Karlee Hall is a B.C.-based climber who’s being coached by one of Canada’s best and is now proving her future is bright in the winter sport of mixed climbing.
Team Canada athlete Karlee Hall of Jaffray, B.C. competed at the UIAA’s World Cup Ice Climbing competition, held Jan. 17-24 in Sass-Fee, Switzerland at the Thunderdome. The climbing structure is said to be the hardest stop on the World Cup circuit. “It was pretty incredible,” said Hall. “When you first walk in and you see this structure, it’s massive and a little bit intimidating.”
It was her first time competing on the world stage after attending the North American championship in Durango, Colorado in December 2014. Hall and fellow youth mixed comp climber Noah Beek won gold in Durango.
“I was pretty nervous, because I knew the competition would be a lot stiffer at the World Cup,” said Hall. “I wanted to try to prepare myself to do well.” Hall placed fourth in her age group in the Youth World Cup Championship and 20th in the main World Cup Women’s’ Lead comp.
Hall has only been climbing for about a year and drytooling for less than that. “I really wanted to bring my climbing to the next level and experience going to another country and competing against others who share the same passion that I do,” Hall said.
Hall’s coach is none other than Canadian champion Gord McArthur. “It’s been awesome having Gord coach me, he has helped me train properly and prepare for my competitions,” said Hall. “I’m very thankful for all the time he has dedicated to me, I definitely would not be where I am today without his guidance.”
One of the highlights of Hall’s winter was going to Haffner Creek and climbing her first ice route. “I also got the opportunity to climb at one of the worlds best drytooling caves, the L’usine Cave in France,” said Hall.
“My plan is to do a lot of rock climbing this summer,” said Hall. “Im hoping to travel to different crags around B.C. and spend a lot of time out at some of the local crags. My goals are to go to the Bugaboos and do some climbing there. I also want to push my limits by projecting some harder 5.12s, but my biggest goal is to get outside and have fun.”
Hall’s first comp next year will be at the Bozeman World Cup in December, which is the first competition of the 2016 Ice Climbing World Circuit.
–Gripped editor Brandon Pullan caught up with Hall after she returned from the UIAA World Cup.