It’s the end of an era at College of the Rockies. The Peaks Climbing Wall, constructed in 1997, will be coming down.
At almost 20 years old, Peaks Climbing Wall, located in the gymnasium at the main Cranbrook campus, requires repairs and significant updates to the wall panels, holds, belay systems and equipment in order to meet the expectations of today’s indoor-climbing community. In addition, a recent survey of College students about their recreation habits indicated very few were choosing to use the climbing wall.
College of the Rockies Manager of Student Life and Athletics, Cori Andrichuk explains, “Climbing wall usage and bookings have fallen dramatically over the last few years due, in part, to the need for our gym facility for instructional purposes for our academic programs and the availability of a modern private indoor climbing facility in Kimberley – and soon one in Cranbrook. These factors make it an appropriate time for us to take down the Wall at our main campus.”
Though the climbing wall will be removed, it will not be forgotten. The painted landscape of the Wall was created by local artist Joe Cross. The College will be honouring this piece of its history by maintaining a section as part of its archives. The College hopes to have the artwork on permanent display.
“We are proud to have provided many years of climbing enjoyment for competitions, community groups and kids birthday parties and thank the public for supporting our Climbing Wall for almost 20 years,” Andrichuk continues. “We are actively seeking out partnerships with the local climbing centres that will honour our existing climbing wall passes and provide future opportunities for our students.”
Peaks Climbing Wall will be retired and dismantled in early June 2016.