Cranbrook ice climber Gord McArthur won the North American Championship this weekend

Local climber ranked fourth at World Cup

Gord Mcrthur wins North American Championships in Bozeman, Montana.

Cranbrook ice climber Gord McArthur won the North American Championship at an ice climbing competition in Bozeman, Montana, this past weekend. McArthur also took fourth in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup, and currently sits in fourth place on the UIAA World Cup circuit. The competition took place Dec. 11-14. The two championships were combined in one event.

The fourth place finish is especially notable because it’s the first time in 13 years that a North American has made it into the finals for the world cup. The last was Will Gadd in 2002. Gadd is a good friend of McArthur, and also a mentor and former coach.

“To sort of fill in his shoes was a real honour for sure,” he said.

McArthur was down in Montana for five days.

“It’s always intense and obviously nerves were racing,” he said. “The usual kind of stress, but obviously it ended up being really successful.”

He said the energy there was electric and competing on home turf made the competition all the more special.

“There was a huge turnout of people. They were saying over 1,000 people were watching in the finals. That kind of energy is always really exciting to be a part of.”

The competition took place on a world cup structure built for the competition. McArthur competes on the technical lead difficulty. The group had to climb two qualifiers. Then if you qualified you’d go on to the semi-finals.

“There was one route to climb, which as we found out was quite a high caliber of difficulty,” he said. “From there if you qualified you’d go on to the finals.”

McArthur’s group began with almost 50 competitors, which were reduced to eight for the finals.

Next up on the tour is Cheongsong, Korea from Jan. 10-11. The county is five hours from Seoul and a haven for winter sports. It’s the site of a immense artificial ice climbing wall.

“I’ve got five more competitions, which would be Korea, Switzerland, Italy, France and then Russia,” he said.

His key right now to training is to remain focused on the overall season and not get too distracted by the big win in Bozeman.

“This was very successful and it was great, but I definitely have a long way to go in the season,” he said. “So just to maintain my training and now sort of take away what I’ve learned from this competition and apply that in training for the next few weeks.”

McArthur said one thing he’s learned from travelling to big competitions all over the world is to try to have all the logistics and planning organized to reduce stress.

“The idea for competing is to make things the least stressful as possible,” he said. “The more you travel, the more you compete, the more seasoned you become, so the more stress you can remove, which basically allows you to focus on the task at hand.”

McArthur also noted how grateful he is for the local support.

“I would definitely not be doing what I’m doing without local support,” he said, adding his family is also amazing support as well.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chernove set to take on epic 1,000 kilometre cycling challenge

A local Paralympian is taking on an epic cycling challenge. Tristen Chernove… Continue reading

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Cranbrook RCMP looking for vehicle, driver involved in hit and run

RCMP are looking for the owner of a white Toyota Corolla that fled the scene

Cranbrook Cenotaph names get a touch-up

Legion members repaint 166 names, marking three wars, for the first time in monument’s history

BookNotes: The Australian prison colony’s first lending library

The books brought over by various officers proved quite popular with the convicts

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read