Just this past weekend, Vancouverite Alannah Yip took home first place at the Canadian Bouldering Nationals, alongside longtime family friend and climbing inspiration Sean McColl. McColl’s parents are Alannah’s godparents (she calls them Aunt and Uncle, in fact), and when Sean and his brother got into competitive climbing, Alannah wanted in as well. She’s been on the rise in the competition scene, recently ticked off her first V10s outdoors in the Rocklands, and has been training for the World Cup circuit. Oh, and in her spare time, she’s a mechanical engineering student.
Alannah started competing at 9 years old, and attended the Youth World Championships six times. In 2015, she studied abroad in Switzerland as part of an exchange program and trained with members of the Swiss National Team, which inspired her to start training with the Climb Base 5 team to prepare for the World Cup circuit this summer. Of her first V10, Caroline, Alannah told us, “I surprised myself and sent it during my second session on it. To me it represented the culmination of all of the work I had put into training over the past few months in Switzerland, and my improvement as a climber both physically and technically.”
Alannah’s drive shows in both her approach to climbing and in academics. In 2012, after aging out of the youth competition circuit, she took a break from competitive climbing to focus on school until 2014. Outside of climbing, her major goal is to graduate with a degree in Mechatronics, and to get her iron ring, which is the ring you get when you graduate from a Canadian university engineering program. When asked if she would ever consider pursuing a full-time career as a climber or in the climbing industry, she said that she would “prefer getting into a career that gives me enough freedom to climb rather than a career specifically in the climbing industry.”
Her climbing goals are no less lofty. She shares her aspirations, saying, “I want to make the Canadian national team and spend the summer competing in the Boulder World Cup Circuit, culminating in the World Championships in Paris, where I plan to compete in all 3 disciplines. At the same time, I want to continue climbing outside on rock as much as I can. Last year, I visited 13 new (to me) areas and climbed a total of 70 days outside, which was by far the most I’ve ever done.” She doesn’t shy away from trying other disciplines, and plans to give trad climbing and big wall climbing a shot, especially since she lives so close to Squamish.
Congratulations on your recent win, Alannah, and best of luck on the World Cup Circuit!