Some of the Outdoor Ed students who helped build the bouldering wall (Alex Boileau photo)

Some of the Outdoor Ed students who helped build the bouldering wall (Alex Boileau photo)

SAMS Grizzlies build bouldering cave

No hibernating for these kids, they used their brains and brawn to construct a 20ft climbing wall

  • Feb. 5, 2021 10:40 a.m.

Forget hibernation, the Grizzlies at SAMS have decided to keep training all winter. Undaunted by the pandemic, the Outdoor Education (OE) class at Sir Alexander Mackenzie Secondary worked together to build a 20-foot horizontal traverse wall with an overhang section in a formerly humble storage shed.

Officially opened just before the winter break, students had a great time working on their climbing skills, flexibility, and strength training. A big part of bouldering is the team atmosphere in which you encourage and spot your friends while they climb. Bouldering does not use ropes, as its lower to the ground and large mats make the short falls safe; it allows participants to get more climbing in and work on technical problems (pre-set routes or games such as “add-on”)

We are hoping to get some new storage for our OE equipment and use the entire shed as a bouldering cave for phase two of our project. There were a number of benefits to this project: skill-development, teamwork, design, and the accomplishment of project-based goals and objectives. There are also numerous long-lasting health and wellness benefits to the students of SAMS. Climbing walls and caves are becoming more popular in schools; the Grizzly Den is an exciting and fun alternative to the weight-room and main-gym.

We would like to thank the following people and organizations for their support: Alex Boileau; SAMS Outdoor Education teacher, Joel Abergel, Kai Gunderson, and Aiden Hindley for volunteering, SAMS OE students for their hard work and great attitude, and Scott Barnes and Kristina Knudsen for their administrative support.

The following organizations also donated materials and/or provided financial support: Townsite Home Hardware (material donation), Canadian Tire (material donation), RONA-Williams Lake (material donation), Bella Coola Helisports (financial support), and SAMS PAC (financial support).