Why is female empowerment still a thing? How are we not yet past the necessity to highlight this concept?
Is it because last week our nation swore in the first ever Madam Vice President?
Is it because last week I attended a guides meeting where I was the only woman?
Is it because female guides are still challenged on our abilities, our prowess, our strength, our confidence, and our intelligence?
Or are we past those antiquated concepts but still locked in a cycle of girls and young women need strong female role models? Shouldn’t men and boys be guided by women in the mountains? Don’t all human populations need strong female role models?
It is with these questions in mind, I know what sets Chicks apart.
Because this is what we are. We are a female collective of experienced and talented climbers and skiers, trained and certified guides, incredible role models, and excellent educators with a passion to share our knowledge and skill set.
Because this is what we believe. We believe women build communities through inspiring people to support one another and to realize our potential. We believe by empowering those we are around creates a stronger whole.
Because this is what we offer. We offer a supportive community invested in everyone’s success. We offer an unparalleled outdoor educational experience through camaraderie and friendships that last a lifetime.
I have loved Chicks since working my first program in Cody, WY. I’ve witnessed the transformation of a budding top rope climber into a self-sufficient leader. I have seen firsthand the impact of a remote trip to the massive fjords of Iceland to climb “who-knows-what-this-is/ has-it-been-climbed?”
When Chicks was dissolved over the summer, an overwhelming outpouring of love and affection arose from the Chicks community and the same adoration when she was reinstated a couple months ago. This isn’t just another company. Chicks is a force.
Much has changed in the climbing community since 1999 when Kim looked out over a sea of ice climbers and saw almost no women. Thanks to companies like Chicks, women are now everywhere in the back-country. But we still have a long way to go. Chicks remains invested in the belief of women-led programming. What will always be etched in my mind, what outlines the future of our all female guide collective, is the Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s famous quote: “when there are nine.”
-Lindsay Fixmer, Chicks Director