Cowichan climber holds his own alongside Canada’s best

Competing in a stacked field that included a World Cup champion, Cowichan Valley climber Aidan Doyle made a mark for himself.

Competing in a stacked field that included a World Cup champion, Cowichan Valley climber Aidan Doyle made a mark for himself by finishing 13th at the open men’s national bouldering championships.

After placing seventh at the national youth championships, the 15-year-old Doyle went to the open men’s competition in Edmonton last weekend on a whim. The best adult male climbers in Canada were in attendance, including North Vancouver’s Sean McColl, the defending World Cup overall champion.

Doyle placed 17th out of more than 60 climbers in the qualifying round, earning a spot in the semifinals as one of the top 20 in the qualifier.

The youngest climber to advance to the semifinals, Doyle finished 13th at that level. The top six in the semifinals went to the finals, where reigning champ McColl repeated as Canada’s best.

“While he did not make finals, he certainly turned a lot of heads as to who this ‘kid’ from the Cowichan Valley was and what he was doing competing and beating many of the big boys,” Doyle’s father, James, said.