Jacob Dorion climbs along the sea wall near Oak Bay marina. The 16-year old rock climber specializes in speed but enjoys lead climbing as well.

Jacob Dorion climbs along the sea wall near Oak Bay marina. The 16-year old rock climber specializes in speed but enjoys lead climbing as well.

Oak Bay teen makes a speedy climb to Canadian national team


During the 13 most critical seconds of a competition, Jacob Dorion doesn’t think.

During the 13 most critical seconds of a competition, Jacob Dorion doesn’t think.

The speed-climbing Oak Bay teen lets training take over.

“You don’t think about where you’re putting your hands and your feet. You have to know where you’re going,” the 16-year-old explains. “You’re not thinking. You’ve already thought about it. You know what you’re going to do.”

His best time for flying up a 15-metre race wall is 12.67 seconds and 7.46s for the 10-metre. Times good enough to snag a spot on the Canadian National Youth Climbing Team.

“There’s something about speed climbing. It’s dynamic. It’s like a 100-metre sprint except with your whole body,” he says.

“It combines that hyper-athletic gymnastics with a head game. It’s almost like a puzzle.”

Like many young climbers on the South Island, he trains with The Boulders team at Stelly’s secondary in Central Saanich. Only about 18 months into competitive climbing, his roots run deeper. Dorion started as a lad clambering along with his dad, an avid climber. In search of a sport to really throw himself into, he opted to give climbing a shot. Now a speed specialist, he doesn’t get home most days until around 8 p.m. He trains at the climbing wall five days a week and hits the gym the other two. Weighted pull ups are a favourite (nudge and wink) of the “torture exercises.”

“He’s very passionate about climbing and he works very hard,” said Kimanda Jarzebiak, chair of the not-for-profit society that runs the Boulders.

At the recent national championships in Montreal, all 12 of the Boulders’ speed athletes earned places in the finals; 10 took home medals. While Dorion finished fourth, it was only by three-hundredths of a second and a personal best.

As a member of the national team, Dorion plans to attend training camp in Canmore, Alta. the first week of July and has invites to attend World Cup competition on the Pacific Island of New Caledonia and the Pan Am Games in Mexico in November.

“Climbing has one of the best communities, … I feel close to people all over the country,” he says. “I’ve trained with some of the best climbers in the world.”

Just last week Dorion’s coach Libor Hroza, who hopes to challenge the 15-metre wall world record, flew up the Boulders’ speed wall in six seconds. It wasn’t official or documented, but impressive enough with just his climbers watching. Boulders boasts the highest number of speed climbers on the national team.

 

“I find it really useful to train with people who can push me like that,” Dorion says.

Just Posted

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read