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Real Life Chick: Kristi Curry #ClimbingMom

Kristi Curry Red RocksSunshine, dogs, heavy packs clanging with gear, dirty hands, sand…

All these things remind me of climbing. I started climbing on a Colorado Outward bound trip in 1992.  I dappled with climbing through college, then really hit the ground running when I met my future climbing partner at a Starbucks where we both worked in Colorado Springs.  From 1997 to 2004 I was climbing every weekend and vacation.  Our little clan camped and played, climbed and ate.  We got stuck in lightening storms 5 pitches off the deck and had to actively ward off heat stroke at Indian Creek in Utah.  These experiences were intense and fully satiated my scorpio/tiger firyintense personality.  We felt like badasses and it felt good.  We were trad climbers who loved moderate routes.  I loved the meditation aspect climbing provided.  As soon as I would ask the question ‘Belay on?’, all the other noise in my head would quiet and I just focused on each move upward.  I had never been so happy…

Then life shifted…

I was about to journey down some very dark alleyways far far away from climbing crags.  My Mom died in 2006 and it was devastating.  Her belief that I if I could dream it, I could achieve it, protected me from the skepticism and loneliness in the world.  Her death left a deep empty hole in my soul, that to this day, hasn’t fully healed.  Soon after, my new husband and I moved to Seattle for work.  This was a new place where we had no connections, it rained and rained (and rained), and they have these things called glaciers which intimidated the hell out of me.The recession hit and I had to sell my climbing rack, all my crampons, and ice axes so that we had money to pay the rent.  I was selling off a part of me, my history, and I was devastated.

Then, I got pregnant and that didn’t go as planned.  I envisioned pregnancy yoga classes and a midwife home birth.  Instead I experienced the opposite.  In this new dark city with no friends to visit, I was put on bed rest for five months.  My days were filled with doctors appointments and no exercise. I hate doctor offices because they make you feel like you are sick, and feeling sick makes you feel depressed.  The lack of exercise reduced my strong body to an empty shell.  I was so weak.  My daughter was born a month early.  While she was in the NICU, I was in the ICU being treated for post pardom preeclampsia (which is extremely high blood pressure) and then a pulmonary embolism.  Everyone around me was afraid I was going to die, but I was more afraid that my soul was going to permanently disappear if I didn’t find a way out of this hospital to have an adventure out in nature.I was so sick of being stuck with needles.

But the darkness continued.

My body was so weak and I was so tired and we had no one around, no community, to help us take care of our daughter so I could get a rest.  I finally went crazy… no I really went crazy.  I was suicidally depressed.  I remember getting into my truck one night and headed to lake Washington so I could drive right off the 520 bridge and plunge into the cold dark lake.  No one was understanding.  No one around me had ever climbed.  They didn’t understand why my soul had died and they didn’t know how to help.  My light was finally extinguished and I was cold and dark inside, but had to suffer through my daily mundane human life.

Then I was finally rescued.  8 years later we pointed our UHaul east to Colorado and didn’t shed a tear as we drove away.  As soon as we landed on Colorado soil, I took off my Washington license plates and drop kicked them into the garbage can.  I was back… to sun, friends, family, and most importantly to my favorite climbing stomping grounds like Eldorado Canyon and the Ouray Ice Park.  And then I met the Chicks…

The Chicks brought me back to life…

they re-ignited my inner fire.  My husband gave me the Jiffy Ice clinic as a Christmas present but that present was so much more.  To meet these women I had read about in books, admired… I felt so lucky to be in there space (and the space of the other participants), climbing, having dinner, sharing stories not just about climbing but about our lives.  I had finally found a group who understood what my inner soul was screaming for back in Seattle.

That ice climbing trip brought me to Chris Noble.  The Chicks wanted to get some new photos and video so they could update their website and our course was the group who got to be ‘the models’.  I didn’t even know who Chris was at the time… just the nicest, calmest, zen like person I had met in a long time.  Then I heard about his book “Women Who Dare”, who brought me back to Elaina and Dawn, which brought me to the Red Rocks climbing clinic, which gave me the sun, sand, dirty hands and rock I had craved for so many years.

kristicurry2Reading his book made my heart explode.  He talks about climbers being a tribe… how we all look the same and seem to look at life the same, noticing stars in the sky and birds singing in the upper parts of cliff walls.  He talked about the personal tight bonds climbers build when we experience, together, all our emotions: fear, exhaustion, happiness, success. Like Dawn said, everyone is always on their cell phone, participating in Facebook relationships (I added that part), but when we go climbing, we shut off our phones and have 100% real human intimate experiences with our climbing partners.  I wanted to SCREAM to everyone in Seattle who just couldn’t understand, “See! I’m not crazy!  I was in mourning because I lost my people, my tribe.”

I was free.

So I want to say to all the climbing women who are part of this amazing Chicks tribe… continue to kick ass!  You are awesome and strong!  Live your life to the fullest.  I loved climbing with my guy friends, but my heart craves the intimacy and honesty you get when you climb and open your heart to other women.  Like Chris said “I believe there are things in this life that are intrinsically beautiful… like the remarkable grace of women who dare.”  I love you all.  Climb On!

Written by: Kristi Curry
#climbingmom

Chicks On Steep Standstone – Red River Gorge Trip

Written by: Laura Sabourin

Chicks Rock Red River Gorge. Photo by: Brendan Leader.

Chicks Rock Red River Gorge. Photo by: Brendan Leader.

Fifteen ladies joined Chicks Guides Dawn Glanc, Elaina Arenz, Rachel Avallone, and Laura Sabourin for a beautiful Labor Day weekend in the Red River Gorge. The three day clinic was jam-packed with climbing, skill development, and laughter. The participants ranged widely in experience, from beginning climbers tying in and belaying for the first time to chicks alumni honing their trad skills and learning to give the perfect lead belay. It was so inspiring to see the women support each other over the three days to push their limits and achieve their goals.Our days were spent enjoying the steep sandstone of Muir Valley Nature Preserve, a privately owned climbing area in the southern region of The Gorge. Muir Valley is the perfect learning environment for climbers of all levels. The crags host a high concentration of moderate routes to work on new techniques, and the practice anchor stations at the base of each crag are perfect for practicing technical skills.

While the women came from diverse backgrounds, climbing together helped them bond and form life-long friendships. One woman came to the clinic on her own with no climbing experience. As a single mom of two teenage daughters-working full time and going to school- it was difficult to get time off for herself. She had been interested in attending a clinic for a long time, and finally made it work over the holiday. She had many personal breakthroughs over the weekend, from learning to belay to getting to the top of her first route. On the last day, two groups joined together to encourage her to climb a 5.8, her hardest route of the trip. This is the magic of Chicks events; the community comes together to support each other and discover abilities that they never knew existed within them.

Chicks Refueling. Photo by: Brendan Leader.

Chicks Refueling. Photo by: Brendan Leader.

After a full day of climbing, the Chicks returned to their luxury accommodations at the Cliffview Resort. The spacious kitchen offered Dawn space to prepare delicious meals for the crew, including her famous, made-from-scratch salsa and guacamole. After dinner, we bonded over games of pool, relaxed our muscles in the hot tubs on the back porch, and shared stories and pictures in the common area. This beautiful, comfortable staging area was the perfect setting for our clinic. We cannot thank Cliffview Resort enough for sponsoring this program!

Our participants left the weekend with smiles on their faces and a new community of friends and climbing partners. It is always hard to leave after so much fun, but the women have plenty of skills to practice before their next clinic. We are so proud of all of the ladies’ achievements this weekend. Another great clinic at the Red River Gorge is in the books.

Save the date for 2017 when we return on Sept 1-4, 2017.

Chicks Alumna Interview: Dawn Rathburn

We recently had the chance to catch up with a Chicks alumna who many of you have met over the many years she has been involved with Chicks, Dawn Rathburn.

Chicks ClimbingWhich Chicks clinics have you taken? 
My first was the Betty Ice Ball years ago.  The weekend was amazing.  I took the Complete Ice clinic, which was a lot of days of climbing.  Mattie Scheafor was my guide and the last day we climbed the Popsicle.  You go..”one more move, I can make it”.  It was exhausting.  I have never felt like that before.  It felt good.

I have done a few more Complete Ice clinics, a Red Rocks, Indian Creek and Rifle clinic.  Now I am going to do a Cody Ice clinic.    I actually did two Red Rocks clinics and the first time I had a problem with this one climb that had an off-width and a crack through a bulge.  The second time I took the clinic, we did the same climb and it wasn’t a problem at all.

There is a lot to be said for Indian Creek.  It is hard, painful, yet the most rewarding thing that I have ever done.  I didn’t know I could shove my body pin a crack and push off of it.  I appreciate the guides helping us learn and pushing us.  I have photos of my bloody fingers.  Now I know what its like to be called a dirt bag (laughs).  I have developed a love for it since I know how to do it right.  Now I use cracks on face climbs with confidence.

Rifle gave me a whole new level of confidence with sport climbing.  I can use a stick clip on the first bolt so I don’t hit the ground if I fall leading.  I learned to put my brain in a different space so I can do the harder moves.  It was like a reunion with climbers from other Chicks clincis.  I want to go to Greece on my fortieth birthday in two years (stay tuned on future Chicks offerings).  I had never led before.  It felt good to learn tips ant to be trusted enough, to be allowed to lead.

DawnRathburn2What are your goals?
My goals in ice climbing are to learn transitions in multi-pitch climbing so I can climb in more areas, have more opportunities, and travel to other places to climb such as Iceland.

My goals in rock climbing – I may not ever do a big wall but I want to go to the Flat Irons and spend the night on a wall or do a short, easy wall in Zion.  So I need to get more skill sets.  If you have diverse abilities, then you become a better climbing partner outside of a guided situation.

My ski goals – I grew up skiing and switched to snowboarding.  I got bored.  I would like to go into the backcountry because lift skiing is not getting any cheaper.  I would like to get back into skiing.  I need avalanche training.  I would also like to be able to ski to get out to ice climbs.  I used to aspire to alpine climbing but don’t know why I stopped.  I just don’t have time to dedicate to it I guess.  I need to make priorities between work and what I am doing in the next year.  I want more time off.

What do you do for work? 
I am a subject matter expert for a medical equipment company.

Tell me about partnering/networking through Chicks.
For ten years I have climbed with Chicks Alumni, Monica Esposito, who also lives in the Front Range.  There are others too – Sarah, Angela, Kerri.  Kerri went through a rough patch recently and everyone was very supportive of her.  Chicks is a good place to help you out if you need.  We build relationships on Facebook.  We talk outside of Chicks.  Seeing Chicks Alumni get married, have kids and go on adventures – we are super supportive of all.

Any parting words?
My knowledge (of climbing) didn’t just appear.  I learned at Chicks.  It is empowering.  It is a wholly different world now.

Chicks Alumna Interview: Amy Jurries

We love catching up with Chicks Alumna and getting inspired by their adventures – we hope you do too.  Recently we caught up with Amy Jurries.

AmyJFaceShotWhen was your first Chicks clinic?

My first Chicks was January 2008. I came to the Complete as a total beginner.

Why Chicks?

I wanted to learn how to climb vertical ice in order to tackle harder alpine climbs. I liked the idea of learning how to ice climb from women, with women as I learn better and push myself more in a supportive rather than competitive environment. Ouray is a great place to learn how to ice climb as you have the ice park a short walk from town and can run laps all day.

How many clinics do you have under your belt?

I returned to Chicks every year for the next 4-5 years, taking the Complete and eventually the Graduate program.

Why do you keep coming back?

The world class guides, the other women in the program, and the opportunity to keep progressing my skills year after year.

AmyJClimbingWhat have you been doing since your last Chicks clinic?

By my last Chicks clinic, I acquired enough skills to start heading out on my own (with a climbing partner of course). I continue to climb every year, traveling to places like Canada, Colorado, Montana, and even France in search of ice! We don’t get much ice here in San Francisco…. I still climb with many of the women I met at Chicks and consider them among my dearest friends.

Now you are thinking of attending another Chicks event.  What is the draw?

I am heading to Iceland with Chicks this February–can’t wait! The chance to discover and climb in parts of the country or even the world where I might not go on my own was one reason to come back for more Chicks. Plus the opportunity to learn even more from the great guides in a “wild ice” environment. There is always more to learn.

Training Tips for Chicks – #2 Stronger Not Bigger

Written by: Carolyn Parker

Here it is the awaited next installment, as promised I’ll add a few more basic movements and begin a discussion of the positive effects of strength conditioning and how to get stronger without getting bigger.

But first, let’s discuss the tools you will gain the most benefit from using during your strength training. Two types: #1 your own body #2 external objects that are unstable (i.e. not a machine that will stabilize and control the movement of the weight for you).

GSquatWe are all mountain athletes, climbers, skiers, runners, cyclists…. all of these sports require us to move our bodies over land, up cliffs, you name it…it’s moving the body. Therefore, to be more efficient we: a) want to increase our strength to weight ratio and b) gain fitness that applies to experiencing our sport in what can often be an unpredictable environment.

Let’s discuss a) strength to weight ratio. The first thing that pops into most peoples minds is: I need to loose weight. Well, not necessarily, but if you do then that would be the first step. However, the process of getting stronger will likely create that outcome. and b) external object control is a profound and genuine test of fitness. Control of an object while it is being swung or thrown, or pressed or pulled, creates a unique force on our body.  The heavier the mass that can be manipulated (properly), the stronger and more effective the athlete will be at managing their own weight or possibly the weight of a pack, an ice tool, climbing gear, a bicycle, in addition to their own body weight. So let’s talk strength!

First, I must stress that all strength training should be done after an athlete has a good solid foundation, is injury free, and be done under the supervision of a trusted professional if the athlete lacks the knowledge of the proper form for lifts and body weight movements.

So, Chicks: after you’ve done your wall squats, shoulder openers, cuban press (see Chicks Training Tip #1) try a few goblet squats and push ups for warm up.

The Goblet Squat: this is a squat done with a KB held at your chest. I prefer to cup the bell of the KB in my palms to take stress off my thumbs. There are a number of methods for holding the KB. The important aspect of the position of the weight is that it is above your center of gravity creating a greater challenge on the back/core/posterior chain when squatting. Your goal is to not allow the weight to round your shoulders or pull you forward, squat to quads parallel and try to mimic the alignment you learned during the wall squat. Do 3 sets of 6

Push ups: Yes the good ol’ push up. The number one exercise avoided by most women, because either they can’t do them or they feel they are not good at them. From this point forward, if that is your mind set I want you to discard those silly notions and begin to understand that you only have to make up your mind that you can do them, then start training properly and you will.  And, that applies to all strength and sport, find your weaknesses, face them and overcome them by practice and hard effort.

Lay on the floor, place your hands next to your chest, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Elbows point back, activate your core, back, glutes, legs and get ready to push. Perform your push-ups on your knees, or lower on your toes and push on your knees if knees is too easy but toes is still too hard or on your toes, with perfect form and ROM no matter what. Be patient, do them properly and you will gain strength.  Do 2 sets of  5 (warm up).

Now to the meat of the matter: how does one gain strength without mass. Gaining muscle mass is called muscle hypertrophy. Simply stated, most gym routines that people are familiar with suggest things like working muscle groups and body areas, focusing on 3-4 sets of 10 – 12 reps. This old formula is from the days of Body Building and not Athletic Training. Body building is designed to do just that build and shape the body. This is not what you want, mountain athletes want to gain strength with as little mass gain as possible and lean down. Utilizing body weight movements and external object’s.

Let’s discuss just one facet of this goal. Strength. Once the athlete understands the lift, the movement, the skill to be performed and the athlete is properly warmed up. We want to focus on a total rep count for that movement of (12 – 25reps) this can be done in sets and reps as such: 5 x 5, 5 x 3, 8 x 3, 6 x 2. The goal is to find a body weight movement, and external object movement or lift that requires a high muscle output from the athlete where finishing this low number of reps causes near failure (but not failure) on the last rep or two. Failure is that of strength or form, do not let your form go!

Next time you are training try this: I’m going to pick a movement that is often a challenge for women (if this is not a challenge for you, try adding weight to your pull up to effect the same challenge). Instead of doing your pull ups as 3 x 10 using assistance (for example) try to do 2 or 3 without assistance or reduce the assistance so you can barely do 4 or 5. Then complete 6 x 3, or 5 x 5 with at least a minute of rest between sets. If you are fit and have a good work capacity you can do sit ups, step ups, something in between sets as long as your heart rate recovers (before your next set of pull ups) and you are not overly taxing the upper body.

You can use this approach for all strength and power based movements.

We are just scratching the surface of strength training. There are many many elements to cover, frequency of workouts, what type of workout to do when, strength vs. power, what is power endurance. I will begin to cover these topics in the Chicks training newsletters and for more detailed information regarding programming of this nature you can contact me at www.rippleffectraining.com or info@rippleffectraining.com.

Signing off for now,
Carolyn Parker
Athlete Representative For:

Sending Indian Creek with Chicks Climbing

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!

Indian “Creak”

Tobclimbing_Indian-CreekI 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 Anchors_Kitty-Calhounbe 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.

TobSmiles

 

The Adirondacks: Small Mountains, Big Training Ground

With our Keene Valley, Adirondacks Chicks Rock Climbing Clinic in just a few short months, I caught up with Emilie Drinkwater – friend of Chicks and Co-Owner/Guide for Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides in New York.  Emilie has climbed some of the most amazing routes and peaks, is a professional (sponsored) athlete, and an all around amazing person.  Emilie cut her teeth in the Dacks, so as we all consider signing up for the clinic, I asked her to remind all of us why climbing in the Dacks is so special.


Landscape_KeeneValley_EmilieDrinkwater

In 2001 I moved to Lake Placid, NY with $30 in my pocket and no idea what to do next.  I’d recently graduated from college with a fancy degree in Anthropology and African Studies but all I wanted to do was rock climb.  Mostly, I dreamed of all the exotic places I could go to climb (you know, Colorado, California, West Virginia).  Ice climbing, alpine climbing, and ski mountaineering never even crossed my mind at that time so neither did places like Alaska, the Himalaya, or the Alps.

If you’ve never been to the Adirondacks, you should know that there’s a lot of climbing to be had.  A lot as in, more than 3,000 routes spread throughout the vast and pristine wilderness of the 6 million acre Adirondack State Park.  And the quality of the rock is, for the most part, excellent.  Geologically, much of the rock we climb is Anorthosite (the same rock type found on the moon!); cracks, slabs, and faces ranging in height from short, single pitch climbs to nearly 1000′, make for a lifetime of climbing in the Adirondacks alone!

Though the park is huge, Keene Valley and the High Peaks region are often considered the epicenter of climbing activity (but if climbing isn’t your thing, there are also lakes, streams, rivers, trails, and historical sites, to name a few).  My first introduction to the area and to outdoor climbing (during those early days of having no money and no life plan) was on the ever-popular Beer Walls crag.  I fell in love with climbing that day, even though by the end of it, my arms were so tired I could barely grasp the steering wheel to drive myself home.

Focus_KeeneValley_EmilieToday, I’m a full time mountain guide, athlete, homesteader, and writer.  My climbing background on the traditional and high quality, technical routes of the Northeastern mountains has led to adventure, exploration, and sometimes even success, in climbing venues, big and small, around the world.  Though I spend a lot of time in other ranges, the Adirondacks will always remain my home base and the place I credit with introducing me to the pleasure and challenge of climbing mountains!


For more information on attending the Chicks Keene Valley Clinic this Fall, click here.

The Evolution of Dreams

As many of you know, when Head Chick Kim Reynolds takes off her helmet, harness and crampons, she is a Certified Life Coach.  She recently wrote the below article which started my wheels turning, so I thought you all would enjoy as well.

prayer flagsThe information highway is ever-expanding and there seems to be no limit to the material available on the internet.  My friends and family often send me links to articles they think will pique my interest, and I even still get an occasional newspaper article in the mail from my dad. Recently, I received a blog post called “10 Habits of People Who Follow Their Dreams,” and since I want to be intentional about this next phase of my life, I decided to review the column in hopes of insight and inspiration.

I read the 10 statements and it was easy to agree with all of them. However, I noticed the scale was tipped toward the twenty- to thirty-year-old perspective. It is clear that as I evolve, so do my dreams and my approach to them. This particular article is anchored in personal achievements and getting somewhere, that lively conquer-the-world kind of spirit. I appreciate this type of tenacity, yet I am simply observing that I just don’t have that same edge anymore. Over time my edge has softened and my approach to the world has naturally morphed into something new. I don’t want to conquer anything or anyone, anymore.

I’d like to play with a few examples from the list to illustrate how my viewpoints and approach to following my dreams has matured:

Article: They (who follow their dreams) create their own rules instead of fitting into society’s norms. They make decisions from a place of what they want to have instead of what they think they can have.

Kim: I think there is a natural period of disobedience when following rules, and norms just aren’t very appealing. This comes earlier in life when we are seeking individuality and putting our unique stamp on the world. Some of us hold onto this longer than others. It’s out of respect and going with the flow of life that we learn to do the right thing by operating within the guidelines of the structure that has been created for us. If we didn’t have regulations, we’d have chaos. Simply put, most humans just aren’t disciplined enough to stay in alignment with what is right and what is wrong.

I also see a form of entitlement with this generation around the things they want – setting themselves up for instant success instead of having to work towards a goal. There is a deeper sense of appreciation when we put in the mileage to slowly progress up the ladder of life. I think the digital world has offered an illusion that everything is at our fingertips and we can access it quickly, right now.

Article: They (who follow their dreams) see life as a game. Having this vision of life opens up space for playfulness and creativity instead of limitation. This also cultivates qualities of resilience, problem solving and confidence that helps them take risks to get to the next big place.

Kim: Life can hold a wonderful sense of fun and innocence that naturally begins to dim as we age and occasionally get ‘run over’ by life experiences. It is a sacred space to be in and appreciate; we are meant to be filled with joy and a sense of unlimited possibility. This is always available to us and yet we have to learn to navigate the unexpected bumps in the road with this being the true place of creativity, resilience and problem solving.

We gain confidence through our successes and learn profound lessons from our mistakes. There also comes a time when life circumstances become more immediate and we are faced with our changing bodies, aging parents, a shift in energy, interests and even finances. I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t feel like a “game” anymore. It feels like I have really had to step up and be the best I have ever been as I get older and honestly, this is not easy and I want to approach this with as much humility and grace I can muster.

Article: They (who follow their dreams) have teachers, mentors and role models. Having teachers increases their awareness. Having role models and mentors helps them quickly identify where they’re stuck so that they can immediately change their results.

Kim: It can be a pivotal experience in life to have someone we respect and admire point us in the direction we want to travel. A role model can inspire and give us new tools, they inherently hold us accountable for what we want. The shift for me is wanting to mentor and encourage people to shine and be their best. To live my life with the integrity and inspiration that will pave the way for others to go beyond. That, to me, is true evolution.

In closing, it feels important to me to honor change and look at it directly instead of trying to skirt around it. Avoiding the inevitable usually backfires, hardens us and causes resentment. Acceptance and creating new dreams is a place of peace, self-actualization and learning – it is the act of following the water that is flowing downstream.

Kim Reynolds is a Certified Life Coach living in Ridgway Colorado. To learn more about coaching, call 970-623-2442. Read more on her website.

Saddle Up – Chicks are Heading to Rifle!

CanyonShotRifle Canyon, Colorado is emerging as one of the best hidden gems of sport climbing in the United States.  This two-mile canyon boasts hundreds of limestone routes, beautiful views and short approaches. Rifle also maintains quite the reputation and is a dream destination for many sport climbers.

The Chicks Rifle Clinic has been added to the Chicks Climbing’s repertoire because the area is creating a buzz in the climbing community and women want the chance to master this tricky limestone.  “Rifle has a technique that is very specific to climbing on this type of limestone.  What makes it great for Chicks is that, once learned, these techniques are extremely transferrable,” explains Dawn Glanc, Girly Guide at Chicks Climbing who developed the Rifle Clinic.

“Spending several days focusing on a few specific techniques means that you are more equipped to efficiently move through problems on routes in your home crag.  For example, at the Rifle Clinic, we will be working on overhanging routes that are not full of jugs.  Clinic participants can then transfer that skill to easily pull overhanging roofs common in a variety of climbing areas,” explains Dawn.  In addition, Chicks participants will be working on the ultimate transferrable skill, mental training – facing intimating routes, breaking them down and ending the day with a feeling of success.

While Rifle has a reputation of being an intimidating climbing area that humbles even your most aggressive sport climbers (see Climbing Magazines blog), there is also a lot of route development happening in the canyon that allows a wider variety of climbers to visit, but beware, that reputation was earned and climbers can’t just waltz in and expect to climb at the same grade as other places.  “Rifle has a technique that is very specific to climbing on this type of greasy limestone.  In the clinic, we will spend hours working on enhancing skills for sidepulls, open handed slopers, tiny crimps, underclings and a variety of other oppositional climbing techniques,” explains Dawn.  “You won’t believe how this clinic will improve your foot technique!  You’ll be climbing a grade harder when you leave and possess the confidence to continue climbing at several areas similar to Rifle and push your lead grade at your favorite crag.”

Join us in Rifle, September 18-21, 2014

For more information:

Check out new routes at the Rifle Climbers Coalition website.

Rifle Mountain Park Guidebook by Dave Pegg