Yukon College climbing wall positioned in storage earlier than it may very well be used


A recently built climbing wall at Yukon University was dismantled and put into storage before anyone had a chance to climb it.

The climbing wall was built in the university’s gymnasium, but it was never approved to be built and erected there, a university spokesman said.

Michael Vernon said the university approved a proposal to build a climbing wall in a room next to the gym.

“Before the construction, it turned out that the approved location was not feasible due to the existing water pipes. The project team switched locations to the gym without resubmitting the new location for approval,” he wrote in an email to CBC News.

He added that the wall was also torn down because it was “incompatible” with the gym’s $450,000 new maple athletic floor and planned varsity sports.


Some students, like Eve Fréchette, were excited about using the wall and disappointed with the news.

“There isn’t much at Yukon University that encourages a healthy lifestyle,” Fréchette said. “There is certainly a small gym. But with the pandemic and limited options, it was really exciting to have this project and also to be involved in the construction.”

Fréchette is vice president for student life at the university’s student union. As a keen climber, she was involved in the planning process for the wall.

She said she doesn’t think the university will reintroduce the climbing wall.

“These things have specific designs and they need specific supports that are gym specific. So if the gym isn’t a suitable place, it’s not going to go back up,” she said.

Too expensive

The proposal for the climbing wall facility had an estimated budget of $295,000 over two years.

“This scope and total cost was not shared during the initial approval process and was not approved,” Vernon wrote in the email.

The wall cost $65,000 to build and $9,555 to dismantle, he wrote.

Vernon wrote the schedule and the process for selecting a new site has yet to be determined.