Canadian Youth Climbing Nationals Wrap-up: June 4-6


Délire centre d’escalade in Québec City hosted the C.E.C. Youth Nationals this year on the weekend of June 4, 5, and 6. This year 123 young athletes took part – most of them travelling from Western Canada. The routesetters did an amazing job of separating the pack, and no Super Finals were needed. Thank you to everyone who was part of the routesetting crew. True North’s own Dustin Curtis flew to Québec to set routes, then dashed off to Vail, Colorado, to represent Canada in the IFSC World Cup Bouldering Competition at the Teva Mountain Games. Also, the support of all the gym owners who gave their setters time to work at Délire during that week helped make the weekend a success.

The gym was well prepared for the onslaught of competitors, coaches and family members. It is well situated in a mall setting, convenient for food service, shops to keep moms busy and within 10 minutes drive to Old Québec City. The gym itself fit spectators comfortably and provided a unique setting to watch the climbing from the floor and mid way up the wall as well, in their balcony area.

The climbing …. Amazing, spectacular, inspiring to say the least! These kids were crushing some really hard routes. Pia Graham from Boulderz in Toronto wowed the crowd in the female Youth B category. First, in the Semi-finals when she seemed to get stronger with every move, then again in Finals when she came out of ISO last, and proceeded to climb well past all of her competitors on that route. This route that was set for Junior, Youth A and B females, saw Pia climb the second furthest on it. A short time after Pia’s climb, the crowd went frantic as Elise Sethna, a Youth A climber from the Vsion in Canmore, was the only one to send the route. Elise is coming off a magnificent second place finish at Tour de Bloc Nationals in May. Only three climbers topped all of their routes this weekend; Elise Sethna - Youth A girls, Beth Vince from Peaks in St. Catharines - 12/13 girls, and Elan Jonas McRae - Youth B boys. Elan climbs at Romper Room in Nanaimo. In Speed climbing there were some impressive results as well. The quickest up the wall was Miles Adamson (Youth A) from Edmonton, setting the gym’s Speed record of 6.95 seconds. Wow! Everyone should look forward to seeing Miles’ results at Worlds. It’s time that Canada recognized what the rest of the World already has, that competition climbing is comprised of three disciplines and everyone should be proud of all the climbers in Difficulty, Bouldering, and Speed. Many athletes travel to Internationally sanctioned competitions to compete in only one discipline. It will be interesting to see if anyone can break Mile’s Speed record next year. Keep training Miles!

It was unfortunate that Eric Sethna’s injury was still bothering him and he was not able to compete. His track record stood though as he was selected as the wildcard member for the Junior Male Worlds’ team. The team heads to Edinburgh, Scotland for the IFSC World Youth Championships September 9-12, 2010. This year’s team is comprised of:



  • Arianne Forbes

  • Jaylene Pratt

  • Liisa Ouellet

  • Danielle Plamondon

Youth A

  • Elise Sethna

  • Alison Stewart-Patterson

  • Maegan Kelleway

  • Allanah Yip

Youth B

  • Pia Graham

  • Iyma Lamarche

  • Kristine McKay

  • Rose Gallo



  • Sam Tucker

  • Evan Waugh

  • Parker Smith

  • Eric Sethna

Youth A

  • Zach Watson

  • Miles Adamson

  • Luc St. Onge

  • Jarred Plamondon

Youth B

  • Elan Jonas-McRae

  • Marc Eveleigh

  • Robert Stewart-Patterson

  • Ben Haley

Also decided this weekend were the Canada Youth Cup recipients. Last year, the CEC instituted the Canada Youth Cups to recognize the outstanding achievements of young climbers. The climber in each age/gender category with the most points at the end of the season receives the Canada Youth Cup. They keep these trophies at their gym for the year and subsequent winners names are engraved each year as the Cups travel with the winners. This year’s Canada Cup recipients were:



Arianne Forbes - Vertically Inclined (Edmonton)

Youth A

Elise Sethna - The Vision (Canmore)

Youth B

Pia Graham - Boulderz (Toronto)


Beth Vince - Peaks (St. Catherines)

11 & Under

Courtney Belleau - Peaks (St. Catherines)



Sam Tucker - Calgary Climbing Centre

Youth A

Zach Watson - The Vision (Canmore)

Youth B

Elan Jonas-McRae - Romper Room (Nanaimo)


Dimitry Karaman - Calgary Climbing Centre

11 & Under

Ben Whattam - Peaks (St. Catherines)

For a complete list of results, visit the CEC website. You will find the National results embedded in the Youth points summary for this year.

Thank you to the countless parents/community members/gym owners who volunteer You will find the their time to run the C.E.C. Without the dedication of these people, there would not be a Nationally sanctioned organization.

Summer... for many athletes, it’s rest time which might include some leisurely climbing outdoors, or long-awaited climbing vacations to exotic locales, but for others it means continued training for Worlds. The C.E.C. has organized a weekend training camp for the Worlds’ team athletes in Squamish B.C. They will have a chance to get to know their fellow competitors as well as climb in one of the most amazing places in Canada. It sounds like they have a wonderful weekend planned. If you aren’t on the Worlds’ team there are still some great summer activities to look forward to. If you live in Southern Ontario check out for a fun series of comps offered by local gyms this summer. In B.C. check out the Squamish Mountain Festival and in Alberta, the Alpine Club has many things planned.

Already, only a few days after Nationals and new friendships are popping up on Facebook between East and West. What other sport sees competitors, family members and coaches cheering for opponents? As people join this small community, that is always something that comes up in conversation. Parents are amazed at the familial approach to the sport. Does this come from the feeling that one is competing against the wall, not the other climbers? During the competition this weekend you might have overheard parents praising their children to other parents, as they watched on during the preview portions. Their children talked about the routes to their competitors, working out the moves in their heads together. When it comes down to it, it’s the climber that can pull it all together on the wall, who wins - mental, physical and determination. What great skills for these young athletes to be gaining.

Looking forward to October and the start of another great comp season. Start recruiting your friends and neighbours to join you at the crag or the gym this summer and help grow Youth climbing in Canada. Also, keep in mind that the Pan American Youth Climbing Championships have been tentatively scheduled for November, 2010 in Ecuador. More news should be available in the early Fall. Keep checking back at and for youth related climbing news.