For many people climbing is more than a sport. It is a passion. Fitting climbing into life can be a serious challenge though.
Grace Kane, a 13 year old 8th grader at Granite Ridge Intermediate, loves climbing. “I love the challenge. I love the craziness.” But a few years ago, her climbing hit a block. There was nowhere to climb in Fresno!
“I was sure that I wanted to move forward with my climbing career but that was impossible after the gym closed,” Grace said of the April 2011 closure of Yosemite Fitness, Fresno’s previous climbing gym.
In December of 2010, Grace and her family moved to Dallas Texas because Grace wanted to actively pursue climbing. Team Texas, one of the largest climbing teams in the nation, provided an opportunity for her to improve.
With the training from Team Texas, Grace traveled across the US, climbing at the Red River Gorge, where she sent the Mother Lode’s Tuna Town 5.12d. Grace made frequent trips to Hueco Tanks and traveled to Bishop, where she focused on Less Poetry, a long V8 pocket traverse at the Happy Boulders.
Grace’s climbing improved but life in Texas was less than ideal. When MetalMark opened, the new gym offered Grace an opportunity to climb in Fresno again. The Kane family jumped on the chance to move back to California. “Our family was really outdoorsy. We missed the mountains and the ocean,” added Grace as additional reasons for the move back to Fresno.
Since her return to California, Kane has become an integral part of the Fresno climbing scene. “It’s very much community oriented,” said Grace of climbing at MetalMark. “The people are challenging and pushing me. It’s just refreshing.”
Climbing at MetalMark has helped Grace achieve her goals and set new ones. “I want to send a 5.13 outside. Most of my goals are outdoor oriented because I’m not competing this season.” Additionally, Grace spoke about climbing in Yosemite. “I really want to send Midnight Lightning. Every time I go to Yosemite I’m determined to get on it but it’s super hard.”
The introduction of the MetalMark gym helped the whole Fresno climbing community pursue their passion. Undoubtedly, San Jaoquin valley climbers will be reaching their goals a little easier.
Tags: Grace Kane, Fresno climbing, MetalMark