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The Chicks Legacy Continues

Lindsay Fixmer

The Chicks Legacy Continues!

The former owners – Angela Hawse, Elaina Arenz, Karen Bockel, and Kitty Calhoun – of Chicks Climbing & Skiing are pleased to announce that we have passed the torch to Dan Zokaites, a longtime friend and IFMGA Guide from Ridgway, CO. He then asked the preeminent guide, Lindsay Fixmer to be Director of Chicks. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better succession team.

Only a week after becoming Director of Chicks and delving into the unseen business side of her role, Angela and Kitty, sat down with Lindsay to have a chat about their vision for the future of Chicks.

 

Kitty: As you may know, Lindsay is an adventurer at heart who desires to share her love of the unknown with others. I first remember guiding backcountry ice with Lindsay in Cody, WY four years ago. We were discussing the common routes we climb and Lindsay patiently listened to me as she turned through the pages in her well-thumbed guidebook to the area. Then she presented her plan for the next three days – hidden climbs that she and her group would likely have to themselves. Lindsay’s signature trait might be her going above and beyond what is expected of her. As I worked side by side with her, I noticed that she is a meticulous teacher with a genuine desire to impart her knowledge of rope systems and movement skills. Her memory of one-liners in comedies and movies kept us laughing throughout the day. It all appears effortless for Lindsay, but I have seen the way she anticipates, organizes and prepares for what is to come. What an awesome soul to take the lead.

 

Kitty: What is your vision for Chicks?

Lindsay: Our Chicks resurgence will offer new programs both in style and content in the beautiful outdoor landscapes you love and have desired to visit. We will strive to be a company that is welcoming to people getting into climbing and skiing. Chicks is a community built upon our passion for outdoor pursuits where we see familiar faces and learn and grow together. That same passion, community, and camaraderie that drew you to Chicks will continue to drive our programming. 

 

Kitty: How do you see the past legacy of Chicks continuing into the future?

Lindsay: What I love about history is it informs where we are going. Chicks has always been a leader. Kim Reynolds noticed in 1999 there were not many women climbing ice. We want to open doors for people who haven’t had the opportunity to come into these sports.

 

Kitty: What is your vision for creating and maintaining community within Chicks?

Lindsay: Chicks will always value the friendships and camaraderie built on courses. It’s exciting to see Chicks alumni return with friends for another step in their learning and progression as climbers and skiers. Continued interactions through newsletters and social media is a way to keep our guests informed and stoked!  

 

Kitty: What attracted you to working for Chicks?

Lindsay: Chicks is uniquely rewarding work; every clinic I build amazing relationships. It’s a testament to the fact that women’s community building is so important: particularly in large landscapes with women pushing themselves. For example, I was guiding Louise and Vivian in Iceland a few winters ago and when Louise topped out on the climb, she said with big eyes, “I can’t believe I climbed that!” I had no doubt Louise could climb the route. Because Louise was so shocked by her abilities, it dawned on me we are giving women opportunities to realize their potential and what that means in a larger realm. Another example of this unique work are the numerous replies from Chicks’ guides when the dissolution of the business was announced (before we found this opportunity to keep Chicks continuing into the future) what Chicks has meant to them – that’s revolutionary.

 

Kitty: How will Chicks courses look in the future?

Lindsay: We’ve only been thinking about this for a week (laughs). Our first priority is to get the word out that the ice courses are up and running. While managing COVID, we will climb with small group numbers and not include group gatherings. Once spring arrives, camping provides one solution. We are planning to continue rock programs in places like Indian Creek, City of Rocks and Maple. We are also brainstorming new areas.

 

Angela: We are so stoked for you to take the helm. From our very beginning, Chicks has been a leader in providing safe spaces for women to learn mountain sports together.  I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge any misunderstanding our gender specific name has caused. And also that we respectfully acknowledge that the lands on which we operate are sacred territories of ancestral Native Americans. I am excited to continue to be involved with the company and am particularly looking forward to helping develop LBGQT and BIPOC courses.

Do you see the opportunity for the company to expand its boundaries to be more inclusive?

Lindsay: Definitely. Moving forward we are committed to diversifying our offerings to create the same opportunities for the LBGQT and BIPOC communities and being a welcoming and respectful community to all.

 

Kitty: Let’s talk about Covid.  How will Chicks cope with the pandemic?

Lindsay: Chicks has up-to-date Covid policies on the website, including refund and cancellation policies. We have adapted our programs and follow CDC guidelines. We encourage people to travel and climb in pods or groups that are familiar to them.

 

Kitty: What kinds of relationships do you envision with Chicks sponsorship partners?

Lindsay: We value our sponsor relationships. While Covid can put a strain on our industry, maintaining those solid connections is important. Chicks can provide quality feedback on sponsor’s demo gear being the testing ground for participants. Tangible evidence that participants like demo items are when they purchase the gear following a clinic. 

 

Kitty: Can you say a little about what makes Chicks guides unique?

Lindsay: People choose Chicks because we are leaders in the industry with talented, experienced guides. The guides who work with Chick’s are excellent climbers and skiers, and AMGA certified and trained. What really sets us apart is our ability to teach, mentor guests through their climbing and skiing development, and foster life-long friendships.

 

Kitty: Anything else you want to add?

Lindsay: Check out the website! And stay tuned! 

If you are inspired and have ideas, we want to hear from you! What have you loved about Chicks, where are areas for improvement and what you are looking forward to in the future with Chicks?

lindsay@chickswithpicks.net

_______________________________________________________________________

Which Ice Climbing Clinic Is Best For You?

If you have the following questions regarding our ice climbing clinics, you are not alone.

  • Ice ClimbingWhat if I don’t have any gear, or experience in ice climbing?
  • How am I going to stay out all day and not get cold?
  • What if I am not fit enough?
  • What if I haven’t climbed in a while and can’t climb as well as I used to?
  • What if I am afraid of heights?
  • What if I am placed in a group of women that climb better than me?
  • What if I want to learn to lead?

All of our Ouray-based Ice Climbing Clinics are for all levels, you will be placed in groups of women with similar experience, the guide-to-guest ratio is 4:1 so the instruction is tailored to you, and we have demo gear and clothing.  Which course you choose is more a matter of time and expense.  Obviously, the longer the course, the more you will learn, but our four day Complete is just as suitable for a beginner as it is for an advanced climber and vice-versa.

If you are interested in an adventure and learning more about multi-pitch climbing in the backcountry, then Cody or Iceland are just for you.  These clinics are for those who know the basics and are ready to learn to be more efficient as a follower on a multi-pitch climb.  These clinics are also for those who already lead and want to observe a guide’s decision process regarding choosing the objective, gear selection, route finding, weather and snow analysis, and efficient climbing and descent strategies.

As your goals change, we are here to help you reach the next level and our courses are designed to optimize that experience.  Join us!

Why Choose Chicks?

On the fence about attending a clinic this winter? We sat down with Chicks Co-Owner and Guide to get her insight on what makes Chicks unique.

The Ouray Ice Park. Photo by: Bill Grasse.

The Ouray Ice Park. Photo by: Bill Grasse.

Chicks started in 1999 with a vision to help women experience ice climbing, and like a fine wine we have aged and matured over time. Our vision is unchanged: We want to empower women through mountain sports. On rock, ice and snow, we are committed to teaching women to take the lead in the outdoors and in life.

Chicks offers a very unique experience that is often imitated but never duplicated. We provide a supportive atmosphere which creates a positive learning environment. We feel strongly that through education and skill development, we can create a community of confident women who are independent leaders in climbing and skiing.

Why choose Chicks?

  1. All Levels are welcome. We operate in the Ouray Ice Park, home to 200 ice climbing routes of varying grades. It’s the perfect venue to learn how to ice climb for the first time or advance your skills. We offer 4 levels of instruction offer a progression of skills, so you will be paired up with others of your same experience and goals. Choose from The Jiffy (2 day), The Sampler (3 day) or The Complete (4 day) day programs.
  2. We will dress you warmly from head to toe. Patagonia and Outdoor Research provide clothing for you to demo at no extra cost. You can show up in your street clothes, and we can outfit you for climbing.
  3. We provide all of the technical ice gear. Petzl, Black Diamond and Camp all supply tools, crampons, helmets and harnesses for you to use at no extra cost. La Sportiva, Asolo and Scarpa provide boots for you to demo too. This is your opportunity to try the sport and all the newest gear on the market and you don’t have to buy a ton of new gear to sign up.
  4. Ouray, Colorado is a picture perfect town located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains.

    Ouray, Colorado is a picture perfect town located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains.

    Delicious meals and cozy lodging. Our evening meals are catered at the Secret Garden B&B. You will be taken on a world culinary tour each evening, starting out with soup to warm your bones, a main course and dessert. At night, you’ll rest your head at the Victorian Inn, located walking distance to the Ouray Ice Park.

  5. Experienced Guides. The Chicks guides are the best women ice climbing guides in the field. Each guide is educated, experienced and reputable. You’ll enjoy getting to know each of them and they are sure to inspire you.
  6. Community of women. The all female environment is supportive and encouraging. Allowing each woman to excel and break through barriers. You’ll be sure to make new friends and connect with other Chicks Alumni. Many women walk away with new climbing partners for future adventures.


Our Goal at Chicks Climbing and Skiing is to help you become confident, competent and independent on the ice (rock and snow). So what are you waiting for? No more excuses. Sign up for a Chicks program today and join us in Ouray.

Asolo Scholarship Sets Stage for Strong Female Climbers

Written by: Kristen Kelliher

Thanks to Asolo’s generous support, two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a Chicks With Picks 3-day ice climbing clinic in Ouray, Colorado. Going into it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had just been given the all clear by my orthopedist after having knee surgery in August and it was the first time on ice this season so I was a bit nervous. But, despite my reservations, I was stoked to get after it! On the first morning the psyche was high as we ate breakfast, distributed the ropes, and organized into teams. Giddy chatter easily carried us the twenty minutes to the park, before we split into groups based on skill level.

Kristen-@-Schoolroom-1I was fortunate to have a small group of three plus our guide, Kitty. This guide-to-client ratio is almost unprecedented in guided clinics, which allowed us to maximize our time on the ice and get specific, helpful feedback. Not only did she provide individual pointers, but also we got to see her in action! As a visual learner, it was extremely beneficial for me to watch how she would fluidly move up the ice so that I could attempt to emulate her body positioning or footwork. Not only did I experience this inspiring mentorship from someone as accomplished as Kitty, but because of the size and baseline knowledge of our group, the next two days we were tasked with helping set up the top ropes. This transition from mentorship to partnership was extremely gratifying and humbling at the same time.

Working as a team with the set up and climbing fostered a supportive and encouraging environment that enabled me to climb harder and with more confidence. Normally my climbing partners at home are almost exclusively male, which isn’t a bad thing; it’s just different. But climbing with these women over the three-day course was refreshing. Our camaraderie was based on support, not competition or trying to “out-do” each other. Regardless of how quickly we reached the top, or struggled through a crux, there was nothing but words of encouragement, compelling me to climb smarter and stronger. I firmly believe that this supportive network of women that Chicks fosters allowed me to tackle harder terrain and challenge myself mentally and physically.

The next two days allowed me to climb ice that’s much harder than I’ve done before – from pillars to rock to vertical faces that made my calves and forearms burn and shake. Belaying, spectating, and climbing with these women and Kitty was absolutely inspiring. It was an incredible whirlwind of a weekend that ended much too soon. I’m so thankful to Asolo for getting me out there and providing equipment and to Chicks for setting an example of what strong female climbers can accomplish.

Chicks Gear Review: Petzl Nomic

Petzl NomicRock climbing is my first love, but now that I’m a Chicks owner, I’m doing my damnedest to transform myself into a bad ass ice climber. What I’ve learned is that gear really matters. It’s an investment in my personal security and I want the best gear I can get my hands on. After doing a quick poll of my peers, male and female alike, what tool came out on top? The Petzl Nomic was the hands down winner.

Why is this the first tool of choice of so many ice climbers? It’s the one tool that can climb ice, rock and hard packed snow, so no matter what your  medium of choice is, this tool will be able to handle the job. If you’re new to the whole ice climbing thing like me and you’re not sure, then you can’t go wrong with the Nomic.

The Nomics are thoughtfully designed and it’s the details that set it apart from other ice tools on the market. First you’ll notice the aggressively curved shaft. This allows the tool to clear bulges in vertical ice/rock easily and puts your body into a restful stance so you can conserve energy and hold on all the way to the top.

Speaking of holding on, this tool rests in the palm of your hand with the ergonomically molded handles. This allows you to grab the handle in a variety of positions, so you can match hands, swap tools from one hand to the other, and never worry about dropping the tool. You’ll look like a pro when you shoulder it, match hands on the second position and reach again for your next placement.

The picks are tapered down to perfection, so they penetrate the ice easier and hook on the smallest dime edges with security. The weight of the Nomic is light enough for dry tooling and mixed climbing, but if you need to add a little heft to your swing, you can add weights to the heads to take your dainty swing into burl-mode without expending any extra energy.

There are so many ice climbing tools on the market and deciding on which one to buy is about as tough as choosing what dress to wear on Saturday night. The Nomic is the equivalent of that little black dress that is perfect for every occasion. Do yourself a favor and choose the one tool that does it all. I have a personal philosophy that if you’re going to buy something, buy the top of line and you won’t regret it. One swing of the Nomic and I promise you will have no regrets and that’s what life is all about.

Chicks Training Tips: Creating Regular Workouts

Written by: Carolyn Parker
GSquatIt’s incredibly beneficial for all adventurers to be introduced to new movements and concepts for training, and initially implementing these in a regular workout in almost any fashion will create positive change. So re-read the first six installments to get a look at all these great movements (with detailed videos):
  • Shoulder Openers – Shoulder flexibility and ROM
  • Modified Cuban Press – Rotator Cuff strengthening and posture correction, with scapular area strengthening, and overhead ROM
  • Wall Squat

Installment #2:

  • Goblet squat
  •  Push ups

Installment #3 (part 1):

  • Leg lower and raise
  • KTE
  • L seats
  • Knee raise
  • Static holds
  • FLR
  • Ring support

Installment #3 (part 2):

  • Push ups
  • Walking push ups
  • Ring push ups
  • Archers
Installment #3 (part 3):
  • Pull up
  • Body row
  • Bent over row
  • High pull
  • Pull over
  • Walking lunge
  • OH walking lunge
  • BSSU
  • SLSLDL

Installment #4:

  • Front raise
  • Lateral raise
  • Reverse fly
  • Y’s with bands
  •  Low trap flys with bands
  • Deadlift
  • Front squat
  • DB push press
  • Plate OH hold
  • Handstand hold
  • Bench dip / ring dip
Eventually the athlete will have built a good, broad foundation from which to launch their fitness to the next level. But how exactly is this done? Imagine being in an oar boat paddling to a destination, your goal.  If you just barely dig the paddle in a gently pull you may eventually get there but the current may pull you off course long before you arrive at your goal. Instead now it’s time to dig the paddle in deep, pull hard and set a course to confidently arrive at your destination and achieve your goals.
For our next installment I’ll begin the discussion of what a workout might look like when you start putting the movements together and structuring the sets and reps and load for strength gains. Remember we participate in a strength to weight ratio sport, all mountain sports are. We want to remain light and get strong! So here we go!
Without getting deep in the weeds we have a simple structure to workouts:
Part I) warm up – 10:00 of activity or movement to actually “warm” the body. Light jog, rowing machine, stationary bike, jumping rope all are great.
1a)Then a specific warm up is needed to not only for alignment but physical preparation for what is to come in the workout. If you spend 10 extra minutes warming up properly the return you get from your workout will be ten fold.
Part II) The core of the workout, this is the focus of the workout. Is it strength based, strength endurance, power endurance.
Part III) Usually we want to add a “supplemental” piece to the end of a training session. Often this targets either an area of identified weakness in the athlete or some part of the machine that has yet to be trained that day.
The following four workouts are examples of this idea of constructing a training session comprised of three parts. Remember we are just scratching the surface of strength training. If you have any questions, seek an education and coaching from a professional who can work with you directly.
Workout 1
Strength
Warm up 10:00 bike
Then:
Shoulder openers 2 x 8
Cuban Press 2 x 5
Y’s with Band 2 x 8
Wall squats  3 x 5
OH Walking Lunge 30m
Then:
Work up to heavy BSSU
Then:
5 x 3 (per leg) BSSU@_____
Then:
On rings
10x Archers + 10x Feet to Hands 5
rest 3:00
FLR 3 x 60 sec work/ 60 sec rest
Workout 2
Strength
Shoulder openers 2 x 8
Cuban Press 2 x 5
DB PP 2 x 8
Wall squats  3 x 5
Walking Lunge 30m
Then:
Work up to heavy SLSLDL
Then:
5 x 2 SLSLDL@ _____
In between sets:
Work up to heavy weighted pull up, 2 RM (Rep Max) hang weight from a harness at waist. If you are still working on pull ups this is the time to walk away from assistance and try jumping into a locked off pull up and slowly lower controlling the movement as a negative, these should feel hard! (5 x 2)
Then:
10x weighted leg lowers + 5x KB Bosu chest press
Rest as necessary
5 rounds
Workout 3

Warm up 10:00 Row, 5:00 minutes of the 10:00 sound be 30 secs hard, 30 sec easy to open up the pipes a bit.

Then:

wall squats 3 x5

goblet squats 2 x 10

shoulder openers 2 x 10

warm up to your deadlift weight

Then:

IWT

5x Deadlift+ 90 Sec Row, 2:00min rest

Three Rounds.

5 min rest

Then:

5x Front Squat + 90sec Airdyne 2:00min rest

Three Rounds

5:00min rest

Then:

7 x 15m KB Bear Crawl 2 @ 30 –  55# DBs or KBs

Workout 4
Warm up: 10 min row
Wall squats 3×5
Goblet squats 2x 10
Shoulder openers 2x 10
SLSLDL 3×5
Then:
Work up to heavy DL
Then 5 x 3 DL @ ______
rest 2-3 min between sets
(If the athlete is well conditioned a round of 5x Push up + 5x Pull up can be done between sets of Deadlifts.)
Then:
Finish with
1:00 Sit Ups
1:00 Mtn Climbers
1:00 Ring Support
1:00 rest
x 3
There are many, many elements to cover: frequency of workouts, what type of workout to do when, strength vs. power, what is power endurance. I will continue to cover these topics in the Chicks training newsletters and for more detailed information regarding programming of this nature you can contact me at www.rippleffectraining.com or info@rippleffectraining.com

Chicks Alumna Interview: Amy Jurries

We love catching up with Chicks Alumna and getting inspired by their adventures – we hope you do too.  Recently we caught up with Amy Jurries.

AmyJFaceShotWhen was your first Chicks clinic?

My first Chicks was January 2008. I came to the Complete as a total beginner.

Why Chicks?

I wanted to learn how to climb vertical ice in order to tackle harder alpine climbs. I liked the idea of learning how to ice climb from women, with women as I learn better and push myself more in a supportive rather than competitive environment. Ouray is a great place to learn how to ice climb as you have the ice park a short walk from town and can run laps all day.

How many clinics do you have under your belt?

I returned to Chicks every year for the next 4-5 years, taking the Complete and eventually the Graduate program.

Why do you keep coming back?

The world class guides, the other women in the program, and the opportunity to keep progressing my skills year after year.

AmyJClimbingWhat have you been doing since your last Chicks clinic?

By my last Chicks clinic, I acquired enough skills to start heading out on my own (with a climbing partner of course). I continue to climb every year, traveling to places like Canada, Colorado, Montana, and even France in search of ice! We don’t get much ice here in San Francisco…. I still climb with many of the women I met at Chicks and consider them among my dearest friends.

Now you are thinking of attending another Chicks event.  What is the draw?

I am heading to Iceland with Chicks this February–can’t wait! The chance to discover and climb in parts of the country or even the world where I might not go on my own was one reason to come back for more Chicks. Plus the opportunity to learn even more from the great guides in a “wild ice” environment. There is always more to learn.

Toprope Ice Climbing – Why It’s Different Than Rock

OurayIceParkChickswithPicksWow, the snow is flying, ice is forming, and winter is here!  It’s December, and the ice climbing season is starting.  The Ouray Ice Park is slated to open December 19, just a few short weeks away.  This is a great time to review a few skills related to toprope or slingshot belay set-ups for ice climbing, and think about the differences between rock and ice (don’t worry, if you ask the Captain Kitty Calhoun, there is really not too much of a difference, and you’re just extending your season either way you look at it).

Ice – A low friction environment!

If you have been busy rock climbing this fall, and have been toproping on rock, it is worth remembering that ice provides a low friction environment.   When the rope runs over the rock, a fair amount of friction is in the system, which is taking part of the weight of the climber on the other end of your toprope belay that you have to counterbalance when you hold her.  In ice climbing, there is very little friction between the rope and the ice.  Therefore, you, the belayer, take the full brunt of the system.   With this in mind, practice these good habits:

– Use a back-tie anchor for the belayer.

– Always keep a strong hand on the brake strand of the rope.  Using gloves can help your grip, and having a back-up belayer is great, too.

– Communicate with loud and clear commands between climber and belayer.

– Pay close attention to avoid slack (which can lead to higher forces) in the system.

ModerateWallChickswithPicksIce – Heavy things fall down on me!!

Coming from rock season where it is much more customary to be belaying right underneath the climber for the best angle of taking the weight of the climber, it is important to remember that ice breaks and shatters and falls…  and often in big chunks, right down to the base of the climb!  So, keep out of the impact zone!  Find a protected belay spot away from the fall line of the climb.  Use these techniques:

– Use a back-tie anchor.  When you belay away from the cliff, the rope angle is your vector of force.  A back-tie anchor keeps you from getting pulled forward or sideways.

– Watch for open water in the canyon.  In the Ouray Ice Park (OIP), you often climb on one side of the river and belay on the other.  Manage your rope carefully, tie in a secure spot, and look for safe crossings.

– When you climb, alert your belayer and other bystanders of falling things by yelling “ICE!!”

InstructionChickswithPicksAll us Chicks guides are excited for the upcoming ice climbing season. For us, the Ouray Ice Park is not only a great training ground and fantastic ice climbing venue but really the home of Chicks with Picks.  This is the place where Kim Reynolds started our company 17 years ago, and where we still go strong today. So many of our ice climbing days are spent in the park, and we have come have a special relationship with the OIP over the years.  A great way to support the OIP is by becoming a member, check out their website for more information.

Chicks with Picks is offering three women’s ice climbing events in the Ouray Ice Park this winter.  First up is The Sampler Jan. 22-25, followed by The Complete Jan. 27-31, and ending with The Jiffy Feb. 19-21.  Every event offers all the Chicks clinic levels 1- 5.  All our clinic levels are designed to build on each other, giving you a great foundation to be a well-rounded ice climber.  The OIP is a great location to progress your skill level. Come join us at one of our clinics, we look forward to seeing you in the Ice Park this winter!

Written by: Karen Bockel.
In 2010, Karen began guiding on the West Buttress of Denali and now guides year-round in the mountains.  Karen is an AMGA Certified Rock and Certified Ski Guide, is Avalanche Level III certified, and is a member of the Search and Rescue Team in San Miguel County, Colorado.

 

Post-turkey Gossip!

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!

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend with friends and family. We are excited for a couple of new posts we’ve got ready for the Chicks blog this week including a trip report from Chicks Girly Guide Dannika Gilbert who’s been getting on some early season ice in the Ouray area along with a Chicks sighting to report as well! So stay tuned 🙂

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!

Climbing
– Tips for (& good reasons to) make the switch to leashless climbing of the ice and mixed variety:  http://bit.ly/uZycf2
– Emily Harrington & the figure four: http://bit.ly/smcDWD
– See powerful video of ice climbing accident & self-rescue, along with thoughtful analysis from Will Gadd:  http://ht.ly/7H7cg
– Some good tips for proper gear to wear when rock climbing during this shoulder season to stay warm! http://bit.ly/uVPLch
– Sarah (@cdnrockiesgirl) shares what it’s like to be a first-time route setter at the climbing gym:  http://ht.ly/7FbjT
– Our friend Paul-Baptiste Baca (@paukku) was recently given a kickass birthday gift, which he named Koskenkorva Martini (5.10a)  http://bit.ly/rDNRFm
– Q&A with badass climber Chick Angie Payne: http://bit.ly/suj328
– Check out the latest, most updated clinic schedule for Ice Fest 2012!! http://www.scribd.com/doc/73364789/2012-Clinic-Template-V4-2
– Congrats to Sonnie Trotter for the only 2nd ascent of The Prophet (5.13d R) on El Cap. http://bit.ly/uXfjbd
– Ready to climb out of fall into winter? Check out a preview of upcoming 2011-2012 ice festivals: http://bit.ly/tWyrMx
– Nice profile on @SterlingRope climber Leslie Timms: http://bit.ly/vOf8xs
– Whoa! 5.15 in the Red? http://bit.ly/sZxuQ4
– The Smiley’s have 8 climbs planned for 2012 as they continue their 50 Classics ticklist – but they need your help: http://vimeo.com/32425674
– Tommy Caldwell steps away from the Dawn Wall project…until next year:  http://bit.ly/tMztTc
– Jenn Flemming’s “Fraid Line” 5.13R with a PINK Sterling Rope (@SterlingRope) Nano 9.2: http://bit.ly/ugL48m
– Big City Mountaineers (@bigcitymtneers) just announced a Mount Shasta all-women’s climb! bit.ly/rOKfMT
– Check out the French Alpine club excellence team climbing free on some serious big walls in Yosemite http://ow.ly/7EWmC

Gear
– The Petzl (@Petzl) Lynx Crampons are on this Chick’s wish list! See what else is on The Gear Caster’s (@thegearcaster) gift guide for climbers: http://bit.ly/u4VtRW
– Chicks gear tester Sara B. liked this piece from our sponsors at Columbia Sportswear (@Columbia1938) so much that she wore it 3 days in a row in Zion: http://bit.ly/tQYQLP
– Staying connected is critical for Krysia (@ventrsomekrysia) who reviews The North Face (@thenorthface) eTip gloves: http://bit.ly/sWyLmh

Inspiration
– You can’t help but smile watching these young Chicks crushing! http://ht.ly/7H7HR

Training & Nutrition
– Art or food? Or both?? Paul-Baptiste Baca’s (@Paukku) Holiday Harvest Loaf http://bit.ly/uZwoHT
– Great tips from Elizabeth (@eliz_rocks) on staying healthy mentally & physically when schedules get crazy (i.e. the holidays?!) http://bit.ly/uKyrXQ
– Rock climbing one of the Top 5 Sports for a full body workout http://ow.ly/7ByFb 

Trip Reports
– New trip report from Erica (@cragmama) who also demonstrates an awesome SEND at Dixon: http://bit.ly/vuz8sp

Fun Stuff
– Citibank commercial featuring Katie Brown & Alex Honnold! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE4bcq8Plzk

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!