In B.C.’s small mountain town of Nelson, locals are urging climbers to sign a petition they can bring to the town that would get the ball rolling on potentially building an Olympic-calibre climbing gym.
Nelson already has a climbing gym called The Cube, opened in 2014, but it’s not big enough to accommodate the booming climbing population of the area. “Our membership has increased 117 per cent,” said petition organizer Elise Timm-Bottos, “and since launching a children’s program in 2017, participation in that program has grown by 203 per cent. We’re so popular that we have to turn kids away. Every kids’ program fills to capacity with a wait list. The data is clear: We’ve outgrown our 111-square meter (1,200 square-foot) facility.”
The board of directors for the Cube wants to build a 500-square meter (5,400-square-foot) climbing gym in Nelson. It will have 49-foot tall walls so that, in addition to bouldering, they can include sport and speed climbing. The Cube 2.0 will also feature a dedicated kids’ zone with child care, and a café and social area.
“We’re hoping to show Nelson city council, our partner in making this dream a reality, that there’s a huge demand for such a facility here,” said Timm-Bottos. “Not only for our own community of climbers, but for the region, as we could begin hosting climbing competitions. And also for the tourists from all over North America, and the world, who come to our idyllic mountain town for its natural splendor and world-class amenities.”
The current Cube is a non-profit organization, run by a volunteer board of directors who said the new gym would be as well.