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Walson Tai Says Indoor Climbing Not Male Dominated Anymore

Walson Tai is the owner of four Calgary climbing gyms and says that women make up about half of the members.

“We’re finding a dramatic increase of participation in women now, whereas 23 years ago, when we first started, it was pretty much male-dominated and it’s almost to the part where women are taking over in membership, so it’s really nice to see,” he said in an interview with CBC.

All-women climbing festivals, such as Flash Foxy, south of the border sell-out so quickly that they’re constantly adding new events to keep up with the growing wait lists.

While the numbers of men and women hanging out at climbing gyms and sport crags might be balancing out, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still countless issues in the world of climbing.

Read this recent article by Melise Edwards about bullying in the climbing world, where she says, “With the surge of articles concerning harassment and bullying, I also began to notice that many of the prominent white and male authors had a similar stance to each other.

“This included questioning whether it was right to ‘out’ your bully, explaining how critique makes you stronger and offering examples of being heckled by their likely white male peers and how this was a catalyst for their personal growth and humility.”

Tai owns the Calgary Climbing Centre Chinook, Stronghold, Hanger and the new Rocky Mountain in Calgary. Watch the interview below.