On Friday at noon, seven West Kootenay climbers draped a 10 metre by nine metre banner over the southeast face of Pulpit Rock.
The ongoing youth-led climate protest, Fridays for Future Nelson, inspired the group of climbers to “go big or go home.” Since the global climate strike march in late September brought the idea to life, Climbers for Climate have been working on creating the large cotton banner.
“The goal of the banner is get people to think about climate change and how we can individually make skillful choices and encourage government to make drastic changes,” said Greg Amos, an organizer with the group. “The sign, which says ‘Climbers for Climate,’ is a declaration, in letters seven feet tall, that everyone in Nelson can look up to and hopefully think for a minute about how to effect positive change.”
Climbers for Climate are a group of outdoor climbers who believe in and support young climate strikers by joining them in taking meaningful action. Dropping this banner was meant to signal the climbing community’s support for Nelson citizens marching and protesting to demand meaningful government action on climate change.
The large banner was taken to the top of Pulpit Rock on Friday morning. Climbers rappeled to the middle of the east buttress, fixed anchors using existing bolts and trad gear placements, and unveiled the banner at noon. It was removed on Saturday.
The banner was “a call out as well to other climbers and a statement that we stand with science and the change that needs to happen,” said Shane Hainsworth, a member of the group.
“Some people think we are preaching to the choir, but I don’t think that’s the case for many. Showing further support for the groups of people here is important and there are many ways of doing so. We have had some amazing people come out of the woodwork that want to do something and have reached out to us for further action.”
Climbers for Climate hope to inspire everyone to get involved in efforts to greatly reduce Canada’s carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Fridays for Future Nelson has held several events since the Sept. 20 global climate strike, and plans to hold more.