Canada Reaches New Heights on Sport Climbing World Stage

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

November 26, 2014, St. Catherines, ON (ISN) – Climbing Escalade Canada (CEC) – the National Sport Organization (NSO) for competition climbing in Canada – is pleased to announce the best ever finish for Canada following completion of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) 2014 World Cup competition climbing calendar.

North Vancouver’s Sean McColl was named the 2014 Overall Men’s Champion annd helped lead Canada to its best ever finish on the competition climbing world stage (File Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Led by North Vancouver, British Columbia’s Sean McColl, Canada has placed 6th overall in the Lead Climbing discipline, 11th in the Bouldering discipline and 12th in the Speed Climbing Discipline. All three placements are the best ever finish for Canada in those respective climbing categories.

McColl was the runaway 2014 Overall World Champion with 620 points, defeating second place Adam Ondra of the Czech Republic by 205 points. McColl had a superb season, defending his 2012 Overall World title and capping 2014 with a second place finish in Lead at the final World Cup event in Kranj, Slovenia. In the individual disciplines, McColl finished 2nd overall in Lead, 6th overall in Bouldering and 29th overall in Speed. McColl had eight podium finishes in 2014, including Gold at the World Cup Rockmaster event in Arco, Italy, Silver at World Cup events in Haiyang, China, Imst, Austria and Kranj, and Bronze at competitions in Arco, Italy, Vail, Colorado and Toronto, Ontario. In between competitions, McColl also found time to appear on the TV show American Ninja Warriors, where he helped lead Team Europe (McColl lives in France) to a victory over Team USA.

Team Canada was also led by rising stars Elan Jonas-McRae of Nanaimo, British Columbia and Robert Stewart-Patterson of Kamloops, British Columbia. McRae and Stewart-Patterson, who train at The Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich, were competing in their first full World Cup circuit this season and both acquitted themselves very well.

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Nanaimo’s Elan Jonas-McRae competed in his first full IFSC World Cup circuit and finished 16th overall, the best finish by a Canadian ever, other than Sean McColl, in the Lead discipline (File Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

McRae finished 16th overall in the Lead Climbing category and other than the accomplishments of McColl, this was the best finish by any other Canadian ever in the Lead Climbing discipline. McRae’s best 2014 finish was a 10th place finish at the World Cup event in Wujiang, China, as well as a 14th place finish at an event in Mokpo, Korea.

Stewart-Patterson also enjoyed a successful World Cup season, finishing 13th overall in the Speed Climbing discipline – the best ever finish for a Canadian in Speed – and setting a new Canadian record in the process. His best showing was 8th place in Mokpo, Korea , where he broke the Canadian record twice, finishing with a time of 6.74 seconds in his qualifying run and then breaking that with a time of 6.67 seconds in the quarter-finals. The previous record, also held by Stewart-Patterson, was 6.80 seconds which he set last July at a World Cup event in France.

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Kamloops native Robert Stewart-Patterson climbed to a 13th place overall finish in the World Cup Speed discipline and set a new Canadian Men’s record in the process (File Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Other ranked Team Canada members on the 2014 World Cup stage this year, all of whom competed only in the Bouldering discipline, included, on the men’s side, Saskatoon’s Jason Holowach (45th place), Banff’s Eric Sethna (72nd), Calgary’s Marc Eveleigh (79th), Toronto’s Lucas Yuchida (84th), and Montreal’s Sebastien Lazure and Calgary’s Josh Muller (both tied at 96th). On the women’s side, Canmore, Alberta’s Celeste Wall was the highest placed Canadian woman at 64th. Other rankings included Banff’s Elise Sethna (67th), St. Catherines, Ontario’s Beth Vince (71st) and Newmarket, Ontario’s Kerry Briggs, Cochrane, Alberta’s Erica Carlson and Toronto’s Bonnie De Bruijn (all tied for 87th).

Climbers will now gear up for the 2015 World Cup season which, CEC is pleased to announce, will include a Speed World Cup event at the Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich, British Columbia on May 17th, 2015. Held in conjunction with the 2015 Canadian Nationals, this will be the first time ever that an IFSC Speed World Cup event has been held outside of Europe or Asia and will feature the top speed climbers in the world.

About Climbing Escalade Canada
Climbing Escalade Canada is the National Sport Organization (NSO) for competition Climbing in Canada. The CEC mission is to regulate and promote the development of competition climbing in Canada, and provide assistance to athletes, coaches, and event organizers at the national level. Learn more at or
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