Guidebook highlights local climbs

Cranbrook Olympic climber pens book that promotes the East Kootenay

Cranbrook's Gord McArthur

Cranbrook's Gord McArthur

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced climber in the East Kootenay, there is now a guidebook to help you locate the best spots in the area. The East Kootenay Climbing: Cranbrook/Kimberley Area guidebook was assembled by Cranbrook climber Gordon McArthur.

On Saturday, May 25, McArthur will be on hand at High Country Sports in Cranbrook to sign books and chat about climbing.

McArthur has been climbing in the Kootenays for over 16 years and has competed on an international level for the past five, representing Canada for three.

Somehow, McArthur has also found the time to work on the book.

“It’s a guidebook actually, that took me two and a half years to build,” he said. “It features a lot of editorial stories from climbers all over North America and seven different venues as far as climbing location. (There are) a lot of stories about climbing in the area. It’s a guidebook but it has a coffee table kind of feel to it.”

The book was a collaboration, as far as content goes, from quite a few climbers in the area.

It features various stories by climbers talking about what it is that drives them to climb and how it affects them personally.

McArthur himself added a few of his own stories.

He said climbing to him is something he needs to live.

“Without it, it feels like I can’t breathe,” he said. “I get short of breath. When I do climb, I feel better.”

McArthur was happy to finally see a book of this type released, as it is a way to get more people interested in climbing.

“It’s just so awesome to finally have a proper guidebook for the area,” he said. “I think it’s going to grow the sport. It’s a great service to have, so people can get out there safely and enjoy the venues. I’m just really excited to share that with everybody now.”

He said there are a couple of venues that require the climber to be aware of logistics and other things, which the guidebook defines.

“It provides info so that your experience can be safer and you have a heads up going into certain areas,” he said. “You’re not just blindfolded.”

McArthur will be signing books and posters from his sponsors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 at High Country Sports. For more information visit www.machavokadventure.com/climbing or www.highcountrysports.ca.