Technique and confidence

Recently we caught up with Arlene, an alumna of Chicks with Picks, who simply thrives on adventure and thin air. See what Arlene had to say about her Chicks with Picks experience and how the clinics gave her the technique and confidence to jump into leading, as well as branching out to seek adventure on mountain peaks around the world. Thank you Arlene for sharing!

I think that the Chicks program really “jump started” me to have some great adventures and hopefully more!  I had ice climbed for about 6 years before taking my first Chicks with Picks clinic in 2004, but I always just followed the guys.  The Chicks clinics gave me technique, technique, technique and instilled a confidence to go out there and CLIMB.  There have been many great ice adventures!  Another alumna (Karen K.) and I ripped it up for a few years:  Cody Ice Festival – we stayed and led some fun climbs, Bozeman Ice Festival – we stayed a day and slogged in snow, an eight day trip to Canada based in Canmore, where we climbed every day, 3 days with Clint (Lake Louise Falls, Murchison Fall, Wicked Wanda) 5 days on our own – Professor Falls was memorable!  We were beat, but what great memories! I’ve climbed all around Ouray, Silverton etc. Since, Doris (alumna) and Chuck D. have paired up with me for some great fun climbs around OIP, Redstone and Vail.  I had to deal with a neck injury in 2009, but managed to climb Bridal Veil with Mark M.  What a riot!  I started laughing, it was so much fun!

I already was involved in climbing anything that went “up” with friends from CB, finished the 14ers in 2005 and climbed Killimanjaro.  I have kept on climbing peaks – anything with thin air makes me happy.  Spent some time in Europe in 2006 hiking the Haute Route and then climbing Mont Blanc with a CB friend, went on to do the Halb Traverse of the Breithorn and Pollux before the storms hit.  I returned in 2007 to climb most of the “Spaghetti Route” with Clint.  More Breithorn, Castor, Lyskamm Traverse and then the winds prevented us from climbing Monte Rosa and assorted satellite peaks.  I’d like to return for Monte Rosa.  We did manage to get in the Matterhorn on that trip.  I returned to Peru in June this year and climbed Alpamayo.

The Chicks Girly Guides (especially Karen O’Neill, as she said “Go out there and lead”) gave me so much confidence to keep on goin’ on!  Life has knocked me down a few times, but all I need to do is walk out of that door and climb ice or climb that peak.  Well, also there is always the Steeps of CB for skiing, well skiing of any kind, biking, backpacking.  But, MOST OF ALL, I get to hand all of this fun down to my kids and grand kids.  As my daughter says, the apples don’t fall far from the tree.  So thanks for inspiring the F1 and F2 generations!

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