VRCG 2016 Review

ūüôā Friends and Fam. 2016 is another breakthrough year for us and I wish you all had an incredible 2016 full of climbing, staying healthy and void of injuries, successes, laughter, memories and most importantly new and deepened friendships and relationships. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It’s my pleasure to lead VRCG for another successful year with many pioneer projects and EPIC results in both community and charity aspects. I would briefly drop a few lines on some of the notable projects we have done and then congratulated the notable individuals (aka. HEROS) who made it happen from zero to EPIC. At the end, I would point to the future priorities of VRCG in 2017.

***It’s impossible to cover all the millions epic things and volunteers in one post and I apologize in advance if I miss anything/anyone.***





In Nov 2015, we launched our pioneer project: ROCKSTAR BEAST OPERATIONS to develop a systematic group-based mentorship program where we train individuals in a tight small crew of 10 from new climber from the gym to learn outdoor rock/snow/ice climbing, other rope skills, ending with 1 ice expedition (Feb 2016) and 1 rock expedition at the Bugaboos (July 2016).

Since day 1 VRCG started in 2008, we have always provided training for members just like other outdoor clubs to benefit climbers. In recent years, we have put humongous thoughts and design at ROCKSTAR to revolutionize our approach to stay true to our VRCG mission. We believe the priority of any courses should be absolute high quality and taught by professional guides. We don’t believe in cheap, discount courses by ill-qualified volunteers; and the existence of such is an unfair uncut to hard working guides.

ROCKSTAR is a pioneer first of its kind one-stop leadership development program from Nov 2015 – July 2016. It is open to only individuals who have extensive past community volunteering experiences and future volunteering objectives and the project is free of charge. We develop and inspire these prospective community leaders to make positive changes in both our climbing and larger community in the future.

We successfully finish our 1st cycle in 2016. Some members led ice successfully after our intensive 4 weekends ice camps. We built up a tight crew/fam. We also got plenty of beta on how to improve our project on our next cycle.

Read Page 19 HERE about their ice climbing expedition in Feb 2016 (multi-pitch: Synchronicity WI4 on Duffy Lake area).


Team Expedition in Bugaboos (1 week @ July 2016)


In¬†Feb 2016, Behrouz Borji donated part of his office space for our RAMPAGE Clubhouse in Coquitlam area, a great space for rope skills training and workshops. It’s a continual challenge to find a space for our VRCG clubhouse. This space has served us well for 2016. It won’t be available in 2017 and we continually look forward to the day we have our own office and gym ūüôā




In June 2016, we have our annual general meeting and team reporting party with 70+ people and presentations from different teams @ VRCG. It’s an exciting moment to share inspiring stories and meet climbers from all walks of life. One of the best moments that evening¬†is we had a live chat with our Brazillian member Roberto Lazzari Junior. Roberto joined VRCG during his 1 year visit last year and eventually volunteered in several of our projects. He has taken what he has witnessed here back to Brazil to run his own climbing club and courses. Next AGM will be in Feb 2017.


Anders Ourom our society and legal advisor speaking at AGM


Live Chat with Roberto from Brazil!




Since 2015, Salvador Olsen has taken leadership to revitalize Copper Cove (right beside Horeshoe Bay) to re-scrub, replace old bolts and open up new lines. After hundreds of hours of volunteering and hundreds of $$$ (VRCG has also donated to this cause), Copper Cove has proven itself to be one of the best and most scenic crags in metro Vancouver (5.6-13). Summer 2016 has seen big frequent crowds climbing, swimming and beer. Thank you Salvador for his vision and this good work will surely continue in 2017.






In August, we¬†host our 3rd annual Squamish Rampage charity bouldering & acroyoga festival. It’s a record year for us with a full weekend camping included festival and an after-party with beer, burgers and dyno comp. We launched this pioneer festival back in 2014 as a way to unite both local and worldwide climbers and acro-yogis together as 1 fun weekend and raise $ for our charity Climb and Conquer to provide mentorship and climbing access to vulnerable youth in our communities. We have huge support from BC Park, City of Squamish, Climbers Access Societies of BC, Squamish Access Society and many other partners. And we raised & donated $1323.95. 2017 RAMPAGE will be even more EPIC!


Photos from Dan Berger and Ken Chow!




In September 2016, we launched 2 new community projects:

Vancouver Climbers Temple @ VRCG: a monthly community dinner open to all where climbers gather, share community news and stories, acroyoga together.



Grizzly Bear Youth Club @ Climb and Conquer: (open to all Grade 9-12 students) a bi-weekly youth club planned and run by youth with activities such as climbing, hiking, university prep, community volunteering, etc. to help youth to become contributing leaders in our community in the future. Essentially a min-VRCG for youth and by youth!


University and Career Prep Talk 

Jeff Yoo emergency Dr. at VGH
Allison Merz chemical engineer
Edwin Chen PhD computer science student
Boris Lau IT start-up
Emily Maria environmental engineer



Group climbing at the Hive


Snowshoeing on Cypress in Dec 2016




2016 is also a great year for our registered charity Climb and Conquer founded by VRCG since 2011, a pioneer first of its kind project to use climbing and caring mentorship to support youth from low income or vulnerable backgrounds to build healthy communities and access to climbing and skills to be contributing leaders in our communities.

We currently run 4 programs:

  1. 1-1 Rockstar Mentorship at all Greater Vancouver Gyms (78 matches)
  2. Grizzly Bear Youth Club (Grade 9-12)
  3. Financial subsidy for passes, memberships, youth programs, camps, gear, etc. ($20517.56)
  4. Summer Outdoor Climbing Camps (95 youth)

Towards the end of 2016, we are extremely to receive a $6,000 funding from the City of Squamish for our 2017 summer camps as they believe in our quality of work and our community building and youth-initiated strategy.


Danny Martin one of our Volunteer Mentors


Our Annual Summer Camps 2016. 



EPIC results are impossible without EPIC individuals and heros. I want to give credit to the following individuals who might be behind the scene and not under the spotlight but have devoted humongous time and effort to make the above amazing projects happen, from zero to EPIC.


Hun Hyi Wynn (aka. Hi Tec)

Some of his impressive efforts:

  • co-planning the logistics¬†for ROCKSTAR trainings & Bugaboos expedition
  • cooking for 50+ people at CNC summer camps
  • one of the team leads at RAMPAGE



Danika Gomes

Some of her impressive efforts:

  • Director of all volunteers for entire RAMPAGE festival


Allison Merz 

Some of her impressive efforts:

  • Directing the ladies climbing chapter and meetups and Lead without Fear sessions.


Daphne Huang 

Some of her impressive efforts:

  • Pulled together a solid team and fam at Cliffhanger and ran amazing meetups in early 2016
  • Led 2 outdoor trips at Skaha and Vantage.


Salvador Olson

Some of his impressive efforts:

  • Rescrubbing, re-bolting and opening up new lines at Copper Cove
  • Directing the summer climbing sessions at Copper Cove
  • Directing¬†successful meetups and fam in Coastal Climbing and Project Cloverdale


Jonas Fung (aka. Dirt Bag King)

Some of his impressive efforts:


Jimmy Choo

Some of his impressive efforts:

  • Our ground operations manager, supervising our Climb and Conquer monthly group climbing.


Thomas Lauer

Some of his impressive efforts:


Arrietty Song

Some of her impressive efforts:

  • Co-planning to launch our pioneer project Grizzly Bear Youth Club in September 2016 and volunteered to be our 1st ever Youth President.


Edwin Chen

Some of his impressive efforts:

  • Our UBC area Team Lead¬†and liaison with UBC Aviary and UBCVOC to recruit volunteers from UBC.




I would also want to thank all our 2016 Team Leaders:



Leo Sieczka (IT and websites)

Justin Chan (membership)

Anders Ourom (society and legal counsel)


VRCG Meetups Operations:

Cliffhanger: Daphne, Tina Taghaddosi, Cindy Gu, Allison Merz

Base5: Bryan Senger, Marcus Tomlinson

Oval: Kathy Pang

Hive: Kartt Gopinath

Copper Cove and other gyms: Salvador Olsen

Vantage and Skaha trip: Daphne Huang


VRCG Board of Directors:

Danny Martin

Marcus Tomlinson

Daphne Huang

Danika Gomes


CNC Board of Directors:

Jeff Yoo

Drew Copeland

Jonas Fung

Jimmy Choo

Rodolphe Destombes

Richard Sutton


RAMPAGE Team Leaders:

Danny Martin

Jeff Yoo

Luke Alden

Emilisa Frirdich

Jason Pon

Danika Gomes





What’s next for 2017?

Time is always changing and our local and worldwide climbing community continually evolves with new challenges such as:

  • – increased popularity in climbing and over-crowding of campgrounds¬†and parking lots.
  • – lack of basic safety education for new outdoor climbers.

Some old challenges remain to be conquered:

  • – it’s now easier than ever to find climbing partners thanks to Facebook and social media, but social isolation and lack of a community continues to plague our society.
  • – a stronger participation of climbers at the Climbers Access Society BC¬†is still pending.

Our 4 goals: community, safety, charity and environmental responsibility remain the same, but new strategies and pioneer approaches must be designed to tackle these new challenges and make us more effective and efficient to tackle the old remaining challenges.

VRCG will undergo a major club and membership restructure in 2017 and to be launched at our AGM in Feb 2017.



Merry Christmas & Happy New Year everyone!

Joseph Wong, Founder

Dec 23, 2016


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *