About Chicks Climbing & Skiing

Chicks Climbing was founded in 1999 by Kim Reynolds to empower women through women’s ice climbing programs.  Her vision led to the creation of Chicks with Picks, which offered the first ever all-women’s ice climbing programs in Ouray, Colorado.

In 2015, Kim passed the torch to four mountain lovers and long-time Chicks Guides:  Kitty Calhoun, Angela Hawse, Elaina Arenz, and Karen Bockel.

Our mission is to empower women through mountain sports, develop community and foster environmental stewardship.

We do this through low ratio group instruction led by the most qualified female guides in the country. Chicks Guides will teach you skills and best practices for rock, ice and alpine climbing, as well as backcountry skiing. You will be leading the way in no time.


Learn more about the owners

KittyCalhounSquareKitty Calhoun
Kitty has an MBA and was a founding partner of Exum Utah Mountain Adventures. She’s also a recipient of the AAC Underhill Award for excellence in mountaineering.  She has guided for 35 years, including 19 years for Chicks. She’s put up first ascents all over the world and is a Patagonia Ambassador. Kitty splits her time between Ouray, CO and Castle Valley, UT.

Angela Hawse
Angela has a BA in Outdoor Education and a Master of Arts degree in International Mountain Conservation from Prescott College.  She’s an IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide and is an Instructor Team Member for the AMGA.  In 2019 she was elected President of the American Mountain Guide Association, the second woman to hold that esteemed position. Angela lives in Ridgway, CO and works as a heli-ski guide in Telluride and is an avalanche forecaster for the San Juans in Western Colorado.  She’s guided for 34 years, including 19 years for Chicks.

ElainaElaina Arenz
Elaina has a BS in Advertising from UT Austin and owns New River Mountain Guides in Fayetteville, WV.  She’s an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, Single Pitch Instructor Provider Trainer, and a Warrior’s Way Mental Trainer.

She’s on the board of directors of the American Mountain Guide Association and was named the Educator of the Year 2019 for her contributions to climbing education and the advancement of women in guiding.

She has guided for 19 years, including 9 years for Chicks. Elaina resides in Las Vegas, NV and loves climbing in Red Rock and exploring the surrounding Mojave Desert on her dirt bike.

Karen-BockelKaren Bockel
Karen has an MS in Physics and competed on a professional level in road biking and ski mountaineering. Originally from Germany, she found her love of climbing in the hills of Arkansas. She is a newly minted IFMGA Guide and has guided for 12 years, including 8 years for Chicks. In 2019 she became a US Citizen and calls Longmont, CO her home base.

GUIDES

Our guides are world-class guides, famous alpinists and the crème de la crème of climbing. Chicks Guides are all trained and certified by the American Mountain Guide Association, the leader in education, standards, training and certification for professional guides and climbing instructors.

We have a deep bench of female Certified AMGA Guides who know the value of training and certification. They take their profession seriously and have dedicated themselves to continually improving their guiding and instructional skills as they lead you through a progression of technical skills.

We are proud to have top tier guides at all of our climbing programs.

LEARN MORE ABOUT All OF OUR AMAZING GUIDES

 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Three of the Chicks owners Kitty, Elaina, and Angela are featured in Chris Noble’s book “Women Who Dare: North America’s Most Inspiring Female Climbers”
  • Independently owned and operated by dedicated and credentialed female climbing guides
  • Longest standing women’s climbing program in the history of climbing
  • More than 1,000 women have graduated from our programs putting in thousands of hours on the ice and rock perfecting their skills
  • Featured in: Fitness, Shape, Rock & Ice, Climbing, Women’s Adventure, Her Sports, Fit, AAC News, Denver Post, Marmot Catalogue, Hooked on the Outdoors
  • $175,000 raised for The Tri-County Women’s Resource Center, and recognized as their largest donor to date
  • Voted Outstanding Community Partner by the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • More than $15,000 raised for the Chicks Ouray Ice Park Fund
  • 2005 Kim was voted Outdoor Person of the Year by Hooked on the Outdoors Magazine
  • 2009 Chicks with Picks featured on the NBC Today Show, Weekend Show and Nightly News
  • 2011 featured on Outside Television’s Winter Women on Outside Today special
  • 2016 featured in Feeln Wonder Women series on the Hallmark Channel

Chicks Social Media ContactSOCIAL MEDIA CHICK:
Megan Walsh

Megan lives in Salt Lake City, UT and manages our social media accounts and a spattering of other awesome marketing activities. She does an amazing job keeping us all in touch with one another and managing all of our media channels.

Her passions include writing, photography and of course climbing and skiing.

Follow along with us: Facebook, InstagramTwitter, Pinterest,

CHICKS WHO HAVE SHAPED US

Kim_ReynoldsCo-Founder
Kim Reynolds

Kim has been an outdoor enthusiast for 35 years and was one of a handful of women to be recognized in the once obscure sport of ice climbing. As she watched the sport grow, she saw few women taking the lead in this seemingly intimidating activity. In 1999, she saw an opportunity for women to learn from other women and gain the confidence needed to become a proficient, self-reliant climber. Thus, Chicks with Picks… “kiss my axe” was born.  In 2015, Kim was recognized for her efforts and inducted into the American Mountaineering Hall of Excellence.

artist Kellie Day, co-founder of Chicks with PicksCo-Founder
Kellie Day – Dayzign Graphics

Kellie co-founded Chicks and created history by designing the first Chicks with Picks logo.  Since then, graphic designer and artist Kellie Day has put her heart, soul, and sassiness into created the entire Chicks Climbing suit of graphics, including t-shirts, ads, posters, websites, and more.  Check out Kellie’s mixed media paintings at kelliedayart.com and graphic design creations at dayzigngraphics.com.  Photo by: Shauna Tewksbury.

OUR UNIQUE DEMOGRAPHIC

We have gathered a unique group of women into our fold from all over the US, Canada and Europe. They attend our clinics and are active on our social networks. They are proud to be part of the Chicks Community and would follow us just about anywhere.

Active on Facebook and Twitter, our alumnae are part of a supportive network of women athletes that regularly discuss gear, crags, technique, nutrition and current events in the climbing community. They are engaged, empowered and a force to be reckoned with – we are proud to call them alumnae and see them wearing the Chicks logo like a badge of honor.