Meet Canadian Rock Climber Alannah Yip

Canadian rock climber Alannah Yip, who was born on October 26, 1993, is a competition climber. When she was twelve, she won the title of national champion in her age group.

At the 2020 American Climbing Championships in Los Angeles, she took home a gold medal, earning her a spot in the Tokyo Summer Olympics, as well as she is also qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Canadian Sports Climber Alannah Yip is Qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024

In the year 2023, Alannah Yip was chosen as one of the athletes to be on Team Canada for Sport Climbing at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. She was one of ten athletes picked for the sports climbing team. The athletes were picked based on their ranking in the world compared to other athletes from countries in the Pan American region. Her participation helped her ranking in the 2023 IFSC World Championships in Bern, Switzerland.

This Pan American Games event was very important because the top-ranked athletes could earn a spot to go straight to the Olympics. Alannah Yip qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games by doing well at this event.

“I’m so happy and proud to have won the first sport climbing medal at a major Games for Canada. I’ve been climbing for a long time, and I’ve seen the sport go through many stages. When I was a kid, I never imagined climbing would be part of the Olympics or major Games, and now I’ve been to both and won a medal. It’s incredible.”

After the event, Yip commented

Alannah Yip’s Early Years with Her Siblings and Parents

Alannah Yip was born on October 26, 1993, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Her dad’s name is Doug and he works as an engineer. Her mom’s name is Moira and she is a family doctor. Alannah has a younger brother named Trevor. When Alannah was a kid, she spent a lot of time with Trevor learning new things, building stuff, and finding solutions to problems.

Alannah Yip with her Mother
Image: Young Alannah with her Mother (Source: Alannah’s Instagram)

In 2015, Alannah went to Switzerland for her studies. While in Switzerland, she got chances to practice climbing with the Swiss national climbing team in her free time. After coming back to Canada, Alannah started training with a group called “Climb Base 5” to get ready for the World Cup climbing events happening the next year.

In 2018, Alannah finished her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of British Columbia. Her coach in 2018 was named Andrew Wilson. The company Petro-Canada has been supporting Alannah. 

Beginning of Alannah Yip’s Climbing Career

Alannah Yip first tried climbing when she was 6 years old. At age 9, she took a course to learn climbing. Alannah then joined a local youth climbing team and started competing when she was 10 years old. Her idol is Clara Hughes, who also got support from CAN Fund for being a great athlete and for speaking openly about mental health issues.

Alannah began climbing at age 9 because her godparent’s kids got interested in climbing. She won her first National Climbing Championship title when she was 12 years old. Alannah studied to become an engineer, focusing on mechatronics. She tried to stop climbing for some time to focus on her university studies but later realized climbing was very important to her.

In 2016, Alannah competed in the IFSC World Cup circuit. She mainly took part in bouldering events, but sometimes also competed in lead climbing and speed climbing events. From 2007 to 2012, she participated in the IFSC Youth World Championships.

In 2017, Alannah became the first woman to climb a very difficult 5.14a level sport route called Pulse in Canada. That same year, she became the first Canadian woman to make it to the finals round of an IFSC World Cup event at the Chongqing Bouldering World Cup. Alannah has won the Canadian national championship 7 times, making her one of Canada’s most successful competitive climbers ever.

In 2018 at the IFSC World Championships, Alannah secured 13th position in Bouldering, 51st in Lead Climbing, 37th place in Speed Climbing, and 15th in the Combined event.

In 2019 at the IFSC World Championships, Alannah got 7th position in Bouldering, 38th in Lead Climbing, 29th place in Speed Climbing, and 18th in the Combined event.

Alannah Yip Olympics Journey So Far

In 2020, Alannah Yip won the Pan American Sport Climbing Championships in Los Angeles. By winning, she earned a spot to go to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Alannah also became the first female climber from Canada to make it to the finals of a World Cup event.

Alannah finished the competition with a score of 15 points. Alejandra Contreras from Chile got the silver medal with 36 points. Lauren Bair from the United States got the bronze medal, also with 36 points. The final round had 8 climbers. The winner was given a spot to go to the Olympics if their country had not already used up all their spots.

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In 2023, Alannah Yip was chosen as one of the athletes to represent Team Canada in Sport Climbing at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. She was one of 10 athletes picked for the climbing team. The athletes were chosen based on their ranking compared to other athletes from countries in the Pan American region. Alannah’s ranking was helped by her performance at the 2023 IFSC World Championships in Bern, Switzerland.

Alannah has a Condition of Alopecia

In 2024, Alannah Yip got hit by a disorder.

“Out of nowhere in early December, my hair started falling out fast. In 4 weeks, I lost most of my hair. The little hair left was so dry and weak, I was almost scared to touch it. It took a very long month to see a skin doctor and get diagnosed with generalized alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder where my immune system attacks my hair follicles. I am now taking medicine to try to stop my body from attacking itself, but there is only a 60% chance it will work.”

She said

“So many times I stood in front of the bathroom mirror holding my fallen hair, crying and feeling like I was coming apart from the inside. At first, losing your hair feels like losing a part of yourself. It took me a long time to truly understand that my hair has nothing to do with who I am as a person.”

Alannah said