adventures with Jen Olson

Posts tagged “women

Ice Climbing Seminars in Norway


A wonderful group of athletic women who learned a little bit more about ice climbing.

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.


The fantastic venue for learning in Rjukan, Norway


The famous tool traverse… working on our footwork and body position for ice chippin’


Of course we had to try out some drytooling, as well

Siri crushing the stone 😉 like she owned the speed climbing competition at the Rjukan Ice Festival


Oda figuring it out 🙂


It did get hot for a few minutes and we took full advantage of the power of vitamin D


talking about twisting our hips and flicking our wrists


Hanna-Kajsa, a Swedish climbing guide and I, enjoyed working together 🙂


Me, when it wasn’t as warm, getting the rope up


Enjoying the sun, while cleaning the ropes and demonstrating skirt climbing 😉

I taught a lead climbing clinic to Lisa and Debbie from Scotland the previous weekend. We had perfect conditions and climbs for our objectives.


Debbie cruising up a grade 3 at the lower gorge


Lisa has a strong swing and complete confidence in her tools 🙂

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.



Climbing in Estes Park with the AAC and Iranian Female Climbers

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.

Scheming Host climbers: Casey, MA, Chris, Melissa and Tracy. with my lasagnas on the oven  ; )

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.)

Before coming to Colorado

In the nick of time

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.

Cruising a stiff 5.9 arcing crack at Hens and Chicks

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.

On Fantasy Crack. Everytime you were on slab…. you fantasized about a crack

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.

The view of the diamond from lumpy’s

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.

We approached in the dark, so this photo was taken on the way out…

a pro’s photo of Hallet, we were climbing on the steep mid-right hand side of the face on a popular 5.8++ route called, Culp-Bossier.

sweet morning light

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 on the first pitch, still warming up

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 ; )

Nice pitches in the alpine granito

Great Exposure on this route with amazing views all around

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.

Tracy, a very professional climbing guide, topping out on the Culp-Bossier

hobbling out from Emerald Lake

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.

Chicks on Crack 2009

Lynn, Ilze, MC, Karen, Ella, Shannon and Cecile

Back: Lynn, Ilze, MC, Karen, Ella, Shannon & Cecile Front: Jen, Jasmin & Kinley

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.

Karen chimneying like a demon

Karen chimneying like a demon

Shannon jamming up a storm

Shannon jamming up a storm

Cecile cranking the crack

Cecile cranking the crack

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.

Showing off the hard work and tenacity

Showing off the hard work and tenacity

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.