Giving thanks & the gift of Chicks!

Here on the Chicks Climbing Gossip Report you can catch up on all of the great gossip (articles, videos, and other assorted cool stuff) we talked about over the past week at Chicks Climbing. As we approach the crushing madness that is the holiday season, remember that the gift of a Chicks clinic is definitely one that will continue to give for years to come! So think about signing up your sister, mom, aunt, cousin, girlfriend – whoever it is that’s special to you – for a life-changing experience at Chicks with Picks!

Last week we posted the awesome video “selling” Chicks that Outside TV made. If you haven’t seen it yet you can check it out here.

We also had a wonderful new post from Nicky Messner who talked about the impetus that brought her to change her life and get hooked on climbing. Check it out and learn about her upcoming Kilimanjaro women’s expedition in June here.

All of the other articles we linked to this past week through either the Chicks Climbing Twitter account, or on the Chicks Climbing Facebook fan page (and some on both!). We provide this wrap-up because we come across a TON of great resources each week, but understand that not everyone is online all the time, or even on both (or either) of these social media platforms. So you can check here each and every week for the latest and greatest in Chicks Climbing resources.

However, we know WE may have also missed some cool stuff this week, so if there is something of interest we missed that you came across this week please, let us know so we can share with everyone else!

– “Success because we failed” – quote from a GREAT blog by Janet Bergman on summer expedition to India:
– Some good tips from Vertical Girl’s Girl Beta on moving your bouldering outdoors:
– The New Ouray Ice Park Winter Guide is up!
– Insane friction climbing – check out Beth Rodden on the Kauk Slab:
– Holy BADASS! Check out this video of Thomasina Pidgeon sending Chbalanke and Dark Age in Hueco (V12 & V11):
– Awesome video of Jenn Fleming doing the FFA of “Fraid Line” a 5.13R:
– Possible FA. Still waiting on confirmation, but here it is!
– SWEET video of Emily Harrington (@emilyaharringto) sending Waka Flocka 5.14b in Rifle last month!
– Carabeiner clipping tip for sport climbers from AAI (@AlpineInstitute):
– Some tips on practicing a fall from Climbing Magazine (@ClimbingMag):
– Erica gives a great play-by-play of “Dave the Dude” 5.11d at the Red:
– Fun interview with Adam Market on Climb Find (@ClimbFind):
– Best 5 Places to Go Ice Climbing and Winter Hiking in New Jersey –
– Anyone else excited to see what Sarah Garlick & Majka Burhardt get up to here?:

– This week’s climbing, skiing & outdoor news from AAI (@alpineinstitute):
– A really cool opportunity for teachers to take seminars & training sessions in Denali:

– The Merrell Wilderness Remix boots gets a thumb’s up from Jill (@geargals):
– Chicks gear tester Sara said of Columbia Sportswear’s (@Columbia1938) Windefend™ Half Zip biking on Gooseberry Mesa “it breathed well & cut wind!”
– The baselayer midweight stripe tight from sponsors Columbia Sportswear (@Columbia1938) kept tester Sara nice & warm while skiing Red Mtn. Pass

MUST READ: An honest post from Sarah Hueniken on trusting yourself and learning from ‘failure’: 

Trip Reports
– Emilie Drinkwater wraps up the Karakoram Expedition trip report
– Nina Caprez on the Petzl RocTrip to China:
– Nice TR from Erica (@Cragmama) on a recent weekend at the FANTASTIC Red:
– Great report of the Chouinard-Herbert route on Dreaming in Vertical (@Dreaminvertical)

Fun Stuff
– A classic from the Alipinist (@AlpinistMag) archives in honor of indoor (gym) rock climbing season kicking off:
– Great new post from Jenn Fields (@JennFields) on learning a sport from your significant other:
– How to prep for Thanksgiving gluttony: (Bad) tips for exercising into calorie debt, steely abs:
– More fun from Brendan (@Semi_Rad) on how to add some flair (pizzazz or jack-assery) to your outdoor photos:

If you have a blog entry that you think would be of interest to the women of Chicks Climbing please let us know! We love getting contributed content from other women – anything from trip reports, nutrition and training tips, to videos. We want to share your resources with the community – much like we do with the Gossip Report and are more than happy to re-publish and share links on behalf of the women’s climbing community!

This week’s Gossip Report is brought to you by our sponsors at Columbia Sportswear!

Chicks on Outside TV!

Last week Outside Television posted a video they made about Chicks with Picks, which will officially be in its 13th year in 2012! We were super psyched to see the video go live now especially because we are really starting to get ready for the upcoming ice climbing season and Chicks with Picks clinics this winter. If you’ve ever been to a Chicks with Picks clinic you’ll definitely relate to the video – and if you haven’t, it just may push you to take that step and come out and join us for some ice climbing fun!

So, check it out:

Here are our Chicks with Picks clinic dates for 2012 – sign up or let us know if you are interested sooner rather than later to make sure you get a spot!

The Sampler
Jan. 13–16, check out the 17th

The Complete
Jan. 25–29, check out the 30th

The Quickie
Feb. 3-5, check out morning of the 5th

The Graduate
Feb. 3-6, check out the 7th

We hope to see you this winter in Ouray! 🙂

The evolution of Cragmama

Cragmama and Cragbaby, photo by Eric Heistand

We are thrilled to have scored an interview with Cragmama, aka Erica Lineberry, a woman who as mother to 1-year-old Canaan has continued to feed her passion for climbing both before and after Canaan’s birth. Erica has been documenting the ways she’s been successful (and not so successful) including Canaan the “Cragbaby” in her climbing pursuits on her website She recently took the time to answer some questions from us about how her climbing life has changed, and how she hopes to inspire and motivate other new mothers to remain active in their outdoor pursuits! Read on to learn more about Erica and Cragbaby!

NameErica Lineberry
Age: 30
Years climbing: 5
Favorite type of climbing: Long sport routes
Children: Just 1, Canaan (aka Cragbaby)

Cragmama climbing, photo by Manuela Eilert

Tell us about your website and how it has been evolving. I started a blog back in 2009 so that I’d have a place to post trip reports and other random musings about climbing and life.  During my pregnancy and Cragbaby’s early weeks my husband and I realized that we were at a stage where a lot of people give up on play, and get locked into a rut of everyday living.  I started writing more and more, hoping to provide some inspiration and motivation to others out there who wanted to remain active throughout pregnancy and beyond.  The hits on the site kept coming, and I realized that I might be onto something, so I jumped in head first to a total site redesign – and hence was born!  My goal at Cragmama is to become an online resource for fellow nature enthusiasts that believe starting a family doesn’t mean the end to outdoor adventures!  Though I haven’t been a Mommy nearly long enough to qualify as an expert in the fields of wilderness, parenting, or rock climbing, through my experiences I’ve stumbled upon some good nuggets of what to do (and often what NOT to do) when it comes to kids, climbing, and the outdoors.  I figure if these ideas work for our family, odds are they might work for other families too!

Did you continue climbing while you were pregnant? YES!  Climbing played an integral part in maintaining my sanity during my pregnancy!  I climbed (both outdoors and indoors) throughout my entire pregnancy, the last time I roped up being less than 48 hours before going into labor!  I restricted myself to only toproping early on, and once my belly got big I wore a full-body harness to take pressure off of my abdomen.  I also didn’t want all that extra pregnancy flexibility to cause any injuries, so I never fought really hard to stay on.  My initial goal was to see how long I could climb 5.11’s clean, and then I figured I’d drop down to 5.10’s, and then 5.9’s, assuming that at some point climbing would become too uncomfortable to be fun.  Week by week I just kept going, dutifully logging my 5.11’s, sometimes only one per climbing session…all the way up until 38 weeks, when Cragbaby decided to show up early!  I found that my abilities to climb well were very dependent on style – I could flail on an overhanging 5.9 I’d done a hundred times, but flash a 5.11 that was vertical and more technical in nature.  I was shocked that I made it through managing to still climb relatively hard, but I attribute my smooth labor, delivery and recovery in large part to remaining active during my pregnancy.

Note: Here’s a link to a piece Erica wrote about climbing while pregnant, published by Women’s Adventure magazine.

Canaan the Cragbaby! Photo by Steve Lineberry

How long was it after Cragbaby was born before you tied into a rope again? I wanted to take a few weeks for my body to heal, but by 4 weeks post partum I was going nuts, so we hit the rock gym.  Cragbaby’s first outdoor day trip was at 6 weeks, overnighter at 10 weeks.

How has your climbing changed since Cragbaby was born? Everything has to be planned out a lot more – no more stalking the weather all week with the hubster and deciding Friday after work where we want to spend the weekend!  We have to rely a lot more on other people now, which sometimes makes for some hectic scheduling, but is also great for our social life!

How do you handle bringing Cragbaby along to the crag (day trips and overnighters)? Without a doubt the biggest key for any type of trip is extra hands on deck!  Especially now that he’s older and more mobile, someone always has to be on “C-duty.”  For day trips we try our best to coincide long car rides with nap times, and Cragbaby has always slept great in the tent, so overnighters have never been a problem (in the early months he slept longer stretches in the tent than he ever did at home!)

What have you found to be most challenging about climbing with Cragbaby? Everything takes a lot longer now.  We have easily twice as much gear to carry with us, and packing everything up takes a lot of time.  In the beginning we forgot a lot of things, but now we are pretty set with our system and I feel like we’ve gotten pretty efficient.

What is the most rewarding part of having Cragbaby along? I love the wonder that can be found in the simplest of moments – watching him gaze up with wide-eyes out of the top of the carrier at the light filtering through the trees, laughing at the horribly melodramatic faces he makes as he learns that dead leaves aren’t for lunch, or hearing the subtle giggle he makes from the inside of my rain jacket as we pack up our climbing gear during a surprise shower.

What advice would you give to new moms looking to pick up their outdoor activities? Start now, regardless of what age your kid(s) are. Don’t wait for a “better” or “easier” age to do it. Each age will have its own challenges, but also its own unique rewards. Some days it’s a lot easier to stay inside, but “easier” isn’t what memories are made of – so don’t be afraid to get out there!

Here is a video by Jan Balster telling the story of Erica, Steve, and Cragbaby Canaan. A really nice piece that shows how having a baby didn’t mean an end to the family’s active lifestyle!

Creating a Crag Baby from JB-Photo on Vimeo.

Thanks for your time, Erica! Please check out Erica’s website – she updates it several times a week with all sorts of goodies including trip reports and gear reviews, so it’s a great resource for those who don’t have kids, or whose kids are off and grown. No matter who you are, there’s a wealth of information to be found here! 🙂

You Are Who You Hike With

Photo from The Women's Wilderness InstituteToday we are going to introduce you to Lori, who is the mother of “Little L” who will be heading into her third summer in The Girl’s Wilderness Program at The Women’s Wilderness Institute in just a couple of months.

Continue reading to see Lori’s testament to the program – and how it’s changed her daughter. And if you missed yesterday’s post introducing you to The Girls’ Wilderness Program, you can check that out here.

Mother & Daughter

A Mother and Daughter’s Experience with The Women’s Wilderness Institute and The Girl’s Wilderness Program

Wow, what can I say? These women are amazing! When I grow up, I want to be just like them!

My daughter, an only child, goes to a prestigious private school for girls in the northeast.

We are very fortunate to be in that academic environment and benefit from all of the gifts it offers. There is a difference in class that is evident.  We cannot afford the luxuries that most of the families enjoy on a daily basis. I have the oldest auto in the car line. I grew up in this wealthy town, there’s not even a chance that I would be invited to the next Junior League Charity Ball.

It is where I grew up, left after high school, spent the next twenty years in the west.  I loved rock climbing and hiking in the canyons. I wanted my daughter to have that amazing experience.  I found out about the program through my favorite librarian.

I hesitated to call thinking, how was I going to afford all of that equipment? it’s crazy! Forget it.

But, somehow my women’s intuition led me to call, and Im glad I did.

My first call was with Lori Matthews who is a top notch professional. She gave me parent contacts to get the real low down (the parents were really nice too, one offered to pick my daughter up from the airport for me). Lori’s friendliness and knowledge about the program made me comfortable. I was impressed by her consistent follow-up and attention to details.  It was unbelievable we didn’t have to go out and buy everything! We could borrow sleeping bags, tents, jackets, hiking boots, etc.

I liked the fact they had a Latino program, a mother-daughter program, women’s program, etc. Their staff were fully certified in wilderness first responder very experienced and program had very little or no turn over.


The changes I saw in my daughter after her first summer with The Girls’s Wilderness Program…she definitely appeared more motivated in all areas of her life, more outspoken and with the courage to think and speak for herself!

After the second summer she continued building on prior skills and now appears to really understand natural consequences of her actions and taking initiative to change. She’s forming close friendships with her girlfriends, finding trust, and bonding in times of crisis.

This summer will be my daughter’s third summer with The Girl’s Wilderness Program. (And we will hear from “Little L” herself tomorrow! :))

The Girls’ Wilderness Program at TWWI

We are going to spend the next three days talking about our good friends at The Women’s Wilderness Institute. Today we are going to give you an introduction to who they are, and what programs they are running for girls this year. Tomorrow we will hear from Lori, the mother to “Little L” who is going on her third summer participating in The Girls’ Wilderness Program, who we will hear from on Friday.

So, what is The Women’s Wilderness Institute and what are they looking to help girls achieve this summer?

The program

The Girls’ Wilderness Program, offered by The Women’s Widerness Institute, is designed to build the strength and resilience girls need to effectively negotiate the challenges of contemporary female adolescence, and the leadership skills to create positive futures for self and others.

The visionary program model is designed to meet the specific needs, issues, and learning styles of adolescent girls as well as to develop the self-efficacy, self-confidence, leadership skills, and capacity for authentic relationships that have been shown to be significant protective factors for girls.

The program serves a racially and economically diverse population of girls, ages 8-18, on 1- to 12-day wilderness-based courses of backpacking, rock climbing, and expressive arts. Course activities are facilitated within a program model that builds courage, confidence and leadership skills, and helps each girl express her authentic voice.

The original model of teaching decision-making, designed to build self-awareness, critical thinking skills, and the ability to make self-affirming choices uses the many choice-points of a wilderness expedition to give girls the skills and self-awareness to make choices that are in their own best interest, and based on their personal beliefs and values rather than the expectations of others or impulsive decisions. This awareness and ability to express personal values and needs is directly related to girls’ ability to make positive choices in their life.

A key element of the program is the role-modeling component; caring adult women leaders with the capacity for authentic relationships. Research shows that modeling is an effective pathway to self-efficacy, and the degree of perceived similarity of the role model to one’s self (i.e. same gender) is a key factor.


Three outcome studies conducted by independent researchers have validated the efficacy of this program model. The first two found that The Girls’ Wilderness Program had a statistically significant positive impact on participant’s self-confidence, self-esteem, and ability to initiate action. The second study also found an increased positive body image and body acceptance. The third revealed positive changes in the girls’ sense of self including perceived academic competence and self worth.

The Women’s Wilderness Institute is committed to offering this program to any girl who wishes to have this experience, and serves girls of all races and economic backgrounds. In the history of the organization, no girl has been turned away for lack of funds. In 2011, TWWI will serve approximately 140 girls and anticipate that half of our participants will qualify for full or partial scholarships.

2011 calendar

What programs are available in The Girls’ Wilderness Program? Looks like some rock climbing, leadership courses, wilderness expeditions and MUCH, MUCH more. Click here to see all of what’s on tap for the summer of 2011!

Stay tuned tomorrow to hear from Lori about the decision to send her daughter to The Girls’ Wilderness Program, and check back on Friday to hear from “Little L” about how each experience in The Girls’ Program has been a life changing event!

Testament to Chicks via Outdoor Women’s Alliance

Anne on Physical Graffiti, Photo by Dawn Glanc

Last week the Outdoor Women’s Alliance featured Chicks Climbing with a week of articles dedicated to our organization.

Through the *magic* of social media (which we LOVE, naturally!), one of the participants of our recent Red Rock Chicks Rock! clinic found the Outdoor Women’s Alliance on Facebook and sent them a message about her time at the clinic.

The Outdoor Women’s Alliance published Anne’s letter (which we are also sharing below) along with this note: “This message is a testament to the organization’s ability to teach every skill level in a personalized way and keeps you motivated to keep pushing yourself long after your time with them is done.”

Here is Anne’s story:

The years were slipping by, the gear was waiting, taking up valuable real estate in a cramped New York City closet, the shoulder surgery was five years ago, plans were made to climb again, plans were cancelled. The expiration date on calling myself a rock climber was fast approaching, the only choices left were to leave my rack and rope on the doorstep of a deserving, ambitious ,yet under-cammed trad aspirant, or get my aging feet on some friendly rock and work out my fears, my quads and my deltoids with some enthusiastic strangers.

Chicks Climbing to the rescue. What better place than Red Rocks, Nevada -my favorite venue, where I was schooled over twelve years ago on how to follow, how to lead and how to race back down the canyon at sunset to the car in order to avoid a ticket? As I packed my bags for the Chicks Climbing clinic, any trepidation I had about being older, being out of shape, about not being a rock climber started to fade away. My new harness, new helmet and new shoes were testament to my renewed commitment, my old, trusted gear was a reminder of who I wanted to be again. I was ready for the harsh reality that bruises were coming to my knees, my shins and my ego. I didn’t care. I just wanted to tie in (providing I could remember how) and climb.

Everything was going to be great -that was my initial feeling as soon as I sat down with our group and our Girly Guides at the camp site near Red Rocks. And it was great. I couldn’t have asked for a better, more supportive, loud mouthed group of climbing chicks. All of them inspired me. Kitty and Dawn were amazing. Not only did they offer encouragement and coaching, they were remarkable in their ability to understand just how best to give each individual climber feedback in a way that was meaningful to her. We were not there to be hauled up the cliff by expert guides, we were there to be taught technique, safety, respect for our sport and its ethics. Each day was thoughtfully planned to build our skills and boost our confidence on the rock.

I am sure that every one of us grew as climbers, and I know that I will hear a no-nonsense, South Carolinian accented voice in my ear, urging me to take on the hard challenges and climb on every time I rope up from here on out.

Thanks for sharing Anne, it’s so great to hear your story and share it here 🙂

And of course thank you to our dear friends at the Outdoor Women’s Alliance for the big feature. We love to support their mission of promoting outdoor education and opportunities for all women in the great outdoors! (Outdoor Women’s Alliance Twitter, Outdoor Women’s Alliance Facebook)

Go Camping with Marmot!


Go camping with Marmot!  Marmot and Chicks is having a contest. The winner will win the following gear.
Eiger 35 (or we can make it a Diva 35 if you’d like)

Limelight 2P Tent

Trestles 30 Sleeping Bag

Entries will be received in Twitter format.  Details to follow.

Update! Congratulations to Carrie Thompson who was the winner in our Go Camping With Marmot contest!

Here is her winning entry: “Gravity pulls Babies from my womb, wrinkles my eyes, breasts from youth.Yet my spirit rises, smile emerges,legs step higher in spite of you.”

You Tube – NBC Today Show

Chicks on the Today Show

Chicks on the Today Show

Watch Chicks with Picks on YouTube. The NBC Today Show and Nightly News: featuring an interveiw with Chicks alumni Amy Boebel.  Learn what ice climbing has done to help this cancer survivor overcome her fears and embrace life with new a passion.

Mt. Everest Mind Camp Interview

Kim Reynolds

Kim Reynolds

I want to share a recent interview posted on The Mt. Everest Mind Camp website, which was founded with a simple yet powerful mission: to inspire people to take conscious & empowered action to achieve their personal & professional goals. I am honored to be chosen as their featured guest for June and have the opportunity to share my passions.
Life is full!  Happy Summer, Kim

The Mt. Everest Mind Camp:
Our Number One Goal is to inspire YOU to take conscious and empowered action to achieve your personal and professional goals.

To get started, we suggest you ask yourself the following questions.
Commitment: Is your goal tangible and specific?
Development: Will the journey to achieving your goal require you to grow as a person?
Integration: How will achieving your own goals help your friends, family, or community?

To learn how the worlds most accomplished mountaineers, philanthropists and self development leaders found their own answers to these same questions, visit our monthly Featured Guest page.

NBC Weekend Show

Chicks on the NBC Weekend Show

Chicks on the NBC Weekend Show

Check us out on the NBC Weekend Show!  Click Here