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How Alannah Yip grew to become a Canadian sport climbing trailblazer


Yip quickly joined the Vancouver-based youth climbing program headed up by Andrew Wilson — her coach to at the present time — and she or he, too, started competing in native and nationwide competitions. At 17, she skipped her highschool commencement ceremony to compete at her first World Cup, the place she positioned 18th in bouldering.

Nonetheless, through the years and competitions, at the same time as Yip noticed McColl succeed on the worldwide stage, she didn’t essentially see herself forging a profession out of the game. She’d at all times had different plans. “Once I was little, six or seven, I needed to be an inventor, similar to my dad — that’s what I known as it … which, I spotted later, was engineering,” she says with a smile. “With my dad, we used to construct numerous issues round the home. We constructed leaf-blower hovercrafts [and] my brother and I raced go-carts that my dad constructed and maintained.”

Between her dad, Doug, an engineer, and mother, Moira, a household physician, a lot of Yip’s childhood together with her youthful brother, Trevor, was spent studying and constructing and looking for options. And although she didn’t see it as an actual profession path, climbing was a pure match. “Lots of people that climb are additionally engineers, laptop scientists, and that kind of factor,” says Yip. “I believe the most important factor is that engineering and climbing are all about downside fixing — being confronted with one thing that you’ve got the elemental constructing blocks to resolve however it’s essential discover your individual technique to get to the highest, to get the answer of that downside.”

In 2012, after balancing a busy climbing schedule with a good busier first yr in UBC’s engineering program, Yip felt she had to decide on between faculty and climbing — that she may now not do each. Then 19 years outdated, she’d aged out of the junior World Cup circuit, and with out an elite senior climbing group to affix on the time, it felt just like the pure finish of an period. So, she hung up her harness, put away her climbing footwear and chalk bag, and took the trail she’d at all times anticipated taking.


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