Kim Reynolds | Interview – Chicks Founder Kim Reynolds

Kim Reynolds being inducted into the American Mountaineering Hall of Excellence

Kim Reynolds is inducted into the American Mountaineering Hall of Excellence.

The Amazing Chicks Founder, Kim Reynolds is at Root of Chicks Legacy

The temperatures are falling, the mountains got their first snowfall and water running over rock freezes at night.

At Chicks’s world headquarters in Ouray, Colorado we’re excitedly looking forward to our new ski programs.

At the same time, we look back at the traditions and accomplishments of Chicks.

Chicks all began with our visionary Founder, Kim Reynolds, in 1999.

Why did you start Chicks?

Kim Reynolds: I started ice climbing in 1982 and there weren’t many women ice climbers then – maybe just you and me and a handful of others. When the Ouray Ice Park opened around 1997, I noticed that there were more women climbers but they didn’t seem to be leading or setting up their own anchors.

Instead, they were relying on their more experienced, male counterparts. So I started Chicks. I wanted to see more women leading ice climbing.

Why ice climbing?

Kim Reynolds: I fell in love with ice climbing when my boyfriend took me out to climb in the Ice Park (it wasn’t open then but there was still ice) and to climb Bear Creek Falls.

I fell in love with the winter magic and the beauty of obscure places. I appreciated the fact that not many people did it. It felt adventurous.

Why do you like skiing?

Kim Reyonlds: Skiing is just pure fun. Ski days are my favorite days. I like walking up hill. There is nothing like getting to the top, taking in the view and making fresh tracks downhill.

What do you miss most about Chicks?

Kim Reynolds: I miss the participants. They are an amazing community of women. I love the friendships.

Do you remember the time we had a clinic where 22 of 24 women were Alumnae? It is a sisterhood. Chicks took on a life of its own. I also miss giving back.

Women faced fears during the clinics but also grew energy from giving back. The whole community became a part of Chicks.

What is your most memorable moment at Chicks?

Kim Reynolds: There are many. I mentioned 22 out of 24 participants returned as Alumnae one year. The night our fundraisers hit the $100,000 mark for the local women’s shelter. The day a local guide asked me some women he’d seen climbing had been to Chicks. I said yes and ask why. He said, “Because they are good climbers.” Then I knew we had arrived.

chicks legacyWhat are you taking away from Chicks to use in your new profession?

Kim Reynolds: In the end, I had become an administrator. What I am good at is working with others. Chicks taught me how to take a unique idea and make it happen. When I sold the business, I made a commitment to take my people skills to the next level. I got a second coaching certificate and more leadership training.

I grew my Mind Over Mountains buisness for personal and professional coaching.

Now I work with leaders and teams through focusing on the human side of business.

I help leaders make better decisions under pressure, just like we do in climbing.

I loved the creativity part of the Chicks business and trying to do something different every year.

In honor of Kim Reynold’s vision for Chicks, we continually look at ways to serve female climbers and backcountry skiers better.

We are partnered with the Silverton Avalanche School to bring you women’s-only Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche courses.