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Looking Back on a Decade

The past decade has come and gone in the blink of an eye…

It’s been said that time flies when you’re having fun and for us, it’s certainly proven true! With so many great experiences over the past decade it’s taken us some time to piece together our feelings, but..but we’re excited to share some highlights, and warm fuzzies with you all. Join us on this trip down a hexagonal memory lane!

 

Community. Climbing. Health & Wellness. Education.These are our 4 pillars at the Hive and our new friend Eder captured them perfectly in this video. Comment below: why do you climb?Kyle Wall Kim McGrenere Graham McGrenere Dorice Lee Steffi Lai Guian Gumpac Kate Bell🎥 Poli Video Productions (www.polivideoproductions.com)

Posted by The Hive Bouldering Gym on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

 

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it a million more times: we really can’t express to you just how much our community makes our lives better. You can probably tell that we’re nostalgic softies, but it’s the people who come to The Hive who are truly what make us so excited to come to the gym every day. We’ve seen friendships form, relationships blossom (even a couple wedding photo ops), and new climbers born into the sport and community.

Hearing how someone’s life was changed by walking through our doors, exploring this sport, and creating the connections that go alongside never gets old.

“When I think of all my time here, what makes me the happiest is that I felt very welcomed here from the very beginning (both by staff and the climbing community) and found a new family. I came to Canada on my own and didn’t know anyone; it’s almost hard to believe that now. My first year here I was this stoked European with no gear, no car, and no local area knowledge, but nevertheless had so many climbing trips with The Hive community! The amount of hours spent connecting with Hive folks and exploring this beautiful corner of the world are impossible to count. I value these friendships so much!

I grew so much as a person and as a coach through all my interactions with the customers here, many of whom also became my friends. I feel so blessed to be having this opportunity to share my passion with micro-crushers, women in the outdoors, old and new members in the community; and also learn from all of them.” 

– Jurga Prakapaite, Education Coordinator at The Hive North Shore

We’ve watched with joy as people fall in love with climbing, over and over again. One of our  favourite memories over the past couple of years, was when our Women in Bouldering instructors went bouldering in Squamish with some of their course alumni. For a lot of these womxn, these trips were their first taste of what climbing was like beyond the four walls of the gym and it’s beautiful to watch that passion for climbing expand to the outdoors.

As our community grows, so have the meaningful connections we’ve made with local groups looking to build, grow, and do amazing projects in our community. We’re so grateful to organizations like Climb & Conquer, Squamish Access Society, Climber’s Access Society of BC, She Summits, Mountain Mentors, B.I.G. Initiative, Treeline Festival, and many more! We’ve had the pleasure of building strong partnerships with like-minded companies like Flashed, Evolv, prAna, and the infamous Arc’teryx, whose Arc’teryx Climbing Academy has evolved over the years; holding our annual dyno competition at ACA in Squamish is a highlight we look forward to every summer!

Photo: Fraser Britton, Arc’teryx Climbing Academy 2019

When asked about what the past 10 years have looked like for our King Bee he came back with an account of some behind the scenes details and stand-out moments:

“Some of my favourite memories from the last 10 years are a little bit off the radar.  Going chronologically, I think my first real moment of awakening was walking into Hive Vancouver on New Year’s Eve 2011.  After about 48 hectic hours of non-stop electrical, plumbing and carpentry work, we opened our doors for the first time. In a half-built gym, with walls in various stages of completion, we hosted the Shah Dj’s ‘Warriors of Time’ New Year’s Eve party.  Seeing the amazement on 500 people’s faces as they came through the doors, I had the first vague impression of The Hive’s potential to make a positive impact.

Opening day three months later was incredible; that afternoon the sun came streaming through the windows, setting the gym aglow with a golden warmth as we welcomed our early-bird members in for their first climbs, and I watched with pride and joy as flocks of climbers kept on coming. I was so grateful for our staff team who met this onslaught with poise and passion, getting to know the smiling faces of our climbing community, many of whom would rapidly become friends. On that day, the first of many, a lot of hard work felt truly worth it!

Since then so many amazing events have touched my heart; the first ‘We Love Jugs’ Ladies Night in support of BC Breast Cancer with everyone wearing pink and a line-up into the street; struggling to setup the giant sail-like Dyno Wall in super high winds at the Stawamus Chief parking lot that first year; hosting a Youth Awards ceremony out front of Hive Vancouver with everyone shivering in ‘frigid’ (-5) weather at one of our very first comps; supporting the first Canadian Boulder World Cup in Hamilton at my old stomping grounds, Gravity, and cheering my lungs out for our Hive athletes representing Canada on the world stage; Shred Kelly absolutely smashing it from the mats and our community dancing up a storm at the North Shore’s Grand Opening; and jumping on stage at the Imperial for Hive 5 to hand out our first Lifetime Membership prize to one of our most beloved ex-staff members, Liam Anderson-Young, thinking it couldn’t go to a more deserving person, only to be followed the next year by our most supportive and dedicated of members, early-bird member Dave Prescott!

Most recently, I cannot put into words the excitement I felt last year, crammed in amongst the crowd at Allez Up, cheering on our athletes Allison Vest, along with Guy & Kindar McNamee, as they left it all on the wall and took 3 top spots at Lead Nationals; 1st, 1st, and 2nd respectively, following it up last month when Allison and Guy both took home 1st at Open Boulder Nationals at Altitude.  I’m not a competitive person, far from it, but it filled me with such pride to have been there to witness this momentous event, and to know that I have had some small part to play in supporting the success of these truly amazing individuals who are truly an inspiration for us all. It makes all the late nights and tough decisions worthwhile.  

Here’s to many more!”

– Andrew Coffey, owner

Andrew Coffey, AKA DJ Artistry at TNT 2012

 

When we opened the doors of Hive Vancouver in 2012, we had 12 staff. Yes, you read that right. 12. Since then, we’ve not only added 2 gyms, but have also gained 130 amazing people in our crew! With 142 staff and counting, our growing team is filled with some of our favourite people in the world; we actually hang out with each other outside of work. A lot. We spend an unusual amount of time with our coworkers in and outside of working hours… and we love it! We have an amazing group and we wouldn’t trade them for the world!

We’ve also seen how much you all LOVE to learn and improve your climbing! We started with one course (Intro to Bouldering) and a handful of birthday parties thrown into the mix. Around year 2, womxn flocked to the new Women in Bouldering course, which is still one of our favourite courses to teach and has the most continued hangouts by participants and instructors alike after the course ends. Each gym now has its own education team with dedicated instructors who go through lots of training, and we have 6 adult courses and 9 youth program offerings including our competitive teams: The Hornets and The Swarm! That’s a lot of learning!

We asked a few climbers in our community what their favourite memories have been over the years and this father-son duo reminisced about a time when our youth competitive Swarm team looked so small and different from what it is today. Ben and Paul Hughes have been with us from the early days; when Ben competed on the Swarm when it only had 6 climbers! 

“I fondly remember Swarm practices every Sunday, 8 am at Hive Vancouver. Great group of kids and super close parent community. Cold gym that early, but lots of warm hearts!”

– Paul Hughes, long-time Hiver and member of the climbing community

In addition to our educational offerings at The Hive, we’ve been thrilled to introduce our Hive Ambassadors: a group of dedicated climbers competing on local, national, and international levels, and pushing their limits outside. Our Ambassador crew has grown a lot from our original 6, and last year we even added some Outdoor Ambassadors to the mix: a few dedicated crushers looking to take their outdoor climbing to another level. Whether they’re winning national competitions, crushing on the world stage, or developing new crags in remote countries, our Ambassadors are doing outstanding things and we’re both proud and lucky to support their endeavours and watch them succeed.

“Moving to a new city is tough and is a big transition. When I moved to Vancouver for University it was a big adjustment! Without a doubt though, The Hive felt like home way before anything else in Vancouver did. This community is truly an example of the type of family you choose. I don’t know if I would be the person I am today without The Hive.”

– Allison Vest, Hive Ambassador

“Starting grad school and moving away from home (a state where I could climb 360 days of the year if I wanted to) was a tough transition. My first “Vancouver winter” was pretty brutal and filled with google searches for “dry rock in/around Vancouver?” Somewhat demoralized, I committed myself to spending the winter season in the gym. The community I found there during that first winter turned out to be more valuable than dry rock and winter climbing days. It has been so fulfilling to be part of such an incredible group of committed people and The Hive has consistently been a place of refuge where I can put school and work stress aside and do something I love alongside people who inspire me.”

– Kate Hannibal, Hive Ambassador

 

“I moved from Victoria in 2016 to Vancouver. The only people I knew were people I had met along the way in my 20 years of competitive climbing. I started working at the North Shore as a desk staff and quickly connected with such a welcoming group of staff. In those first few months, I went through a really tough time. Luckily, my fellow staff members took me in and we found a place to live together. Evolving through this time, I’ve met so many people that have changed my life forever including my boyfriend and my two best friends. I am now at The Hive as a full-time routesetter, an Ambassador, and a proud member of this amazing community. The Hive community continually picks me up when I am down and gives me a safe place to pick up my feet and continue on my journey. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for The Hive. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

– Alison Stewart-Patterson, Hive Ambassador

On the topic of amazing and inspiring climbers, we’ve been pretty starstruck over the years as we’ve seen big-name climbers (and even a number of celebrities) come through our doors for a climb. It’s been incredible meeting, chatting, and even becoming friends with people like Lynn Hill (who taught a clinic with us last year at She Summits) Sasha Digiulian, Jason Momoa, Alex Honnold, Kevin Jorgeson, Nina Caprez, Jonathan Siegrist, Hazel Findlay, and so many more. You’ve snapped a lot of climbing-idol selfies, and we’re not ashamed to say, we did too! Oh, and yes… Every single one of them did an orientation and fall assessment!

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Thanks for the beta @alexhonnold 🤙

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 Since that first New Year’s Eve party in a half-finished Vancouver gym, we’ve had too many community events and competitions to count, hosting an event almost every month over the past 3+ years. We’ve held over 35 competitions across all 3 locations including around 20 of our favourite summer competition series: Tuesday Night Throwdown! 

3 years ago when The Hive turned 5, we went big to celebrate and rented out the Imperial for a night of letting loose, live music, and dancing. Though we’ve loved all the events we’ve thrown, this comes top 5 for a lot of us and we’ll keep throwing these parties for a long time to come! You can save the date in your calendar for this year: The night of March 20th will be another birthday bash for the ages (we’ll be 8!) and we can’t wait to see you there.

When it comes to events, for me the Hive Birthday bashes always stand out. Especially that first one at the Imperial; it was magic seeing everyone partying it up together! The way our community comes from all different walks of life yet connects through climbing both in and beyond the gym warms my heart. We’ve held 3 of those parties now and the musicians and the community have blown me away with their amazing energy every time. I feel so so lucky to hold space for such amazing people.” 

– Kate Bell, Events & Marketing Manager

Photo: Nina Laflamme Photography

 

From the bottom of our cheesy, sentimental hearts, thank you to every single one of you Hivers for all that you do to make our lives better. From the smiles to the great conversations, to the hugs, to the baked goods, and beyond, you are our favourite people and we feel so lucky that you choose us!

 

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