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Thanks for defying gravity with us!

Thanks to everyone who came out to participate in, volunteer for, and make Defying Gravity one of the most unique and fun events that Climb Base5 has hosted. A really big shout out to the 30 teams of 3 (and the T-Rex) who came inside to climb despite the glowing sunshine outside. The vibe and energy was just as intense as the sun this past weekend!

We had 15 teams make the finals, with five from each category; they were treated to an incredibly fun, creative and challenging finale! To top it of almost everyone went home with a prize or gift because our supporters were… what’s the word?… Awesome.

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Proud supporters of the Defying Gravity team bouldering and social event: Boulder Denim, Black Diamond, Central City Brewers and Distillers, Edelrid, High Performance Climbing Walls, JJ Bean, Mad Rock Canada, Sattva Climbing, and The Parkside Brewery

It was the first time CB5 put together this unique event with the goal of making it “not-your-average climbing-comp”. Our competitors, staff and volunteers made it a huge success, and we’re already brainstorming for the next one! In the meantime, enjoy the photos below… and a great big thank-you to the participants, volunteers, spectators and everyone who made Defying Gravity amazing!

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Canadian Climbing Triple Crown Champions come from Climb Base5

Climb Base5 athletes Alannah Yip and Emi Takashiba took top spot in the Open and Youth C categories following this weekend’s Speed and Lead Nationals at Canyon Escalade in Quebec. With their first place finishes in lead and speed added to their national bouldering champion titles earlier this year, both Alannah and Emi are 2017 Canadian triple crown champs!

Head coach and youth development program director Andrew Wilson attributed the success to the athletes’ dedication and determination.

“I’m pretty excited for Emi and Alannah. They’re the first-ever Canadian triple crown winners – and the only two in the country to accomplish it. I think that the fact both are part of the Climb Base5 team speaks to how our program supports athletes through all stages of development.”

Junior and Open athlete Kyle Murdoch and coach Andrew Wilson (Photo: Shane Murdoch)

Junior and Open athlete Kyle Murdoch and coach Andrew Wilson (Photo: Shane Murdoch)

Alannah, who comes from the Open Performance Team, and Emi, who’s part of the comp 1 team, weren’t the only Climb Base 5 athletes who did well at this weekend’s nationals.

The top 5 climbers for almost every category in the competition included at least one Climb Base5 athlete. This included first place finishes for lead in Junior Men’s (Tosh Sherkat), Youth A Girls (Chloe Earle), and for speed in the Youth C category (Connor Jones).

Speed – 1st place finishes

  • Alannah Yip (Open – Female)
  • Connor Jones (Youth C – Male)
  • Emi Takashiba (Youth C – Female)

Difficulty / Lead and Top Rope

Open – Male

  • JJ Mah (4th)
  • Kyle Murdoch (8th)
  • Tosh Sherkat (16th)
  • Hayden Jones (37th)
  • Zach Bennett (39th)

Open – Female

  • Alannah Yip (1st)
  • Chloe Earle (4th)
  • Sophie Buitendyk (6th)
  • Mika Hosoi (27th)
  • Katie Mah (35th)

Junior – Female

  • Mika Hosoi (4th) and 3rd Canadian

Junior – Male

  • Tosh Sherkat (1st)
  • Kyle Murdoch (4th)
  • Hayden Jones (10th)

Youth A – Female

  • Chloe Earle (1st)
  • Sophie Buitendyk (3rd)

Youth B – Female

  • Brielle Zacharias (13th)
  • Alana Titerle (32nd)

Youth B – Male

  • Ben Newman (5th)
  • Ethan Hoffman (6th)

Youth C – Female

  • Emi Takashiba (1st)
  • Tula Sherkat (7th)

Youth C – Male

  • Connor Jones (4th) and 2nd Canadian

For the full results, visit the Fédération québécoise de la montagne et de l’escalade (FQME) website.

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“When I’m feeling stressed, it’s usually because I haven’t been climbing enough.”

Katie Mah was eight when she took a climbing course with her family at the Edge Climbing Centre. That year she and her brother JJ joined the Edge Youth Climbing Team. Fast forward 16 years, countless hours in dusty gyms with talented coaches and friends (like Andrew Wilson and Mike Doyle), and probably a hundred or so comps including a handful of worlds events, Katie is back to climbing after a 7-year break, this time with her eyes on the World Cup circuit!

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Here are the top 10 things Katie likes about climbing:

  1. The people. Climbers are a dedicated bunch who look out for each other.
  2. Being on the Base5 team means I get to hang out with Andrew Wilson! It means the world to me to be on the Open Performance Team and I’m so happy to be training with new and old friends under the tutelage of a great coach.
  3. Climbing helps me focus and brings mental clarity. When I’m feeling stressed, it’s usually because I haven’t been climbing enough.
  4. The mental and physical challenge of the sport
  5. Trips, trips, trips! Climbing allows me to explore wild and remote places and connects me to all kinds of people I wouldn’t meet otherwise.
  6. It’s a democratic sport. Age, height, and other things like that don’t often matter. When I was a kid, my climbing coaches were instrumental in helping me remove the word ‘can’t’ from my vocabulary.
  7. It’s always humbling
  8. That I can link my love for the sport and the outdoors with work. I’m an equipment designer for Arc’teryx, which means I spend probably 75% of my time making outdoor gear or thinking about how to make outdoor gear better. And the other 25% “testing”. I was fortunate to be an Arc’teryx athlete before joining the company as a designer.
  9. Being in nature
  10. There is no end to improvement. I’m working on improving my lock off strength and dynamic coordination.

This is part of a series to profile the 2016/2017 Open Performance Team members.

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Defy the doubters. Defy the haters. Defy gravity!

Climb Base5 is organizing the first of its kind team-based bouldering event on June 24th. Defying Gravity won’t be your average climbing comp. It’s going to be social. It’s going to be about teamwork. It’s going to be a wicked time!

Register as a team or sign up on your own (we’ll put you on a team) and face off against other teams with over 35 new boulder problems to try and our spicy-constructed team challenges…

This event is for everyone in a fun, relaxed, and supportive environment! If you’ve never climbed in a comp situation and want to give it a try, this is for you. If you’ve had some comp experience, this will be something that you’ve never seen before where you’ll have to trust your instincts, close your eyes, leap and hope you picked the right teammates 🙂


Defying Gravity – Climb together, fall together, stay together.
Date: Saturday, 24 June 2017
Time: 10am – 10pm
Price: $18 per person

The Rules

  1. Climb as a team
    • Come up with your own three-person team – see the Event Program below for details.
    • You can also sign up as an individual… let us know when registering for the event and we’ll organize you to be on a team.
    • All ages from 10 and up are welcome to join!
  2. Earn points as a team by climbing boulder problems and taking part in our team challenges
  3. The most points for all rounds gets your team to the finals – We’ll have a finals for the top 5 teams from all three team categories (Novice, Advanced, and Experts).
  4. Win the finals. Get an award, the glory, and, more importantly, the bragging rights!

Event Program

10am – 530pm: We’ll have a 2-hour scramble format with the focus on hardest boulders topped and most boulders topped.

  • 10am – Novice scramble *teams can be co-ed, all girls or all guys
  • 12pm – Advanced scramble *teams can be co-ed, all girls or all guys
  • 2pm – Expert scramble *co-ed teams mandatory

530pm – 10pm: The Finals, fun, games, awards, and general hilarity to follow ☺

  • Free hot dogs (meat/veggie)
  • 1 free beer and additional provided at a cost of $2.00
  • Potluck – we encourage all registrants to bring an item to share (think healthy-ish/yummy additions to hot dogs!)

*Don’t forget to download our cheat sheet on what to expect!


It’s time to defy gravity… Deadline to register: June 21st, 2017

Defying Gravity

Sign up to the Facebook event to get updates, ask questions and hang out!

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Climb Base5 owner Daniel Poggi on what it takes to run a climbing gym and why sport climbing is gaining in popularity

As a longstanding member of the Vancouver climbing community, Dan has and still continues to give back to the community. With Climb Base5, the largest rock climbing gym in Metro Vancouver, he’s not only created an athletic facility that provides exceptional customer service, but a place that is about fitness and fun as it is about community and culture. Here’s how he got into the business and why he thinks sport climbing is gaining in popularity.

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On owning and operating an indoor climbing gym…

I was introduced to climbing through a high school friend. Climbing became an instant obsession. All of my time was devoted to developing myself both mentally and physically. When I opened my first gym in 2002, I was able to attribute climbing to pretty much everything I had. It consisted of my livelihood, my wife and first child, and my association with an awesome community whom I regarded as my group of close friends. It was the start of my vision of giving back to the community that had provided so much for me.

Operating a climbing gym is surprisingly labor intensive. There are many moving parts, and the organization required to make it work seamlessly requires great staff and leadership. Our focus is to develop and support our community, and our operations reflect that – a mix of trained belayers, dedicated and friendly desk staff, coaches, route-setters, safety and operations technicians, and administrative and business-oriented managers. We have a strong focus on integrating new climbers and helping them to become self-sufficient and develop their own experiences, and our programming reflects that goal. We continuously tweak our operations and programming to meet the needs of our always-evolving community, which consists of beginners and elite athletes in all age ranges. It’s a complex balance to meet the needs of all our community.

My advice if anyone wants to add a climbing wall to their business? Start by assessing why you want to provide climbing for your members and ask yourself whether your target market connects with climbing and its core values.

On why sport climbing has become so popular recently…

Indoor climbing was traditionally created for training in the off-season. Climbers could maintain a sport-specific fitness program when the rock was wet or frozen without having to travel to warmer destinations for extended periods of time. While climbing still has an element of danger associated with it, climbing gyms provide the experience in a controlled environment for the mainstream to enjoy. With increasingly interest in the sport, the current community is also very diverse and has varying objectives and goals. There is a growing group of climbers that do not have aspirations to climb or boulder outdoors. This group has limited time due to family/work obligations that don’t facilitate climbing outdoors. With this, the gym also provides a great social and athletic experience and can be a full-service facility to meet their specific needs which the outdoors cannot provide.

On the benefits of having a community…

With climbing being introduced in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the level of competition will continue to improve. As a result, there are and will be many strong competitors, and often the difference between winning and losing is having the support of your team. Teamwork has been the difference for both our adult performance team and junior level competitors, who have taken podiums in every category at nationals this year. Our head coach Andrew Wilson and assistant coach and physiotherapist Len Chong have also developed a cohesive and supportive environment for our athletes, particularly the Open Performance Team, to develop themselves physically and mentally.

This is an edited version of the full interview by Accurofit