Tobie “McSends” attended the first Indian Creek clinic in 2012. With the desert season only a few short months away, we took a few minutes to catch up with Tobie and learn why the Indian Creek clinic is still one of her favorite experiences. She entitled this post “Indian Creak” as she feels she is old and creaky, yet it is still the perfect place for her!
I registered for my first Chicks clinic, Red Rocks, with about ten or so total “climbs” under my belt and I use the term loosely, some were really more like steep hikes. The experience absolutely blew my mind. The confidence and camaraderie that came from climbing and camping with women, coupled with these phenomenal women they call “Girly” Guides – we’re talking funny, smart, talented women who should all pretty much lead nations and have their own talk shows – helped me find abilities I didn’t dream of. When I heard about the Indian Creek clinic, featuring the guides from Red Rocks, I was in! You had me at Dawn and Kitty!
The Indian Creek experience exceeded my expectations. It is so true, there is something about being in that desert. And the climbing experience was like nothing else. Attributes that aren’t so useful in daily life (skinny fingers, long gangly gibbon arms, ability to conjure a plethora of jokes about cracks) really came in handy! And this sort of climbing did seem to be an equalizer – it was new enough for the experienced climbers and different enough for the athletic folks that there was a universal beginner vibe that added to the bonding that happens at every Chicks clinic.
I loved it so much I went back to Indian Creek the following year. And dammit if it didn’t happen again. All of the excellent stuff from first clinic – awesome guides I want to be like, beautiful, serene setting, challenging but accessible climbs – with the addition of another group of astounding women. It is true – I started doing Chicks to become a better climber and that has happened. But Chicks clinics, and Indian Creek in particular, accomplish much more. They are a chance to be vulnerable, supported, challenged, mentored, entertained (and entertaining for some), humbled, and built up in an environment of strong women and awe-inspiring nature. This is an experience I wish I could gift to every woman – climber or not.
The next Indian Creek clinic starts April 8.