SCBC Volunteer Becomes First Canadian Mountain Guide to Earn PhD



Central Saanich, BC – Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC) Vice President and Boulders Climbing Gym Chair Kimanda Jarzebiak is very pleased to announce that SCBC and Boulders volunteer Iain Stewart-Patterson of Kamloops has become the first Canadian-born, Internationally certified mountain guide to earn a PhD.

Stewart-Patterson, President of the Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC), is a certified Mountain Guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and is also a Senior Lecturer with Thompson Rivers University in the Adventure Studies Department. 

He is now one of 10 fully certified mountain guides in the world to currently also hold a PhD, and the only one to call British Columbia, and Canada their home.

Stewart-Patterson’s PhD is notable in the climbing and guiding field because his research focused on risk management, specifically the role that a guide or climbing instructor’s intuition plays in managing guests in a risk environment. Based on his results, he is now proposing changes in the way instructors and guides are trained, in order to accelerate and refine the development of decision expertise. 

“Iain has been one of our most valuable volunteers, creating a competition belaying program that is the first of its kind in North America,” said Jarzebiak.  “This has helped us safely host numerous events, including the World Youth Championships in 2013 and the just completed 2014 SCBC Provincial Championships.”

Stewart-Patterson lives in Kamloops with his wife Deb, and their two children, Robert and Alison, train at the Boulders.

Robert, Iain and Alison

Robert, Iain and Alison

About Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC)

The Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC) was established in 2012 to be the Provincial Sport Organization for competition climbing in British Columbia and to foster and promote the growth of competition climbing throughout the Province.  Learn more at

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About The Boulders Climbing Gym
The Boulders Climbing Gym is a not-for-profit society, with the mandate of making climbing accessible for everyone, regardless of ability or ability to pay.  With over 13,000 square feet (1,208 square metres) of climbing space, The Boulders Climbing Gym is a community facility and a unique social enterprise, providing adaptive recreation and rehabilitation programs, youth recreational and competitive programs, as well as facilitating a climbing academy at Stellys Secondary School.  All instructors are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. See for more details.


Mr. Christian J. Stewart
Phone: 250-744-7277

The Boulders Climbing Gym