The great wall of SFU under siege

Climbing wall closure exposed

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Burnaby Mountain as a climbing wall. There's a long line of students waiting to climb it.
ILLUSTRATION: Andrea Choi / The Peak

By: Sude Guvendik, Staff Writer

Dear SFU climbers, 

Hold onto your harnesses because there’s some wild news — the SFU Climbing Wall, that vertical haven of chalky holds and triumphant climbs, has been closed since mid-December. And get this: nobody seems to know why. It’s like the campus just ghosted our favourite climbing spot.

Whispers in the hallways suggest that President Joy Johnson might be grappling with an unexpected condition known as “climbingphobia.” Perhaps, in her eyes, the climbing wall is a relic of the past, challenging the sleek and high-tech future she envisions for SFU. Why climb manually when you can glide smoothly in a gondola, right? After all, the public engagement has been going great . . . 

Imagine a showdown on Burnaby Mountain, not with swords, but with carabiners clicking (don’t spend too much time pondering the logistics of this). It’s the gondola versus the rock climbers, a real-life Game of Thrones. Who’s gonna reach the top first? With the gondola project representing the crown jewel of technological marvels, costing millions and spanning years of planning, Joy Johnson views it as the symbol of SFU’s march into the future. However, lurking in the shadows like the Night’s Watch, the climbing wall poses a seemingly obsolete but rebellious threat, challenging the status quo with each ascent.

SFU is calling for progress, championing technology and modern solutions. Joy Johnson, with a regal air, seems to proclaim, “Let the gondola ascend the throne, this is how we are engaging the world.” The gondola has had at least a decade head start, but this is still a tight race! 

The stage is set, the mountains are watching, and the fate of SFU’s peak hangs in the balance. Winter may be coming, but who will conquer the mountain first — the gondola, a beacon of so-called progress, or the antiquarian rock climbers of olde? Whether it’s a masterplan or a colossal mix-up, one thing’s for sure — the SFU climbing wall closure is a cliffhanger we didn’t see coming.

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