Lily Canavan quit ballet, soccer, skating and swimming so that she could pursue the sport that she claims is “the most fun”, climbing of course. “It is different than anything else I have ever tried because it is so interesting and I love the combination of mental and physical challenges,” she explains.
Born in 1998, Lily grew up in Newton, MA and has been climbing since she was in the fourth grade. Her talent was discovered at a birthday party at a gymnastics gym that had a climbing wall. She was asked to join the gym’s climbing team and has been climbing competitively ever since.
Climbing began as a sport Lily did just for fun, but something clicked for her as a freshman in high school. She became more serious about training and competing and since then has become even more dedicated to pursuing her passion for climbing. She trains four days a week in the gym, competes on the weekends while still squeezing in some time to climb for fun with friends.
The hard work, training and persistence paid off when she placed first in the open division of the 2016 Dark Horse Bouldering Series in Everett, MA. She also won first place in Canada’s 2016 Tour De Bloc Championships. “I loved how the routes were so technical and well set,” she says. In 2015 she competed for the first time in the World Youth Championship in Arco, Italy. Although she didn’t climb her best, she had a great time meeting people from all over the world.
If you were to find Lily at her favorite climbing spot, it would be on one of the many routes in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, but her all-time favorite route is a 5.10c in Rumney, NH called Millennium Falcon. “All of the moves on it are so much fun and there are three different kinds of climbing in one route,” she describes. “ At the end you mantle up onto a slab and do a few technical moves.” It doesn’t hurt that the view from the top is incredible.
The future is wide open for Lily. She’s moving to Burlington, VT to attend college at the University of Vermont. “I just want to climb as much as I can and have a lot of fun doing it!” she says. She also has her sights set on climbing outside more and doing her best in competitions. Someday she will make her dream come true of climbing in Fontainebleau, France, there’s no doubt about that.