TEAM FBC MEMBER INTERVIEWS.
EPISODE 3, JACQUELINE DUBÉ
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Jacqueline Dubé! A gal whose happy place is hanging off a towering cliff face, or suspended a hundred feet above the Bull River Canyon floor…
Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Jacqueline made the move to Fernie back in January 2020, striving to find balance between pursuing a co-op placement at Teck, and sending it in the mountains. Since wrapping up her placement this past April, Jacqueline’s been a pro at balancing school with getting out climbing every chance she gets (and then après-ing with a cold can of Hit the Deck, of course).
So put your feet up, crack open your favourite brew, and read on for an awe-inspiring interview with one of the most fearless #TeamFBC athletes out there, Jacqueline Dubé!
FBC: We’ve noticed you’re all about sending it at crazy heights! How did you first get into rock climbing and highlining ?
Jacqueline: I started rock climbing when I was 11 years old with the Alpine Club of Canada as a fun activity to do with my mom, and have stuck with it ever since. After moving to Fernie, I met a couple other climbers and formed some really strong partnerships with them, allowing me to expand my experience on disciplines that aren’t present in Ontario (multi-pitches in the Canadian Rockies, granite cracks in the alpine). As for highlining, I started slacklining when I was pretty young. I had never highlined before but saw potential across the Bull River Canyon. With help from my climbing partners, we learned how to drill bolts and safely rig a line across the canyon. I spend most of my free time on the rock, but also got into mountain biking while living in Fernie, as well as skiing and ice climbing in the winter.
FBC: What is it that you love most about rock climbing and highlining?
Jacqueline: I love pushing myself both mentally and physically, which is what I enjoy most about rock climbing. I love being able to maintain composure while working out a sequence on a climb and keep any fear under control. There’s also something called a ‘flow’ state in climbing (much like other sports) where it’s like the volume gets turned down on everything else going on – all external influences are muted and the climbing feels effortless. I’ve sent some of my hardest climbs while in a flow state and it is one of the best feelings ever.
FBC: Do you have any go-to spots around the area?
Jacqueline: My go-to local crag is Lakit Lake, near Cranbrook. This is where I project most of my sport climbs. I also do frequent trips to Squamish, the Bow Valley, and the Bugaboos.
FBC: We noticed you’ve been getting after it this summer! Any trips that stand out?
Jacqueline: My summer started off busy and just took off immediately. I was originally concerned that having so much free time I would get bored but that has not been the case. I’ve done multiple trips to Squamish to climb, as well as a trip to the Bow Valley and just returned from a couple days in the Bugaboos Provincial Park. Between trips I recover at home, do homework or write exams, go out to some of the local crags and catch up with friends.
FBC: Sounds like you’re living your dream! Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the season?
Jacqueline: August is prime alpine season so I will be pretty busy in the mountains. I am headed back for my third Squamish trip and might also squeeze in another trip out to the Bugaboos. During my fall reading week in October I have a trip tentatively planned to go climbing in Utah – international travel permitting.
FBC: You sure know how to make the most of your time off! Speaking of, what’s the coolest thing you’ve done this past year?
Jacqueline: Booming Ice Chasm. With travel restrictions over the winter I was doing a lot of exploring close to home. Booming Ice Chasm is an ice cave located on the side of a mountain in the Crowsnest Pass. Inside, is about 200 meters of crystal clear ice that never melts. Fortunately, my partner knew where the entrance was located, and we rappelled into complete darkness, took a few long exposure pictures, then climbed the low angle ice all the way out.
FBC: That sounds wild! You’re an inspiration to say the least. What are a few words that you live by?
Jacqueline: Go big, because it is worth it. I have a lot of ambition that has allowed me to accomplish some big goals, and push myself near my limit while becoming aware of where that limit is.
Huck yeah! Thanks for sharing your #FernieStoke with us Jacqueline – see you at the crag!
To stay in the loop with Jacqueline and all her wild adventures, check out her Instagram page @jac_dube.