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
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 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.
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 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.
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.
CHICKS WHO HAVE SHAPED US
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.
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.