Skip to content

New Nelson climbing gym will start construction in 2025

Nelson Climbing Association updated city council on plans March 28
An architect’s drawing of the Kootenay Climbing Association’s planned new gym to be located in Fairview near Selkirk College. Photo: Submitted An architect’s drawing of the Kootenay Climbing Association’s planned new gym to be located in Fairview near Selkirk College. Photo: Submitted

Nelson’s new climbing gym will cost about $5 million and will start construction in 2025.

Jayme Moye and Brian Hansen of the Nelson Climbing Association presented this and other updates to Nelson City Council at its March 28 meeting.

In August, council agreed to lease the association a piece of city land near the Tenth Street Campus behind Mary Hall for a nominal fee of $1 per year.

Council agreed to this after hearing about the rapid growth and beyond-capacity demand for programs at the current climbing gym, known as The Cube, located in Mary Hall.

At the March 28 meeting, Moye and Hansen outlined the highlights of the planned Cube 2.0:

• 6,500 square feet as opposed to current 1,200

• safe spectator area

• kids adventure zone with child care

• expanded programming for youth and adults

• Olympic standard 50-foot (15 metre) rope walls and bouldering

• capacity to host competitions

• use of sustainable materials including mass timber and locally sourced materials

• advanced art air filtration and HVAC systems

• tripled capacity from 30 to 90 people in the facility at a given time

After council approved the lease in August the group conducted a community survey that received 410 responses.

“It was not a short survey,” Hansen said. “So the fact that 410 people took the time to let us know what they would like to see in this facility, that really shows how much how much they’re interested in it.”

That feedback contributed to the development of a draft site plan and draft floor plan.

Hansen said that when those plans are developed further the group will hold a public meeting, probably in the fall of this year, to present its ideas and get further feedback.

“We will be looking for those golden nuggets that come up when we share ideas with the public — some things that we just don’t see when we’re sitting together in our meetings.”

Hansen and Moye outlined their planned funding and development timeline:

• raise $1 million by May 2024

• complete final design by Sept. 2024

• raise $4-5 million by June 2025

• start construction June 2025

Moye said that climbing in general has a 50-50 split between men and women.

“And we see that reflected in our user base here as well,” she said. “And then the age range is is incredible.”

The number of youth climbers at The Cube has tripled since 2017.

Moye said the group wants to make climbing more accessible “to differently-abled people as well. Adaptive climbing is kind of the next area that we’re going to have, to make it available to more people.”

Climbing was confirmed as a new Olympic sport in 2016 and made its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“Indoor climbing is no longer a fringe activity — it’s become its own form of fitness.”


Kootenay Climbing Association pitches Nelson city council on locations for new home

Nelson council approves land lease for climbing gym at 820 Tenth St.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Bill Metcalfe

About the Author: Bill Metcalfe

I have lived in Nelson since 1994 and worked as a reporter at the Nelson Star since 2015.
Read more