One of the highlights of my trip to Norway was teaching over 2 weekends in Rjukan. I met very talented and experienced ice climbers from Scotland and Norway. We all learned a lot and had a blast exploring the frozen waterfalls of the Rjukan area.
I taught a lead climbing clinic to Lisa and Debbie from Scotland the previous weekend. We had perfect conditions and climbs for our objectives.
This was one of my most favorite trips ever. I was so inspired by the women and the local landscapes of Norway. I know I will be back next year.
I appreciate the folks at the American Alpine Club who believe in International Climbing Meets. I have now taken part in a few of these and they are such a great way to connect people from all over the world who love climbing in new magical venues. This past week I visited Estes Park, Colorado to join up with about twenty ladies who all love climbing.
The wonderful and generous host climbers were: Mary Ann, Chris, Tracy, Casey, Melissa, MG, Yasmeen and Kammie. These women were so talented and caring. They cooked, organized, chauffeured, translated, guided and made sure that almost no Iranian wish went unmet!
The host climbers brought some special male guests such as Jason, Chris and Arman to also help out.
The Iranian climbers were: Nadia, Mahsa, Shahnaz, Sheima, Farideh, Dena, Parastoo, Shirin, Fatemeh, Afsar, Parvin, Masoumeh and Farnoosh. These ladies were so motivated and determined to make the most of their trip to the USA.
(In a couple of the following photos their faces are blurred on purpose.)
On our first day up in Estes, we stopped along the way, at Jurassic Park. We managed to climb 2 routes, including the super classic, Edge of Time, before the Daily Thunderstorm arrived.
The next couple days saw us at Lumpy’s ridge. In the following areas: Left Book, the Bookmark and Hens and Chicks Crag. Where we learned to jam cracks from 5.7-5.9 and enjoyed some multi-pitch adventures.
Everyday we had to beat the thundershowers. They actually were quite enjoyable given the super hot temperatures we were experiencing, but tricky to climb in. I love the bellowing thunder. It was often quite threatening, but way more bark then bite.
On our last day in Estes, a few of us host climbers went climbing, while the others went shopping and did laundry. We went to the magestic Hallet Peak in RMNP.
This is an eight pitch route with lots of route-finding and short sections of run-outs between protection. Many fun edges to grab and endless small footholds.
Chris and I were a team, as Tracy and Casey climbed together. Tracy graciously let us go first as it was our first time on the mountain. We actually got to the base of the climb before it got light out (thanks to Tracy for the blind-boulder-hopping route-finding). So we waited a little bit and I started up when I could just turn out my head lamp ; )
I didn’t climb very fast as I spent a lot of time making sure we were on route and hunting for gear. We topped out around noon and found the east descent gully fairly easily.
Once again, we beat the thunderstorms. We all had really sore feet from heat and many days of climbing/hiking. The highly groomed trail was a treat at the end of the day.
I hope the Iranian women have a very enjoyable stay in the USA and feel safe travelling and returning home.
I really enjoyed meeting everyone, hosts and Iranians, as well as sampling Estes Park. I especially enjoyed the little bit of Iranian dance we got to witness one evening. Thank You.
Challenge and Fun were the two main sentiments from the weekend. Everyone (including me ; ) ) got their butt handed to them by some challenging, but exquisite granite crack. The women of the All Sizes Crack Climbing weekend did not get off easy, but lots of learning was had in a fun and supportive environment.
We learned how to jam fingers, hands, cups, fists, off-widths and chimneys. The Smoke Bluffs and the Chief had many cracks for us to get schooled on.
Our egos and bodies got bruised, but our muscles and awareness got toned and tuned into what it takes to get up these ‘holdless’ cracks.
Thanks to the participants for their determination and great attitudes and to the guides for their skill and expertise. Looking forward to many more days of kung fu fighting with talented aspiring crack specialists!
Thanks to Blurr for the hats, headbands and t-shirts that made us look SO good AND to LaSportiva for the t-shirts, stickers and SHOES that made us climb like lizards.