The North Island Secondary School climbing wall will soon be open for business.

The North Island Secondary School climbing wall will soon be open for business.

NISS climbing wall gets finishing touches

Grand opening will co-incide with Rotary Club’s second annual Spring Fling

North Island Secondary School’s (NISS)

climbing wall will be having its grand opening

soon, says Principal Jay Dixon.

“The finishing touches and safety checks are

being completed on the wall,” confirmed Dixon.

“We will be announcing the grand opening soon,

which will align with the Port McNeill Rotary

Club’s second annual Spring Fling event (April


The idea for the climbing wall came from an

offhand conversation between Dixon and Greg

Muirhead (NISS’ Outdoor Pursuits, Math, Science,

Tourism and Field Studies teacher).

Muirhead walked into Dixon’s office at the

start of their planning for NISS’ outdoor education

programming, and he asked if they would

be able to build a climbing wall.

Dixon’s first question he asked was “how


Muirhead told him approximately how much

the climbing wall would cost to build, and then

Dixon thought it over before deciding ‘why not?’

NISS students and other community members

soon heard about the climbing wall conversation

and started bringing in cheques. One student even

opened a GoFundMe account online and soon

the idea rippled from a small grassroots community

movement all the way to where the Port

McNeill Rotary joined in to show their support.

The climbing wall basically grew from a conversation

into something that will in fact be


The wall currently has a bouldering section

for people that don’t want to climb above ten

feet, which is excellent for kids, and there are

six other routes on the wall for different ability

levels. It goes right up to the rafters of the

gymnasium, which is approximately 40 ft. high.

They also have four auto-belay systems, which

are safety devices in case anyone lets go of the

wall, that will slowly lower people safely down

to the ground.

NISS has two certified instructors, Muirhead

and Mark Taylor, who will be training other supervisors

for the wall. Dixon added that climbing

memberships can be pre-purchased at NISS