Save Red Rock Canyon – vote “NO” to both waivers!

Red Rock is a place Chicks love! Photo by Dawn Glanc

As many of you know, Red Rock Canyon is a wonderful climbing mecca just outside of Las Vegas. This haven has been under the threat of development for a long time, and an important vote is coming up this Wednesday, Feb. 8 when seven county commissioners will decide the fate of the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Byway. So, we are re-posting a message from the SRR Coalition which you can see in full here.

Vote No to both waivers!
*waiver 1) would create construction traffic route on Red Rock Scenic Byway
*waiver 2) would remove requirement for prior BLM approval
*official county waiver requests at bottom of article.
Click here to have your vote sent to the commission chair and/or go to the county commission meeting at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 9:00 a.m.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the super successful Red Rock Rally!  The canyon received overwhelming support that day, both at LIFETIME Fitness and throughout the canyon as runners and riders rode for Red Rock on the scenic byway in question.  This Wednesday’s vote is what it’s all about.  You can go to the meeting at the county building or you can e-mail your vote (click below).  Attendance was high and supportive at both the rally and community input meeting in which Commission Chair, Susan Brager, committed to denying both waivers, but we still need a majority vote among commissioners, so you can come to the meeting on Wednesday or do the QUICK ONE CLICK method:
Click here to have your vote sent to the commission chair and/or Go to the county commission meeting at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 9:00 a.m.

More info:
On February 8, 2012, seven county commissioners will decide the fate of the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Byway. Will it become the next construction traffic highway for Southern Nevada?  Will the mess and debris of commercial construction trucks penetrate our sacred canyon, and clog it up with debris, noise, dust, and pollution?  *And for the second waiver, will commissioners grant this developer a special favor by helping him with his BLM processes to expedite the process and save him millions in land use fees and rents?

The good news is, several of the commissioners are against waiving these two protections for Red Rock.  Commissioner Brager created the conditions and stands behind them.  But the developer’s lawyers are still at it.  Rhodes’ lawyer Chris Kempfer agreed to these conditions at the last hearing so he could get the votes he wanted, and now he is asking Commissioners to waive them!  Commissioner Brager said she knows that these two conditions she added to protect Red Rock were fair.  She held a public comment meeting for everyone to voice their concerns.  Hundreds of concerned citizens attended that meeting and hundreds more came to the Rally to Save Red Rock.  Susan Brager said that although anyone is welcome to come to the county commission meeting, her position is firm, so not to worry.  They would rather not sit through another 6 hours of passionate testimony because they already know how everyone feels.  They’ll just try to keep the meeting short.  If you can’t make it to the meeting, Emails are another way to voice your opinion. We hope most of the Commissioners will stand up for Red Rock this time and vote no on both waivers.  To those commissioners, we say, thank you! and to the rest, we ask to, VOTE NO ON BOTH WAIVERS!

*Sample letter and official waiver request:

Dear Commissioner,

Red Rock Canyon was not made to accommodate construction traffic and the impacts of urban density development.  The legal land use is rural with no construction traffic access on the scenic byway. Please do not change this. Please VOTE NO ON BOTH WAIVERS:







MP-0313-11 (WC-0099-11) – GYPSUM RESOURCES, LLC:HOLDOVER WAIVER OF CONDITIONS of a Concept Plan requiring the following: 1) no access onto Highway 159; and 2) right-of-way approval from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for primary access is required prior to approval of Specific Plan in conjunction with a mixed use comprehensive planned community on approximately 2,016.0 acres in an R-U (Rural Open Land) Zone. Generally located on the north side of State Highway 159, approximately 1.5 miles west of the intersection of State Highway 160 (Blue Diamond Road) and State Highway 159 within Red Rock. SB/rk/ed (For possible action)

Help the Access Fund by rating grant proposals!

The Access Fund has just launched a new “Rate It” program to allow fellow Access Fund members to be a part of the process reviewing grants for projects that preserve or enhance climbing access and opportunities, and conserve the climbing environment throughout the United States.

The Access Fund collects these proposals twice a year, and then determines which projects it will support through funding. With the new “Rate It” program, you can now be part of the process and tell the organization which projects are important to you!

For the launch of the “Rate It” program, the Access Fund is having its members review the seven grant applications it received in the second round of 2011 funding.

The grants include proposals for access improvements, start-up costs, climber education, and restoration projects. Your comments and feedback will help the Access Fund make a decision on which projects it will support!

To be a part of the process go to to see a quick summary of the seven applications and rate them.

The deadline for rating the grant proposals is Aug. 24, so make sure you stop by and do so!

The Access Fund is also welcoming feedback on the “Rate It” program, which can be sent to

This is a wonderful opportunity to voice your concern for the projects you feel are most urgent and important. So tell the Access Fund what you think!


Inspire others with your story!

ESPN recently launched a new website for women To celebrate the launch the editors are planning to publish a series of stories about inspiring women overcoming obstacles as they pursue their athletic dreams and passions.

An editor from contacted us at Chicks to ask if we knew any women who fit this bill – and after hosting Chicks with Picks clinics for a dozen years, and in our third year of Chicks Rock! we can say without a doubt that YES we know a lot of women like this!!!

Here is specifically what Caroline Hwang, contributing editor requested: “The key is just that she needs to have an inspiring story–maybe she decided to take on the Rockies to get over a divorce or she woke up one day and realized she was about to turn 30 and wanted to start the new decade with a bang. Or it could be a group of best friends or a story about a mother and daughter.”

So – do you want to tell your story and inspire others?

If so, please send an e-mail to Caroline at espnW at chwang08[at]

The website plans to feature these stories for the next year, so if you’re a bit nervous you can take some time to think. 🙂

At every Chicks Climbing clinic there are so many women with passionate stories of inspiration that motivate us to keep doing what we are doing here, and we’d love for some of you to share those with the rest of the world! Thank you for continuing to inspire us, and all the other alumnae!

Poster Plaster winners & a big thanks to all the Chicks Ambassadors!

One of our winning Chicks Ambassador posters, plastered by Margaret Gorman in the Brooklyn Boulders

Jill, our Head Office Chick, has been packing and shipping out Chicks Rock! summer 2011 posters for our several dozen new Chicks Ambassadors across the country for the past two months.

In that time, our wonderful volunteer ambassadors have plastered the posters in climbing gyms, coffee and gear shops across the states helping us get more exposure than ever before!

We want to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all who took part in the poster plaster to help us spread the word about our summer rock clinics.

As we detailed at the start of the poster plaster, three lucky winners will be rewarded for their efforts as Chicks Ambassadors with prizes from some of our sponsors. Among the giveaways are one Osprey Hornet 24 daypack, a pair of Julbo Guide Glasses, and a Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp!

AND, we are excited to announce that the winners of the Chicks Ambassador Poster Plaster giveaway (who were randomly drawn) are: Katie Levy in Pennsylvania, Margaret Gorman in New York, and Paula  Gillispie in Missouri!

Katie is the winner of the Osprey Hornet 24 daypack, Margaret the Julbo Guide Glasses, and Paula the Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp! We will be shipping out the prizes to the same address we sent the posters, so make sure to check the mail for your prizes!

Thank you again to everyone that helped get Chicks posters up in more than half the states! We’re psyched to know there are now Chicks Ambassador posters up in the following states:
– Arizona
– California
– Colorado
– Florida
– Georgia
– Indiana
– Kentucky
– Maryland
– Massachusetts
– Michigan
– Missouri
– Nebraska
– New Hampshire
– New Jersey
– New Mexico
– New York
– North Carolina
– North Dakota
– Ohio
– Oregon
– Pennsylvania
– South Dakota
– Tennessee
– Texas
– Washington
– Wyoming

And maybe more?! If you’ve seen a Chicks poster up in a state not listed, please leave us a comment so we can add to the list! 🙂

Chicks Ambassador Poster Plaster!

It's missing a Chicks Rock poster!

Calling all ambassadors of Chicks Climbing! We need your assistance in getting our Chicks Rock! 2011 posters plastered across the country. Can you help?

How about if we tell you there is an Osprey Hornet 24 daypack, a pair of Julbo Guide Glasses, and a Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp up for grabs for three lucky Chicks ambassadors! Now can we count on your support??? 😉

This giveaway is open to everyone – men and women – since we know some of our biggest fans are the men who climb with the women who have been to a Chicks clinic!

The Chicks Ambassador role is an easy one to fill – all you need to do is fill out this form with your name, mailing address, and the number of posters you would like us to send you (the limit is 4).

Once you get the posters, please put them up at your rock gym, sports store, coffee shop, school, or yoga studio – basically wherever you think there might be Chicks who want to give climbing a try. Once it is up, take a picture of your poster plaster, then post that photo on your Facebook wall, tell us where you plastered it, and tag us at Chicks Climbing. That photo – with the Chicks Climbing Facebook tag – will be your entry into the drawing for the pack, glasses, and headlamp!

Each poster you plaster, photograph, and share will get you one entry into the giveaway – so you can earn up to four total entries!

The contest will run through May 31, so there is plenty of time to get your posters strategically placed. Please allow for up to three weeks for your posters to arrive (i.e. sign up to get yours now) as we work in batches for shipping!

Any questions? Let’s hear ‘em! Otherwise, get started by filling out the form here to get your posters!

And a huge thank you in advance to all the wonderful supporters of our Chicks clinics who will help us plaster our posters!

AAC grants and awards YOU should be applying for!

Are you a member of the American Alpine Club? (If not, you should be!) For those that are, have you considered taking advantage of some of the grants the AAC provides for climbers? You ought to be, because every year the AAC awards more than $50K to climbers and explorers to not only attempt new challenges but also establish humanitarian programs, protect alpine environments, conduct scientific research, and push the envelope of human accomplishment in mountain and polar environments.

The AAC sent us the following information on the grants they will be giving away this year that have deadlines fast approaching. So check it out and let these grants inspire you to do great things outdoors or as the AAC says “Fuel your inspiration—apply for an AAC grant this year.”

Many grants and awards have application deadlines in the coming weeks. Both the Copp-Dash Inspire Award and the Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Conservation Grant have application deadlines of March 31. The Mountain Fellowship Grant—an award targeted at younger climbers beginning their careers—has an application deadline of April 1. The Zach Martin Breaking Barriers Grant—a dual-purpose humanitarian and climbing grant—has an application deadline of April 15. Details on these programs can be found on the AAC website:

Lara Karena Kellogg died during an attempt on the North Buttress of Mount Wake in the Alaska Range in April 2007. The conservation grant established in her name is intended to carry on the essence of her spirit and her character, by supporting expeditions with goals of improving the health and sustainability of mountain environments and habitats. The application deadline is March 31.

The Copp-Dash Inspire Award supports small teams tackling difficult climbs in the great mountains of the world who also plan to document and share their ascents through multimedia. The application deadline is March 31. This grant is sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia, and with in-kind support from The American Alpine Club, Adventure Film Festival, Alpinist Magazine, Sender Films, and the Jonny Copp Foundation.

The Club’s “gateway grant,” the AAC Mountain Fellowship Grant, is targeted at climbers under 25. “The Mountain Fellowship allowed to me fulfill my dream of traveling to Patagonia,” said 2008 recipient Aaron Jones. “I figured, ‘Why not apply?’ And just a few months later I was sitting below the Central Tower of Paine!” The spring application deadline for the AAC Mountain Fellowship Grant is April 1.

Zack Martin died just before his 25th birthday on Thanksgiving Day, 2002. He was a recipient of AAC grants, the Anatoli Boukreev Grant and others. Concerned about the general arrogance and self-serving aspirations of climbers and explorers, he committed himself, first and foremost, to performing humanitarian service in local communities, as well as climbing and exploration. The application for the grant founded in both the name and spirit of Zach Martin is April 15.

Check out this blog from the AAC for a full list of the annual AAC-administered grants every year. Also see the AAC Grants page for more information.

Finally, if you’re not, consider becoming a member of the AAC to both support these grants and awards that send dozens of climbers to Earth’s far reaches every year and to possibly take advantage of some of these opportunities yourself!

Eliz Rocks the Marmot contest!

We have a winner in our Girly Guns contest!

The contest collected a total of 229 votes over the past few days for our 43 total entrants. In the end the winner was Elizabeth for her submission of “Eliz Rocks her first climbing comp!”

Congratulations Elizabeth!

She has won an awesome prize package from Marmot that includes a Marmot 4P Hideaway Tent, a Sidecountry 20 Pack, and the women’s Angel Fire Sleeping Bag – a package worth more than $600!

Thanks to Marmot for putting up this awesome prize package, and William Glenn of Grenaider Design for hosting it.

Most of all, thanks to all the Chicks that submitted photos! We couldn’t have done it without you 🙂

Happy New Year to all!

What’s the buzz? Last week’s gossip report!

Here’s a quick rundown on some of the great gossip and  resources we came across this past week at Chicks Climbing!

All of these are articles we linked to through either the Chicks Climbing Twitter account, or on the Chicks Climbing Facebook fan page (and some on both!).

We hope this wrap-up is helpful to you since we come across climbing articles and other useful resources rather sporadically and know everyone isn’t online all the time, or even on both (or either) of these social media platforms. So to make sure everyone gets access we will be linking to our resources here on the Chicks Climbing blog each week.

Is there something we missed that you came across this week? Please, let us know so we can share with everyone else!

Gear Reviews

Climbing & Fear

Women doing cool stuff

  • – Cool report on Black Diamond athlete Barbara “Babsi” Zangerl cranking out sport crags in Austria this Spring:
  • – “Women With Altitude” a film about women breaking the cycle of domestic violence by climbing in the Bolivian Andes:

First Ascents

  • – American Alpine Journal report on Majka Burhardt’s first ascent of Southern Crossing, a V 5.11+ on the Orabeskopf Face of Brandberg, Namibia last summer

Fun stuff

  • – The most effective ways to bring along booze in the backcountry:
  • – The AAC is hiring – are you up to the task?:
  • – Great opportunity for kids to take part in Outdoor Youth Summit June 19-20 in NYC; limited travel scholarships available:
  • – HERA Climb for Life Colorado coming up June 11-12:

What did we miss? Please let us know in the comments section below and we will make sure to share it!

Making a book purchase? Support the AAC in the process!

The American Alpine Club is a group Chicks Climbing supports as a community of climbers – from boulderers to alpinists – who support the climbing way of life, work to protect climbing locales and their environments, and watch out for one another.
Right now, the AAC has a promotion going on right now with Barnes and Noble that is benefiting the AAC library and museum (the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum) through every purchase you make when you use this code: 10135614 at the checkout!
This promotion is happening online now through May 28! So when making a purchase of ANY book you will see a prompt on the payment page “Is this a Book fair order?” Click on it and enter the book fair ID number 10135614 for Barnes and Noble to donate 10% of the purchase price to the AAC library and museum.

As an added incentive, the AAC is giving away a North Face Spire 40 climbing day pack for those who support the promotion!

To enter you need to forward your online receipt by May 28th to with “I got beta!” in the subject line to be entered in the drawing to win!

So, if you plan on making any book purchases within the next few days, please do so through Barnes and Noble so that you can support this great organization and especially its resources for climbers through the AAC library and museum.

A Fine Balance

DSCN7720by Lisa Nelson
It’s late afternoon when Jason and I arrive at the crag. Looks like rain, but we have decided to hike up the sleep slope to get a few pitches in before dinner anyway We’re exploring a new area in our home state of Colorado, and Zane, or 14 year old son, doesn’t want to leave the van. Arguing seems futile. The weather looks like shit and the hike looks like work, enforcing my decision to let him stay. Besides, our van is “home” many weeks out of the year and he is able to entertain himself quite well. Lately, getting him excited about climbing and spending generous time in the outdoors has become more and more difficult. When he was small, I looked forward to a time when he could “keep up with me”. Now that he is physically able to do just that he wants nothing to do with climbing. Last weekend he stayed home from a weekend trip for the first time. All went well. I climbed without distraction for two whole days and Zane got to hang out with friends. This has been a summer of letting go and realizing he is his own person.

It seems my life has always been about balancing climbing with motherhood. Although I know there was a time when Zane was not with me, I just can’t remember it anymore. I love being Zane’s mom and have no desire to trade lives with the 20- something climber living out of the back of a truck. But I love to climb, and I want to climb well. In my journey of balancing climbing with being a mom, I just wish I had met more women like me. How great it would be to have another family to go to Indian Creek with and trade off kids so the moms could rock those towers! Zane is not new to travel. He’s probably clocked more time in Indian Creek than most adult climbers, traveled all over the Western US as well as Peru, Thailand, Spain, Australia and Mexico. We usually spend several weeks, if not months, roaming the country in our van. Spending time together this way, without material distractions makes us a strong family and gives Zane a different perspective on life. We have been home schooling for the last three years, which allows us endless flexibility.

Climbing in SpainToday at the crag, Jason and I talked about going to Lotus Flower Tower next summer, one of many places I have dreamt about for years. Already I am thinking about how I can make this possible. My immediate family is busy and hard to pin down for childcare, so perhaps a camp. He will be 15 so there are lots of options. Better start planning and saving now, though.

Each summer Jason and I try to do one big trip together, but this takes lots of planning and coordination. Although I feel very lucky to be able to have those adventures to look forward to each summer, I often go into them feeling totally under prepared, both physically and mentally. I find it hard to train for big days like Half Dome when I usually need to leave the crag early to cook dinner or to entertain Zane. Finding both partners and time is always a challenge. My lead heads a continual roller coaster. Parenting often leaves me so completely spent mentally I couldn’t imagine getting it together to lead a hard climb. But I’m realizing motivation will go a long ways, even if I haven’t been able to properly train, and in the end determination plays a bigger part than preparation in the success of my big of adventures.

Zane on 5.11 at Indian Creek (before his hands got to big)Over the years we’ve managed to experience many wonderful places; Elephants Perch, La Esfinge in Peru, Big Walls in Yosemite and Zion, The Incredible Hulk in the Sierras, several peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park, The Black Canyon. Yet even when I am in the backcountry or on a big wall, I’m concerned about being unreachable – a constant reminder that I’m first and for most, Mom.

I feel so blessed to be living this life. I relish the adventures I have had because I have worked so hard to get them. The memories of those trips put a smile on my face and fill my heart when I’m frustrated with parenting and everyday life. I meet many women who have given up climbing to be a mom and when I hear them talk about how they used to be a climber it makes me sad. While their husbands are off on climbing trips, they are content to stay home with the kids, finding other physical and emotional outlets. I guess my life would be easier if going to the gym and scrapbooking filled my bucket. My big adventures are why I can’t stop being a climber and I listen longingly when other women talk about first ascents in far away countries.

I’m happy we choose to live our life a bit differently and want that to be an example for Zane. Even more than teaching him Math and Language Arts, I hope to teach him honesty, responsibility, and how to be happy in life. I want him to know the satisfaction and joy of working hard and digging deep to achieve a goal. I know he sometimes misses his friends in Ouray and part of him longs for “normal” life, complete with TV sitcoms and Kentucky Fried Chicken. He is doing great, however, learning and growing like me. When I watch him socialize with the other climbers and hear their comments about what a great kid he is, I’m proud of him and proud of me. I’m doing it, and doing it well. I’m happy and raising a great kid, balancing the two things I love most; being a mom and a climber.

Tips, tricks, and ideas to make it easier:

*Pick areas that are kid friendly. This will be age dependent, of course.
Western areas include:
Shelf Road
Indian Creek
Joshua Tree
Ten Sleep Canyon
Red Rocks (single pitch stuff)

International places include:
Rai Lay Beach in Thailand
El Potrero in Mexico (single pitch stuff)
Grampians and Arapoles in Australia
Gandia and Sella in Spain

*Go easy on yourself. Do your best, but don’t beat yourself up if you’re having a bad day. I continually remind myself that I climb because I love it, not because of a grade.

*Don’t give up if you have a bad climbing outing involving children. The great thing about kids is that they change. What seems impossible (like taking a 2 year old to Indian Creek) will be fine down the road. At every age there will be both easy and hard times.

*Don’t push the climbing – gradually build on it. I would be psyched if Zane loved climbing like I do, but we have never “forced” him to climb. Bribed? Yes. The first time he climbed the Flat Irons we hid skittles in the cracks! Get creative and try to incorporate favorite games into this great learning experience.

*Climb in a party of three whenever possible. This will make it incredibly easier on everyone. Since you’re either belaying or climbing with a pair, three people allows a nice break when needed. This way I can enjoy time with Zane, reading or playing.

*Bring lots of entertainment to the Crag. Zane has a bag FULL of goodies…books, art supplies, hula hoops, juggling rings, juggling rings, poi, throwing knives, even those evil handheld devices. We recently added a unicycle and a mountain board to his bag of tricks.

*A two way radio has been a great investment. If Zane wants to wander down to the van early, I can still connect with him. In Thailand, we took one up on a multi-pitch. He thought it was a blast to talk to us while we were up there.

*Own a van. We own a campervan and although it’s not a cheap vehicle it has been our most treasured investment. I would sell my house first! This one thing has been the biggest reason we are able to live the life we do. Our life would just not work with a tent.

*Get out with the gals. Make sure you have time to yourself, away from the husband and kids. It’s great for me to be on the sharp end with no distractions.

*Have time alone with your significant other. We plan one trip together each year and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

*Be OK with a bored or grumpy kiddo. They are not going to be happy 100% of the time regardless of where you are. I would rather Zane be bored in a beautiful place than sitting at home in front of the TV. Downtime leads to creativity.

*Lastly, relish the time you have with your children in these spectacular places. Some of my best memories are of hanging out in the van at camp with Zane at Indian Creek or Joshua Tree. There is no house to clean, no laundry to do, we are just spending time together. As he grows up, I cherish the memories we share and look forward to making more.