Justin Sweeny is our in-house athlete manager here at Arc’teryx, but he also manages one of the biggest events of the year for us in Squamish: the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy. This is the Climbing Academy’s second year of climbing festivities and we wanted an inside line on what Sweeny’s been working on this spring to make this year’s event especially worth the trip:
Q: Hey Sweeny! This is your fourth year of running the festival. What is your favourite part of the entire weekend?
A: For me, the best part of the weekend is seeing a community come together to celebrate something we are all so passionate about: climbing. It’s really refreshing introduce people to the sport in such an educative way through our clinics, while experienced climbers can develop their own skills and continue to get excited about the sport.
Q: Any new clinics people should take a look at when they’re planning their Climbing Academy weekend?
A: This year we decided to add some specialty clinic topics that we have never introduced before. We want to freshen up the clinic offering based on feedback we received over the past few years. These clinics include specific small ratio alpine objectives on Mt.Habrich, Off Width climbing techniques, Mental strength, “How to Fall” and a series of clinics in partnership with CAMP; Fast and Light Alpinism and Long days With a Light Rack which is a 2 day clinic including one full day of education and “ in class” type learning.
Q: One of the coolest aspects of the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy is the speaker and music series you work so hard to put together. What will be some highlights of the series this year?
A: We are excited for this year’s lineup. Keeping on the theme of switching things up each year, we have gone beyond our athlete roster to compliment the festival a couple of great athletes from outside our team. Legendary climber Peter Croft will be making an appearance for the event kick off downtown on the 14th, as well as world renowned female climber Kate Rutherford. To round out the series with our team we have Ines Papert, Jonathan Siegrist as well as local Paul Mcsorley, all gracing us with their presence on stage. Really excited as well for the live music we have planned: the event will kick off with Yukon Blond, one BC’s nest known indie rock band, as well as the Boom Boom’s and Bear Mountain.
Q: Everyone loves free stuff. What are the best free events to get in on this year?
A: There are lots of amazing free events at the festival this year. Essentially all of the events at The Arc’teryx Climbing Academy (excluding the climbing clinics) are free of charge. This includes educational seminars, yoga, 5.10 Dodgeball, Maxim Tug of war, and all of the shows that are apart of the Speaker and Music series.
Q: There’s a competitive aspect to this year’s event. Can you tell us a bit about it?
A: Back by popular demand, one of the main events of the festival is the Hive outside Dyno comp that goes down on Saturday the 17th. Climbers will battle it out on the Hive Outside climbing wall, beneath walls of Squamish’s iconic Chief, for the Dyno Champion of the event. This is a great spectator sport as well, so even if you’re not into participating, come have a beer, a Mags 99 taco and enjoy the show!
To sign up for any available clinics at the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy or to learn more about the July 14-17 festival in Squamish, BC, check out http://squamish.arcteryxacademy.com/. Keep up to speed with our social feeds (Instagram, Twitter/Periscope, Facebook and Snapchat -@arcteryxhq) throughout the event. See you there!