Andrew Johnstone and Ronja Blut help Devon Redlick as he prepares to climb Copper Mountain June 8 with the Caledonia Senior Secondary schools rec class.

Students take to the mountain

Students in the Caledonia Senior Secondary recreation class took their end-of-year field trip to new heights June 8.

Students in the Caledonia Senior Secondary recreation class took their end-of-year field trip to new heights June 8.

A total of 17 students made the trip to Copper Mountain to rock climb, and despite a bit of nerves all of them took a shot at it.

The rec class has been busy this year with activities such as horseback riding, kite sledding, hiking, ocean diving and finally rock climbing.

The class is taught by Ben Mattheis and this trip was assisted by Ray Hawkes from the Equinox Outdoor Society and volunteer mountaineer Andrew Johnstone.

The students received some training from Hawkes in the Cal gym beforehand, also testing out the ropes on Terrace Mountain before they trekked up the boulders of Copper Mountain to scale the rock face there.

Kevin Smith is in Grade 11 and a member of the class.

Smith was the first student to brave the climb, following Mattheis – who himself is new to climbing and led a good example for students, making it to the top of the 30 metre climb.

Smith says he likes the heights.

“It’s not scary if you don’t think about it,” he said. “Just go with the adrenaline and it’s fun.”

It was Smith’s first exposure to rock climbing and he says he definitely wants to pursue it.

Hawkes and the Equinox Outdoor society will be offering summer climbing camps for youths, and Smith says he will be looking into attending these camps to gain more experience.

Come next school year students will have their own training centre as a rock climbing wall will be built at Caledonia.

The wall, which is to be 32 feet wide and 24 feet tall, will go in the school gym.

Money for the student climbing wall was raised in part by student efforts and in part by donations from local businesses and the city.

Mattheis said the community will also benefit from this climbing wall as the Equinox society will be holding drop-in climbing classes for anyone interested in learning the sport or practicing.

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