By: Cass Hewitt
Cass works at the South Edmonton Campers Village location and has recently discovered a love for the sport of climbing, both in the challenge of the sport itself, as well as the community around it. Read on.

 

When we first found out we were getting climbing gear at Campers Village, I wasn’t sure what I thought would happen when I asked a small group of fellow Store Guides if they would be interested in taking it up with me. Personally, I wanted to start doing it so I could stop going to the gym to mindlessly lift weights. Climbing is a lot more fun, not to mention more social, than popping in headphones and racking weights at your local fitness gym. What I didn’t know was that this group of Campers Village friends would blossom into a full-fledged, friendly, supportive climbing community  

Not exclusive to Campers Village staff, this community has grown quickly. Throughout the week, our group size fluctuates between Campers Village staff, infrequent climbers, people who want to try it for the first time, and friends and family. It is always welcome and exciting when new people climb with us, we love to help them discover the same excitement and drive for a sport we have grown to love. Climbing with the ES crew has allowed this small group to form a bond that, perhaps without climbing, would not have otherwise been as close as we are now. We are learning, challenging and growing together, as climbers, as co-workers, and as friends. Climbing as allowed us to improve our teamwork, communication, and support for one another that other activities may not have allowed.

Climbing as a group allows us to challenge each other, encourage each other to make the send, and to try new things. Some problems can be complicated and you can struggle with it for hours, or even days but, with advice from friends, a different viewpoint on how you’re approaching it and some minor tweaks you can get closer and closer to your goal: the send.

Our diverse group is made up of different ages, sizes, and physical abilities, but what is the same among everyone is their drive and determination to progress, challenge, and support each other. With the support of this amazing community, I have done things I would have never done, and stuck with a sport that I probably would have dropped in a few months had it not been for them (let’s be real, most of us have that problem).

This crew encourages the commitment to stick with climbing, no matter the challenge, and even plan for future climbing endeavors; like outdoor bouldering in the Canadian Rockies this summer combining the beauty of the outdoors we all love and live for, with this new sport we are addicted to.

When you go with a group like the Edmonton South Campers Village crew, you’re among friends who encourage you to take a leap of faith and trust your skills to make that final grab. This crew has taught me a lot, and for them I am thankful; thankful for their support, encouragement, and everything else they have shown me. This group is no longer just my co-workers, but my friends that I see remaining friends for a long, long time.