BoulderHouse owner Jean-Marc De La Plante speaks during a media tour of the new facility at City Centre Park on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)

BoulderHouse owner Jean-Marc De La Plante speaks during a media tour of the new facility at City Centre Park on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)

BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

A new facility in Langford is sure to have more people climbing the wall.

BoulderHouse, which officially opens June 17, hosted a media tour Wednesday to showcase the newest recreational addition to City Centre Park.

The two-storey facility includes a main wall spanning 150 linear feet, a dedicated training area, and a 6,000-square-foot kids area. BoulderHouse, which opened a much smaller facility in Victoria in 2016, is keen to expand the sport of bouldering, a form of free climbing done on short climbing walls without ropes. A giant mat cushions falls, creating a more accessible and much easier learning curve than traditional climbing on ropes.

Langford Mayor Stew Young said the new facility will provide another recreational opportunity for residents and people throughout the region to enjoy.

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“We’re very excited about the opportunity to welcome BoulderHouse to Langford,” said Young. “It’s another important addition in achieving our goal of becoming an international destination for sports.”

He said it’s a great way for young families to get their kids off the couch and involved in one of the fastest-growing sports around. Young noted that the facility was built using mass-timber design.

Jean-Marc De La Plante, one of the owners of BoulderHouse, said the $3 million project is the culmination of three years of work by BoulderHouse and the City of Langford.

“We were motivated by Mayor Young’s commitment and vision to make Langford a national sports capital,” he said. “The West Shore was our first choice to expand, and it’s been great to work with a great group who are all on the same team.”

De La Plante was also pleased to build something for kids from ages four to 12. “Climbing is close to my heart. I have two young kids and realize that kids have been under-served in the climbing community. We’re really looking forward to introducing climbing to people of all ages. I’ve been involved in seven projects like this and this one’s the best by far.”

He also expressed gratitude to Verity Construction for their work on the project.

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Another owner, Rob Somogyi, said the new facility has much more to offer than the one in Victoria.

“We’re super excited that we have an area dedicated for kids to get involved in the sport,” he said. “We plan on adding some exterior walls in the future as well. The area has a long history of climbing because of the geography, mountains and areas like Thetis Lake. We’re looking forward to introducing this rapidly growing sport to the region.”

BoulderHouse has seen a steady increase in the number of people participating in the sport, Somogyi noted.

The opening of BoulderHouse in Langford is well-timed, considering the sport is set to debut at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, he added.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

City of LangfordrecreationWest Shore

 

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Cathy Webster/Black Press Media)

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Cathy Webster/Black Press Media)