Canada’s Future Climber, Now
Indiana Chapman is one of Canada’s rising climbing stars, with a number of impressive wins and podium finishes. This summer, she was the only Canadian to head to a finals round at the Youth World Championships. We caught up with Chapman at the start of the 2017/2018 Canadian competition season, when she had just won the first Ontario competition of the season at Coyote Rock.
1. How long have you been climbing and where did you start? I was a monkey-bar kid since I was little, so I was always climbing something. I’ve been indoor rock climbing since I was seven and started at True North Climbing in Toronto. My dad has always climbed and was really the one who introduced me to the sport.
2. What was the first competition that you won? It’s actually hard to remember the first, but I’m sure it was just a local comp. The first year I started, I was so happy just to get a participation ribbon. I do know that the first big comp was when they still had the Youth D category at Youth Difficulty Nationals and I won that the day after I turned 10.
3. You started the year winning Youth B at the National Bouldering Championships. Did you have a good feeling about the year after that win? Actually, last year started off really rough, because I was facing some health issues. Just three weeks before the National Bouldering Championships, I came down with pneumonia. Because of that, I focused on being positive, no matter the circumstances. In the end, it was a good year!
4. This summer you were one of only a few Canadians to make Semis at the World Youth Championships, what was that like? Honestly, I went to Worlds with no expectations at all, determined to do my very best and try my hardest. Making it to Semis was amazing. Making it to Finals and placing fourth was almost too much to wrap my mind around. What made it even sweeter was sharing the experience with my Team Canada teammates who were there cheering me on and so supportive.
5. Did any round or problem rise above the others as your favourite? I really loved the first slab problem in Finals. Knowing that Finals would be extremely hard, I felt so encouraged that I was able to top that one to start things off.
6. What was the experience like overall? From watching so many other climbers to the travelling? To rub shoulders with so many amazing climbers from all over the world, it was really inspiring to say the least. I learned so much from watching other climbers, and getting to try some pretty challenging problems and routes. It also made me feel encouraged that all the hard training is so worth it.
7. Who are some of your climbing heroes? There are so many strong climbers out there, but my heroes tend to be the athletes who have the best attitude. They are hard-working, humble, and they don’t take their success too seriously – like Anna Stohr, Alex Honnald, Sasha DiGiulian and Chris Sharma.
8. What are your hopes and plans heading into the 2017/2018 competitions? I am always looking to push my limits as a climber, but how I place in a comp isn’t really the most i mportant thing to me. As long as I feel I give it everything I have, climb smart and keep a positive attitude, I’ll be happy. Of course, I would love to make the Youth Team Canada again and attend another Youth World Championships, since it’s a privilege to be part of. And I hope to compete in the U.S. this year for an extra challenge.
9. What’s your dream in the world of climbing? I would love to be a professional climber and get to do this full time. And like everyone else in our competitive climbing scene, maybe one day get a chance to represent Canada at the Olympics.
10. Do you have any outdoor projects and what’s your favourite place to climb? I wish! Because of my training schedule, I’m a self-admitted gym rat. I have a dream of moving closer to mountains to make it easier. I def initely look forward to the time when I will make outdoor projecting my priority. At the moment, my favourite place is Kletterzentrum gym in Innsbruck, Austria. It’s the most incredible climbing facility I have ever seen.—