for sale. It all started over 20 years ago when Dung Nguyen purchased a small climbing gym and turned it into the V’sion, a bouldering cave in Canmore’s industrial area.
The gym was one of the country’s most well-known training hubs and Nguyen was one of Canada’s first climbing coaches. Many top climbers got their start at the V’sion, including Eric and Elise Sethna, Allison Vest, Zach McGurk, Andrew Funk, Sara and Becca Frangos and many more. Nguyen hosted Canada’s first-ever IFSC bouldering world cup back in 2011, but his gym had to close the following year to make way for the town’s new recreation centre, which now houses Elevation Place climbing gym.
The walls of the V’sion were mostly destroyed, but the holds found a second home in the Canmore Bouldering Cave, a co-op located a few blocks away. It was smaller but had a loyal user-base, mostly leftovers from the V’sion. The local youth climbing team also trained there. After a few years, the gym had to close shop and be moved one final time to an even smaller space.
One year ago, we ran a number of love letters from climbers to their favourite gyms, here’s one to the V’sion.
Over the past few years, locals have tried to keep the cave’s momentum going, by promoting indoor dry-tooling and offering low rates. But with covid and a lack of climbers visiting the Bow Valley this summer, the cave has finally closed for good.
You can find the add for the Canmore Bouldering Cave sale here. It reads: Entire bouldering gym for sale. $3,000. Must dismantle and pickup in Canmore before June 27/28. It is actually freestanding and self-supported, so no support structure is needed in your building or barn. Includes padded floor (approx 900 sq feet of it ) and plywood with Tnuts, but not the holds or moonbaord (although you can buy them too) contact: canmoreboulderingcave at gmail.com
Covid has wreaked havoc on Canada’s climbing gyms, but many have started reopening. Read an interview with Andrew Coffey of The Hive in B.C. on post-covid gym life here.