Climbers Soar at SCBC Triple-Header: New Speed Record Set

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

January 11, 2015, Central Saanich, BC – Over 115 of the top sport climbers from across British Columbia were on hand this past weekend at the Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC) Triple-Header at the Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich and while the competition in the Bouldering and Difficulty disciplines was top notch, a highlight came Saturday during the Speed Competition, when Boulder’s climber Alison Stewart-Patterson established a new Canadian Women’s record with a time of 11.541 seconds.

Boulder’s climber Alison Stewart-Patterson looks for her next move during her record setting speed climb on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Stewart-Patterson’s record run came on her final climb of the day, clinching the Open Female title for her at the competition and eclipsing her previous Canadian record of 12.28 seconds that was set in February of 2014.

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Alison Stewart-Patterson is the reigning Woman’s Speed Champion at the Provincial and National level and with her climb Saturday, has now qualified for the IFSC Speed World Cup that will be held at The Boulders in May 2015 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For those unfamiliar with the sport, speed climbing requires athletes to make their way up a 15-metre wall, along a set route of holds, in the shortest time possible. The world record for men is an astonishing 5.6 seconds, while the world record for women is 7.85 seconds. While Stewart-Patterson’s time is well off those marks, she continues to improve and will more than likely surpass her Canadian record again later this season, as she looks to defend both her 2014 Provincial and National titles in the discipline.

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Maria Celkova (foreground) and Tiffany Melius (background) start up the wall during Saturday’s Speed Climbing competition (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Her time Saturday also qualifies her to compete in the upcoming International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Speed World Cup which will be held here at The Boulders on May 17th.

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Elena Moss (foreground) took home gold in the Youth A Girls category during the SCBC Speed competition on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Other winners in the Speed competition this past weekend (including their age group and winning times) were: Connor Jones (Youth D Boys, 13.78, 6-metre wall), Lauren Larbalestier (Youth D Girls, 12.59, 6-metre wall), Brennan Doyle (Youth C Boys, 6.16, 6-metre wall), Stephanie Chow (Youth C Girls, 10.22, 6-metre wall), Aiden Doyle (Youth B Boys, 13.713), Teyha Rogers (Youth B Girls, 19.051), Jacob Dorian (Youth A Boys, 11.488), Elena Moss (Youth A Girls, 15.878), Tristen Gosselin (Junior and Open Male, 9.512), Evelyna Trottier (Junior Girls, 18.149) and Ryan O’Neill (Experienced Men, 17.447)

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Boulders climber Evelyna Trottier would win gold in the Junior Girls Speed competition on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Bouldering discipline was also completed on Saturday. Unlike Difficulty – where climbers try to overcome challenges and obstacles to get as high as they can on an 18-metre wall – or Speed – where climbers try to get up a 15-metre wall as fast as they can – Bouldering is done without ropes for back-up as climbers try to solve a series of routes, obstacles and challenges that, at most, take them only 5-6 metres above the gym floor.

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Alison Stewart-Patterson competes in the Bouldering competition on Saturday. She would finish in 5th place in the Open Female division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Bouldering routes or “problems” require the climber to reach the “top” of a route, usually from a specified start position. Some boulder problems, known as “traverses,” require the climber to climb horizontally from one position to another. In some cases, such moves require extremely dynamic movements from the climber to get from one hold to another.

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Hannah Block, who would go on to win the Junior Female division of the Bouldering competition, hangs on with all her might during one of her runs Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In this weekend’s Bouldering competition format, climbers were presented with a specified number of routes that they must then complete in a set period of time (e.g., 5 routes in 2.5 hours). Climbers were ranked based on the number of routes that they completed, and the number of attempts taken to complete each route.

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Hojin Jo looks for the next move during one of his Bouldering runs on Saturday. He would finish 4th in the Open Male division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Saturday’s winners (and their age categories) included: Emi Takashiba (Youth D Female), Connor Jones (Youth D Male), Sonya Colliander (Youth C Female), Guy McNamee (Youth C Male), Sophie Buitendyk (Youth B Female), Aidan Doyle (Youth B Male), Julia Massullo (Youth A Female), Ivan Luo (Youth A Male), Hannah Block (Junior Female), Tristen Gosselin (Junior Male), Alannah Yip (Open Female), Jesse Taplin (Open Male), Julia Brockley (Recreational Female), Rachael Vey (Experienced Female), Marc Platt (experienced Male) and Martin Roos (Masters Male).

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Chloe Earle appears to be floating in water as she hangs just a few centimetres off the ground during a Bouldering run.  She would finish 2nd in the Youth B Female division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Sunday saw all competition in the Difficulty discipline take place, with climbers completing two qualifying climbs and the scores of each being used to compute their final placement. In Difficulty, climbers make their way up a complex set of holds and obstacles in an attempt to reach the top of the route, some 18 metres or more up the gym wall. While speed is not usually a factor, climbers do have a set amount of time to complete the route, but most top the route or fall off the wall well before that time is reached.

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Climber Caitlin Wu appears to be dancing with a larger version of herself as she competes in the Difficulty competition on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

There were few surprises on Sunday as many familiar names finished on the podium in a number of age categories. Leading the way was U.S. National Champion Delaney Miller who made it look too easy, topping both of her routes to win the Open Female category.

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Texan Delaney Miller easily topped both her routes on Sunday to win gold in the Open Female category (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Also topping both of his climbs was rising star Brennan Doyle who took gold in the Youth C Boys category. Brennan’s older brother Aiden also took home gold, easily winning the Youth B Boys category with two great climbs.

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Ryan O’Neill looks for his next move during his second climb on Sunday.  He would finish 2nd in the Experienced Male category (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In Open Male, Ryder Hoy narrowly defeated Ben Hughes for the gold. Both climbers topped their first climb, but Hoy made it 1.5 holds further up the wall in climb two to take the title.

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Ryder Hoy would go on to win the gold in the Open Male category, topping his first climb Sunday in the process (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Other Difficulty winners Sunday (and their age categories) included: Emi Takashiba (Youth D Girls), Finn Fraser Grathwol (Youth D Boys), Stephanie Chow (Youth C Girls), Sophie Buitendyk (Youth B Girls), Julia Massullo (Youth A Female), Ben Hughes (Youth A Male), Hannah Block (Junior Female), Tristen Gosselin (Junior Male), Celina Lai (Experienced Female), Tanner Davis (Experienced Male) and Laurence Philippsen (Masters Male).

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Boulders Climber Tristen Gosselin would take first in the Junior Male category Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Next up on the SCBC schedule is a Difficulty competition at Cliffhanger Vancouver on Feb. 28 and then the Bouldering Provincials which will take place at the Edge Climbing Centre in North Vancouver Jan. 31 to Feb. 1. The “Rock ‘N Rope” Speed and Difficulty competition goes Mar. 28 and is then followed by the Spring Cling Difficulty comp at the Richmond Oval on April 4th. The SCBC season then concludes with the Speed and Difficulty Provincials which will be held at The Boulders on April 25-26th.

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Hannah Block capped her weekend with double gold, as she would win Difficulty gold in the Junior Female division (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For more information on all SCBC events and detailed results from this weekend’s event, please visit


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