A Love Letter to My Osprey Variant

Chicks participant crossing a mountain stream wearing an Osprey Variant backpack

High ho, a climbing we will go. Stream crossing on a Chicks trip to Mount Hood @Karen Bockel

The one pack to rule them all.

Ok, I’ll admit it: I have about ten backpacks. They hang neatly on hooks in the garage. Or, I should say, the gearage!

Some of my packs are highly specific to certain activities. For example my Osprey Kamber 40 ABS airbag is for skiing. My Osprey Mutant 28 is for sport climbing.

BUT, if I had to choose one pack, JUST ONE, for the rest of my life, to travel, to climb, to ski, to mountaineer, even for backpacking, it would be the Osprey Variant.

It’s truly the Queen mother of packs.

The Variant excels in practicality. I love practicality! Well-thought out details are exciting. Extra bells and whistles are a turn off.

The Variant is a technical backpack designed for multi-use. Which is amazing! Since I’m always on a different mountain mission: from weeklong backcountry ski hut trips; to guiding in the Ouray Ice Park; to climbing the Grand Teton.

Variant’s very Cool design features:

  • Removable hip belt and top lid, so I can ditch some weight for long days.
  • Contoured hip belt and gear loops, which works well for climbing, especially scrambling when I might want to clip gear directly to the loops.
  • Easily accessible and durable front pocket to store my sharp crampons.
  • Rope fits under the lid, held securely with a compression strap.
  • Further compression straps make sure all my stuff is safe and snug.
  • State of the art ice tool attachments hold any oddly shaped, modern ice tools like few packs can.
  • Side straps hold skis in a comfortable A-frame carrying system that allows access to the lid’s contents AND ability to stuff extra layers in the front pocket without taking the skis off—These are important features when booting up a long slope for a spring ski descent!
  • All zippers are easy to open with my gloves on.
  • Durable materials make it tough. I’ve crawled up chimneys with it. I’ve wrestled through dense brush with it–Hey! If that’s what you’ve got to do to get to a climb, that’s what you’ve got to do! I’ve hauled it with the 3-point attachment system.

What else can I say, but ‘Thank you, Osprey’!

The multi-use Variant backpack takes many abuses and lives multiple long lives.

This pack is technically ready for multi-adventure—a true leader among packs.

Chicks Training: 8-Week Basic Rock Climbing Training Program (First 4 Weeks)

Carolyn Parker climbing in the Sandia Mountains

Carolyn Parker, founder Ripple Effect Training, gamboling on sunny rock, Sandia Mountains, NM ©

For Gals looking to fit training into a busy work/life schedule

Over the years I’ve taught hundreds of women to climb.

By far, their most common “fear,” or concern, is: “I’m not strong enough.”

The truth is no climber was strong for climbing when they started.

Climbing makes you strong. Anyway, not being a “thug” can be an advantage because it forces you to learn good technique, which will get you further than strength any day.

So, practice! Get some good coaching to learn great technique, and then add some strength and you’ll be off to a fantastic start.

Following is a weekly schedule. After that each day is broken down with more specific suggestions, including details for a basic strength-training workout.

If you’re a new climber, avoid climbing on back-to-back days unless you must for scheduling reasons. The following schedule is “ideal” but move days around, as you need, for the “reality” of life.

Most gals need to work on flexibility. Try to squeeze in a yoga class and do a little on your own.

Keep a climbing journal. Track the difficulty and style of the routes you climb: i.e. steep or technical. This way you will remember where you started. It’s easy to lose perspective because there’s always someone better.

8-Week Rock Climbing Training Program

Weekly Schedule:

Monday – Yoga or Active Recovery

Tuesday – Climb

Wednesday – Aerobic + Yoga

Thursday – Climb

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Climb (Outside, if possible)

Sunday – Strength Training + Aerobic

Monday:

Let your muscles recover from the busy weekend.

Yoga or Active Recovery: 45 – 60 min easy walk, jog, bike, hike or other. Stay aerobic which means easy conversational pace, the kind of pace where you and a BFF could sort out a plan for world peace.

Tuesday:

Climb.

Warm up—pick an easy route for you—you shouldn’t get pumped, or not very pumped. Let’s say, for you, that’s 5.7.

Then try this grouping with a total of 7 – 8 routes:

1 x 5.7

2 x 5.8

2 x 5.9

1 – 2 x 5.10

1 x 5.8 (cool down)

The hardest route, or peak difficulty, in this case 5.10, is a climb or grade where you have to hang to figure it out. In other words the route SHOULD take you more than one try. At first, pick routes that are your style. Do not move on because you couldn’t do a route.

Instead, use the route as a teacher. Work the moves, memorize them, and then complete the route. This may take more than one day. That’s ok. You are building the strength to climb at this grade. Once you complete your “training project” pick a few new routes to accomplish.

Note: start at and attempt whatever grade is appropriate for you, easier or harder.

The goal over the 8 weeks is to complete as many routes that are hard for you (routes that force you to fall or hang) AND increase the number of attempts you make on routes of that difficulty.

The key is to consider both goals. If your projects are too difficult, you’ll have many attempts but no completions. If they are too easy, you’ll have lots of completions, but no attempts.

Balancing these two goals, you will learn technique and build strength/endurance at the same time. If a route is too hard, technique falls apart. If it is too easy, you won’t have the opportunity to use new movements.

By the end of the Chicks 8-Week Rock Climbing Training program your gym session may now look like this:

1 x 5.8

1 x 5.9

2 x 5.10

1 x 5.10+

1 x 5.10-

1 x 5.9

1 x 5.8

Wednesday:

Climbing well isn’t all about climbing. You also need a well-developed aerobic capacity to manage recovery while in motion.

60 – 90 minutes hike, bike, ski, run. Stay aerobic the entire time. Again, this means conversational pace but a tad faster than world peace pace. More like how your man can’t seem to hit the toilet when he’s taking a pee pace.

Thursday:

Climb.

Same as Tuesday.

Friday:

Rest Day. This is the hardest day for some. Yes…do it. Actually, rest (:

Saturday:

Head outside. Nothing beats a day outdoors with friends doing the very thing that you are training for. Top rope or lead as many pitches as you can. You should have a huge smile on your face at the end of the day.

If you can’t get outdoors, follow Tuesday’s suggestion for an indoor progression.

Sunday:

Strength.

Basic workout #1, the first four weeks

2 x 8 Shoulder opener

2 x 5 Push-ups

2 x 8 Sit-ups

2 x 30 secs dumbbell push press/30 secs overhead hold

3 x 8 air squats

Then:

1 x 8 assisted pull-up

Rest 60 secs

Then:

5 x

3 – 4 x Pull-ups using the least assistance that allows for full range of motion and good form.

10 x Anchored Supine Leg Raises

Then:

5 x

5 x Bent Over Row – standing

10 x Weighted Windshield Wiper (5 per side)

Then:

3 x

30 sec dip hold

30 sec plank

30 sec rest

Cool Down for 10:00 minutes easy cardio again, foam roller, stretching.

Stay tuned for the next Chicks Training article and the second 4 weeks of the Program.

Intro to Ski Mountaineering in La Grave, France

Get The Goods in La Grave, France

Intro to Ski Mountaineering

Click on any of the photos below for more information on Intro to Ski Mountaineering in La Grave. All photos are from a Chicks trip with Erin Smart in 2017.

skinning up. Ski mountaineering in la Grave

Working for The goods. Skinning up a slope in La Grave, France.

 

Rapelling. Ski Mountaineering.

Rappelling into couloir, La Grave.

 

ski mountaineering in La Grave

Chicks pause for a photo at the top of a couloir way above La Grave.

 

ski mountaineering in La Gave France

Too much fun! Look at that smile. Look closely, you can see tracks WAY down there.

 

ski mountaineering in La Grave, France

Making turns far above La Grave. See ya! Definitely want to be ya!

La Grave snow report. Click the screen shot below to see an updated forecast…

La Grave Snow Report

La Grave Snow Report

A Love Letter to My Patagonia Micro Puff

Kitty Calhoun out testing Patagonia's new Micro Puff Jacket on a recent ski tour in Colorado's San Juan Mountains.

Kitty Calhoun out testing Patagonia’s new Micro Puff Jacket on a recent ski tour in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.

I never thought when I was learning to ski at age 6 where my skis would take me.

How many memories my gear and clothes would hold?

I remember my Dad helping me into a garage-sale jacket and putting mittens on my tiny, frozen hands.

There’s the short, tailored sweater with yellow and blue stripes that I wore as a teenager—a tool to attract boys.

When I started winter climbing, I gave up fashion for the function of baggy wool: a brown, plaid button-down, army trousers, and Dachstein mitts.

Back then we all wore wool because it kept us insulated from the cold even when it was wet.

Kitty Calhoun skiing the East Face of Teewinot , Grand Teton National Park, 1982, in her fashion backwards Army Surplus wool knickers and sweater.

Kitty Calhoun skiing the East Face of Teewinot , Grand Teton National Park, 1982, in her fashion backwards Army Surplus wool knickers and sweater.

The problem was the smell of sweaty, wet wool is distinctive. And, inevitably, before the end of a long day, an ice storm would blow in and I’d be caked—further insulated with a thick layer of snow and ice!

After college new fabrics became available. To save money, I made my own waterproof anorak but splurged on a Patagonia fleece.

Living out of my Subaru, I didn’t have many clothes. I wore this fleece day and night for eight years. I loved it because it didn’t stink when it got wet. It was also softer, and dried faster than wool.

Kitty Calhoun at 14, 158 feet on the Summit of Mt Sneffles, Co, 1982, wearing her homemade anorak and wool gloves.

Kitty Calhoun at 14, 158 feet on the Summit of Mt Sneffles, Co, 1982, wearing her homemade anorak and wool gloves.

Over the years I have tested many different insulating jackets.

Always, the challenge is to find a material that insulates by trapping heat but also breathes. A material that “breathes” means that it allows moisture vapor to move away from your body and your next-to-skin, wicking, base layer.

REJOICE

For a decade, Patagonia worked to answer the problem that when down gets wet it looses its heat-trapping loft, but synthetics are never as warm and compressible.

The Micro Puff is the answer. It’s a synthetic jacket made with a unique patterning construction that works to prevent down-like filaments from shifting.

The result is the best warmth to weight ration of any jacket Patagonia has ever created. That is saying a lot!

BEWARE

The Micro Puff is not a belay jacket.

The Micro Puff is designed to be part of a layering system, which Patagonia developed in the 1970’s:

  1. Next-to-skin wicking layer
  2. Insulating layer
  3. Wind, water resistant/proof shell

COMPANY BACKGROUND

 We couldn’t be more proud to have Patagonia as the title sponsor for Chicks Climbing and Skiing.

We look forward to new adventures in jackets of higher performing materials partnered with a company whose mission includes “using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

Try out Patagonia’s revolutionary layering system at our clinics.

Tracks Less Travelled; First Steps to Backcountry Skiing

back country skiers follow a skin track

Winter wonderland, skiing in mellow backcountry terrain

Walking on skis through snow-covered woods is my favorite winter exercise.

As much as I love carving up a sleeping powder bowl with perfect turns, skiing in avalanche terrain requires more preparation, planning, and partners.

Backcountry skiing is as much about skiing the steep and deep as it is about getting into the peace and quiet of the winter wonderland. It’s about leaving behind the shouts and bustle of the ice park, the constant whir and clink of running lifts.

In the backcountry, I find space to rejuvenate, to reflect, and to breathe deeply.

If you’re just getting started, you should know that there is plenty of mellow backcountry terrain. There are many places where you can avoid avalanche terrain altogether and just learn about walking through snow-covered woods.

Get the Gear

A lightweight set-up is key for enjoying tracks away from the crowds. Good enough is perfect, but err on the side of light.

SKIS:

Lighter is better, and in the 90-105 mm range underfoot.

BOOTS:

Comfortable is better, with a wide range for walking.

BINDINGS:

I recommend tech bindings, which allow free heels for climbing and locked heels for the way back down.

SKINS:

They should fit so that the metal edge of your ski is exposed on both sides, nothing more, nothing less.

SHOVEL, BEACON, & PROBE:

You MUST have rescue gear whether you are in avalanche terrain or not. A shovel, beacon and probe come with me on ALL my ski adventures.

Start Small and Simple

Getting used to your gear will take a little time. But that’s ok because it’s fun!

Choose a groomed cross country ski trail or a snow-packed, low-angle backroad to make your first tracks. Without leaving civilization too far behind, you can focus on learning key movements:

EFFICIENT STRIDE:

Let your skins glide over the snow.

SKIN TO SKI TRANSITION:

Practice going from skin mode, to ski mode, and back again. It’s much harder to make this transition in deep snow, steep terrain and wind. Run through the process a few times in the parking lot, or in your living room!

GET TO KNOW YOUR BINDINGS:

Make sure you understand features like heel risers.

Where is it Safe? Make a Plan

Things look different in winter. Even very familiar summer hiking areas can become confusing when covered in snow. Remember that summer trails are made for summer travel i.e. when there’s no avalanche hazard.

GET THE LAY OF THE LAND:

  • Before you leave the trailhead look for major landmarks to orient yourself.
  • Use a GPS app on your smart phone to help figure out the terrain.
  • Always bring a paper map along for backup.

STICK TO FLAT AREAS:

Chart a course that is well separated from any steep slopes. Small, rolling hills with trees, or the foothills, are a good place to start.

GET INFORMATION:

  • Inquire at the local backcountry store for places to go.
  • Purchase and read a guidebook.

Partners?!

I don’t always remember the ski runs I did, but I always remember my partners—friends who skied with me.

A partner is a great backup if you’re just figuring everything out. Even better is an experienced friend willing to mentor you.

Going alone is ok, too. I do it all the time. But be sure to give yourself even bigger margins for error:

  • Don’t even get close to avalanche terrain.
  • Tell someone where you’re going.
  • Stick to well-travelled paths that will easily lead you back to your car.

Bonus Tip:

Rent gear from a local Backcountry ski store. This way you can try out the equipment and narrow down the endless choices.

Buying Online?

I have bought boots online, but, in general, it’s best to try them on.

You can find Rescue Gear as a set online for the best deals.

Bonus Video:

Ski Mountaineering is “The Goods!”

 

Angela Hawse ski mountaineering in Antarctica

Angela Hawse ski mountaineering in Antarctica

There’s an illicit and secret connotation in the expression, “The Goods.” It’s as if anything that is really good must somehow be too good to be true, in other words, wrong.

Winter has finally arrived and my backyard, Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, is ripe for getting “The Goods.” There’s nothing better, nothing more complete, and nothing more right, than ski mountaineering.

I learned how to ski when I was 17, straight off the YMCA bus, schooled in hard knocks and anything goes.

Free-heeling was the rage; and for years I got more face shots from falling on my face than I got from powder turns.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid 40’s and serious about guide certification that I finally fixed my heel, thus fixed my face-plant problem, and found my calling.

I love climbing mountains but non-technical descents are not very enjoyable.

I’ve found with skiing, I can dance with gravity on the descent, linking turns with the wind in my face. And, cut the time down in less than half!

Ski mountaineering makes what was already fun, more fun, and in large part adds a degree of safety. I’m more nimble. I can move through terrain faster and more efficiently. This broadens my scope of possibility and minimizes my exposure to hazards.

But what I love most about skiing is that that it requires digging deeply. From just getting started, all the way to ski mountaineering, backcountry skiing encompasses big picture stuff like weather, avalanche hazard, communication, and technical skill. It requires homework. You don’t just show up when you go skiing.

Which is why I couldn’t be more stoked that Chicks has rounded out its mountain sports collective with backcountry ski basics, avalanche courses and ski mountaineering for a full line up the mountain and more fun on the way back down.

 See ya on the slopes!

 

Angela Hawse, Co-owner Chicks Climbing and Skiing, IFMGA Mountain Guide

Hey! I Didn’t Die.

Total Bitch. Dawn Glanc wrestling with the first log, 2013 Ouray Ice Festival Competition ©Marcus Garcia

Total Bitch. Dawn Glanc wrestling with the first log, 2013 Ouray Ice Festival Competition ©Marcus Garcia

Many women who take Chicks Climbing and Skiing clinics are not athletic—I mean, they did not grow up being active. Women in their fifties and early sixties (we’ve even had seventy-year-olds) come who’ve had no sports opportunities in their entire lives. Chicks is their first athletic experience, ever.

When I’m teaching a clinic, I’ll often watch a woman realize that there’s another world, an athletic, active one, and all they have to do to live in that world is to step into it.

They wrestle with the contradiction, the shifting mental model, “Hey! I didn’t freeze to death. I didn’t die? I climbed a vertical wall of ice!”

As their guide it’s easy for me to see that what they really did was conquer themselves. They conquered their fear, their fear of heights, of failure, lack of skill, the belief that they are weak. In an ice climb, they grew strong as they pushed themselves out and over their comfort zone.

And, the best part? It was fun!

Two weeks ago, I competed in the Ouray Ice Festival Competition. I’ve competed in this competition 10 times now and each time it’s been a different experience.

At first I was just stoked to be in the finals, competing against the best climbers in the world. I felt like the luckiest person alive.

Then, I wanted to win.

Mixed climbing and ice climbing were my every thought. I trained uber hard phsically AND mentally—visualizing my success. For four years, 2009 – 2012, this dedication paid off with podium spots and cash prizes. I was on cloud nine and felt invincible.

Then, in 2013, I did not meet my competition goal and I became a total bitch.

It turns out my competitive nature is my biggest downfall. In 2014 and 2015 disappointment plagued my entire winter season. I decided to give up competition until I could learn to be a better sport.

I started commentating which came naturally: I knew the rules; I had first-hand experience; I know the competitors; I provided comic anecdotes. However, inside I suffered. I had a serious case of FOMO.

So, I decided to compete again.

Instead of winning, my goal was to be the first elected official to compete in the Ouray Ice Festival. (I was elected to town council in 2016.)

All I had to do was show up, tie in and climb.

I felt I could manage this goal and still feel successful. With this new attitude, I felt free and had fun competing for the first time ever.

Am I back? No. I’m still a terrible sport; I don’t deal well with poor performance. I’m hyper-critical of myself. Competition brings out the worst in me.

However, I met my goal. I feel really good about my climb. Instead of falling, I timed out. And, I stopped along the way to wave at the crowd. This is how I honour the competition that has taught me so much about myself, an event that I will always hold close to my heart.

See you in the Ouray Ice Park next year for some serious learning and some serious fun,

Dawn Glanc, co-owner Chicks Climbing and Skiing, AMGA Rock and Alpine Guide, Mixtress

200 Years of Climbing Evolution

Grivel’s Tech Machine and North Machine ice climbing tools

Awesome Sponsor Gear Review

by Angela Hawse, co-owner Chicks Climbing and Skiing, IFMGA

 

In 1818, the Grivel family of Blacksmiths began to create technical tools for alpinism. These “technical” climbing tools evolved from agricultural tools like pick axes. Despite widespread skepticism these innovations established Grivel as the leader in equipping alpinists to climb more challenging routes in the Alps—and, later, throughout the world.

For 200 years, Grivel has stayed at the forefront of climbing evolution through innovation and, recently, a commitment to sustainable manufacturing. Today, all Grivel products are produced with power generated from 100% solar energy at their small, family-run plant in Coermayeur, Italy.

For over seven generations, Grivel has taken clean climbing to an entirely new standard with their foresight and regard for cultural responsibility.

In 1986, Grivel’s Super Courmayer system introduced interchangeable picks, hammers and shovels (what we call adzes) which maintained Grivel as the technical, ice-climbing tool leader. In 1996, The Machine further revolutionized the design of ice climbing tools by setting the modern curved-shaft standard. Every other manufacturer soon followed suit.

I climb exclusively on Grivel tools and I can say, as a woman with small hands, that there is no tool on the market that works better for me.

Grivel tools are light, which matters for swing after swing.

Grivel tools are well suited for both ice and alpine objectives: One stop shopping!

GRIVEL TOOLS

New for 2018, the re-crafted North Machine Carbon and Tech Machine Carbon both feature aerospace composite shafts: thin aluminum inside and carbon fiber outside with the option of hammers or adzes and blade (what we call pick) of choice (see below). The grip remains small and easy to handle with a perfectly balanced swing weight.

North Machine

  • My personal favorite
  • Lightweight technical tool designed for ice climbing and alpinism
  • Excels on high north faces where mixed terrain is common
  • Tech rated, carbon fiber shaft with small grip and spike for alpine ascents and all around climbing.
  • MSRP $289.95

Tech Machine

  • Designed primarily for ice climbing and dry tooling where vertical to overhanging challenges are more characteristic.
  • Radically bent shaft easily clears bulges and cauliflowers with a stable for shape hooking both ice and rock.
  • MSRP $329.95.

GRIVEL PICKS (BLADES)

Grivel makes four different, interchangeable, picks for their Machine tools.

Hot Forged, Chromoly Steel Blades:

Ice

  • This 3mm pick is perfectly suited for all types of ice

Mix

  • This beefy 4.2mm pick is designed for the abuses of mixed climbing.

*New for 2018 Laser Cut Steel Blades:

Cascade Plus

  • Specifically for ice
  • Very narrow shape easily pierces ice, but also cleans easier

Dry Plus

  • Specifically for dry tooling
  • wider and more burly than any other Grivel pick
  • Downturned tip makes it easier to hook rock

Chicks is proud to have Grivel as a Silver Level Sponsor. Chicks clinic participants have the opportunity to experience Grivel’s high quality products during any one of our ice climbing programs.

Get a New Attitude

Kitty Calhoun climbing the Ice pillar, "The Bone" near Telluride, co

Red rock, a pillar of virgin ice, Cobras and my pink jacket… And some people ask, “Why?!”

Black Diamond Equipment was originally founded as Chouinard Equipment by Yvon Chouinard. Chouinard was a visionary big wall, ice and alpine climber who also happened to be an ironworker.  In his classic book, Climbing Ice, Yvon states,

In 1967 Tom Frost and I not only designed a new ‘alpine hammer’ with a drooping pick, but also brought out an adjustable, rigid crampon…Armed with these new tools, American climbers began approaching steep ice with a new attitude.”

To this day, Black Diamond continues the tradition of supporting a new attitude towards climbing through advances in materials and design of technical ice tools.

Here’s the “skinny” on the 3 BD ice tools that I use (although, there’s a new ground-breaking one reportedly in the works).

Black Diamond Ice Tools: Fuel Hammer, Cobra, Viper

Black Diamond Ice Tools: Fuel Hammer, Cobra, Viper

Black Diamond Ice Tools: Fuel Hammer, Cobra, Viper

*Fuel Hammer – is a high performance tool for steep ice and overhanging rock. Because of its offset grip, the swing is slightly shortened and downward, which for some is more “natural.”

The offset grip also makes it better for hooking on rock and steep ice.

Although the Fuel Hammer is slightly heavier then the regular Fuel, I prefer it on ice because I can bang my palm up against the hammer to loosen a stuck pick. A hammer is also necessary to place and remove pitons in the mountains.

*Cobra – is made from carbon-fiber (as opposed to the aluminum Fuel and Viper), which makes it stronger and more rigid for its weight.  Although it costs $150 more than the Fuel, the carbon fiber material translates into a tool that vibrates less upon impact, is slightly lighter (1 oz), and is warmer on the hands.

The Cobra has a traditional grip, meaning that the swinging motion is more like throwing a ball, and some claim that is more “natural” for them. It has the most clearance of any tool, which makes it better for clearing mushrooms and bulges.

The Cobra is a good tool for moderate mixed, ice, and alpine.  It’s my tool of choice for most of my ice and alpine climbs.

*Viper – is an all-around tool for ice and alpine. It is aluminum, so costs less than the Cobra, but otherwise climbs quite similarly. The pinky rest can be removed for better spike placement on a steep snow slope, and the secondary grip can be moved up and down the shaft, or removed for alpine climbing as well. It is perfect for someone who wants a good, technical tool but usually climbs less than vertical rock and ice.

Black Diamond also has four picks – the Mixed, Ice, Ice Plus and Alpine.

The Mixed pick is thicker for increased strength and durability with aggressive front teeth for hooking.

The Ice pick has a thin nose and low volume tip for minimal ice displacement.

The Ice Plus pick is 2 degrees less steep (more open pick angle) for a more open swing on pure ice.

The Alpine pick is a more burly for mixed alpine terrain.

I asked physics professor, BD athlete, ice and alpine climbing maestro and all-round great guy, Raphael Slawinski, how he would compare the Fuel with the Cobra.  He said,

“It’s a tossup between the Cobra and the Fuel. The Cobra has a more intuitive swing, but once you get used to the Fuel, it swings really well too (especially with the Ice+ pick, which has a more relaxed angle. And I find the Fuel grip more restful to hang from. As a result, I do almost all my pure ice climbing with a pair of Fuels. The only place I use the Cobras these days is in the alpine, where I’m going to be swinging into hard 60-degree ice fields. The Cobras do better on that kind of lower-angle terrain.”

Ultimately, my advice is to take advantage of demo opportunities to decide what works for you, keep a good attitude and keep on swinging.

Kitty

Chicks Climbing and Skiing Raises $4,800 for SheJumps

Bidding at the annual Chicks Auction

Real Social: Good times at Chicks Auction

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. We are so honored.”
Claire Smallwood, Director of SheJumps

Chicks Climbing and Skiing is made strong through support, community and the core value of giving back.

On Jan 6, 2018, the 19th Annual Chicks Climbing and Skiing Fundraiser raised $4,800 for SheJumps, an organization with the mission to increase the participation of women and girls in outdoor activities.

As usual, the evening began with socializing. To keep us hydrated, Ouray Brewery served beer and KJ Wood Distillers made stiff drinks.

Next came our signature and raucous Chicks live auction of sponsor-donated gear, followed with films presented by NoMansLand film festival. Of course, Mixtress, produced by Chicks co-owner, Dawn Glanc, about the coming of age of women mixed climbers, was our favorite.

For almost 2 decades Chicks events have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for women’s shelters, the Ouray Ice Park, and, now, SheJumps.

We are very proud of and grateful for our community. Together with our sponsors, our Chicks family, and all of our climbing friends who’ve joined us over the years to mingle, be entertained and to throw down for great climbing gear, we have raised over $230,000!