We here at PEMBA love the Chicks With Picks and Chicks Rock programs. We love what they do, we love what they foster, and we love who they are. The people in these programs – and here we are talking about their guides – really make them what they are. We heard earlier from Chicks Kitty Calhoun, Kim Reynolds, and Mattie Sheafor, and now we’re getting a season wrap-up from uber-guide Angela Hawse. We feel mighty lucky. And so should you. Enjoy!
It’s mid February and although our Chicks with Picks clinics have all wrapped up for the 2011 ice season, the buzz is still on with the magic of Social Media. Chicks Sightings, post trip emails, photo exchanges, blogs, Facebook and Twitter posts hum and chatter with future plans by budding partnerships and new friends made.
What emanates from a small circle at the beginning of each clinic; getting to know each woman by name, place and reason for coming, quickly morphs to a tight tribe that climbs, eats, dreams and breathes climbing together for the next several days. We become a living organism whose presence in the Ice Park and town of Ouray is barely containable. Our cups are as full as our days, over the brim with enthusiasm that’s a phenomenon unique to all-women’s clinics and one that Chicks with Picks made famous. We work hard containing ourselves, as to not border on the obnoxious with our excitement, but our energy is infectious. Ouray loves Chicks.
This year’s line-up brought another round of new blood and healthy representation from alumni that know just how precious this little slice-o-ice time is. Opening circle stories range from quiet humble introductions, to tear-jerkers of personal tragedies and triumphs, to hilarious gut-busters that break the ice and testimonials from alums that always come back for more. It is an inspiration to hear these women’s stories and an honor to help them along their journey to become better, more self-reliant and skilled climbers. I look forward to this every year.
This year’s cast of Girly Guides included 11-year Chicks Veteran and legend Kitty Calhoun, myself a 10 -year Chicks Veteran, Dawn Glanc 2011 Ouray Ice Festival Women’s Champion and 3rd year Chicks Guide, Margo Talbot 3rd year Chicks Guide, Danika Gilbert 3rd year Chicks Guide, and fabulous new additions to the Girly Guide Team, Susan Detweiler and Jen Olson. Each guide brings their own character, wit, vast guiding experience and a passion for climbing and teaching that makes Chicks what it is.
Head Chick, Kim Reynolds is a visionary and one of the most brilliant organizers I’ve ever known. Her clinics are jam packed with action, heart, soul and productivity. My head spins with the details she’s thought out that set this program apart from any other. Although not the first women’s climbing clinic in the U.S., Kim created the Rolls Royce of Women’s Climbing Clinics and having expanded into the new Chicks Rock realm is really exciting for us all.
Kim’s thoughtful recipe combines a supportive, all-women’s environment that is sassy, fun, focused and has drive. We get stuff done under her leadership and no matter what level women come in at, they leave feeling more self-reliant, empowered, skillful and confident. The icing on the cake is the spirit of service and giving back to the community that Kim injects into the mix. Over the past 11 years, Chicks has raised $170,000 through our Auction/Slideshow Events that’s gone to local women’s shelters and more recently the Ouray Ice Park. Giving back is the heart and soul of Chicks. This years presenters for the Slideshows were The North Face Athlete and Ski Mountaineer Hilaree O’Neill for Complete and Mountain Hardware Athlete Dawn Glanc for the Quickie.
Chicks would not be what it is without the support of the Outdoor Industry that so generously Sponsors Chicks. These companies recognize the spirit of service and the positive things that come from empowered women getting outdoors. Chicks Sponsors include Marmot as the Title Sponsor, Sterling Ropes, Osprey, The Ouray Victorian Inn, Rock and Ice, Patagonia, The North Face, Asolo and Eddie Bauer First Ascent.
Times shared together, tied-in, on ice, rock or snow can be sacred. Words often can’t portray the experience, but those who have had them together know the significance. Here’s to all this years Chicks that fledged in style and have been unleashed! The world is a better place because you are out there doing your thing. And we are glad you shared that with us.
In another month or so the ice will melt and we’ll swap out our tools for cams, screws for draws and switch from spikes to sticky rubber. They say in Utah, you can always tell when spring is here… the license plates turn green (Colorado plates). Hope to see you out there!
Angela Hawse is one of only 7 women in the U.S. to have become fully certified as an IFMGA Mountain Guide. She has guided full-time for 24 years and led over 20 high altitude expeditions around the world, including five on Denali, an all-women’s ascent of Ama Dablam, Mt. Everest, Carstensz Pyramid and Aconcagua. She is an Instructor for the American Mountain Guide Association and has a Master’s Degree in International Mountain Conservation. Her Sponsors are Marmot, SCARPA, Sterling Rope, Mountain Athlete, Metolius and Julbo.