Local rock climbers Logan Robison and Aris Haraga have qualified for the national climbing competition in Quebec City.
The two 11 year-olds have been climbing for the Spirit Rock Team for a few years now. The team is made up of nine climbers, coached by Brad Robison and Kevin Blades.
Coach Robison says that both he and Blades are “very proud” of all their climbers and their efforts and commitment throughout the season.
The Nationals, which will take place on February 17th in Quebec City, will feature the top eight kids from every province and territory. Both Logan and Aris are competing in the Youth C Category which is made up of 11 and 12 year-olds.
“It is a difficult event so there will be some very hard climbs,” said Robison. “The person who can get to the top of the most climbs wins. Aris has been with the Spirit Rock Climbing team for two years, while Logan has been with the team for three. Both kids have shown great dedication to training and competing throughout the season and both coaches have been working with them throughout their climbing development.”
Although the two both qualified, only Aris will be attending. Robison says however, that just qualifying is an accomplishment.
“They were climbing in the Alberta bouldering series (four separate competitions held throughout the fall) and the top eight climbers from all the competitions go to the nationals,” explained Robison. “Aris qualified sixth overall, while Logan qualified seventh. Both boys are the lower age in their categories. Many of the 12 year olds will be moving on to the next age group next year, so Logan and Aris are excited for the next year where they will be the oldest in their category. Aris and Logan are only the second and third kids from Kimberley to ever qualify for the nationals.”
Robison adds that the competition will be a challenge, especially since it is a free-climb.
“It is a bouldering competition, which means no ropes,” said Robison. “The climbs are based on difficulty so there is a series of different climbs an the person who can climb to the top of the most climbs wins.”
In terms of preparing for the competition, Robison says that the entire team trains and competes for approximately eight months of the year.
“Training involves climbing and strength training three to four days per week,” Robison said. “Climbing is a very athletic sport so training involves a lot of strength and balance training with a definite bias towards upper body strength development.”