The Test of Metal is all about mountain biking to most people, but the Squamish organization has worked over the last couple of years with Don Ross Middle School to make a climbing cave a reality.
Mountain biking and rock climbing are two of the key facets that make Squamish the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada, and the Test of Metal has long supported Squamish’s diversity and Don Ross School.
“The Test of Metal is so much more than a mountain bike race,” said Test of Metal race director, Cliff Miller. “Without the community support we receive, we would not exist. In return, we find ways to support the community, including the school’s climbing cave. Now every child in Squamish will be able to use this climbing cave while attending Don Ross School from grades 7 to 9 for decades to come.”
The Test of Metal donated $25,000 in funding to allow Don Ross School to purchase engineering and materials for the Brackendale school’s new climbing cave. The school had been saving for eight years for this project from bottle recycling, and the Test of Metal thought it would be great to help complete the funding for this project.
“The Test of Metal’s substantial donation to Don Ross School has allowed us to realize the building and completion of the climbing cave, which would not have happened without their support,” said Don Ross School physical education teacher, Bill Rizun, who conceived and coordinated the project.
The Test of Metal and Don Ross School have a long history of supporting each other. One of the Test of Metal organization’s races, the Orecrusher, became the main fundraiser for the Outdoor Leadership Program that originated at Don Ross School and has become a mainstay in the Squamish community for two decades.
“We truly appreciate and thank the Test of Metal for its amazing support,” Rizun said. “The Don Ross School cycling program has had talented coaches and people who have promoted and supported mountain biking, which has led to nine provincial mountain biking banners. One of the main motivators for our Don Ross School mountain bikers has always been to prepare for and race in the Test.“
The Test of Metal, presented by Nesters Market Squamish, is wrapping up operations this year after 21 years of running Canada’s premiere mountain bike race.
“The climbing cave is a significant parting legacy on their part,” Rizun said.
The official opening of the Test of Metal Climbing Cave will be held at Don Ross School on May 10 at 7:00 p.m.