The Rocks and Ropes Competition Team's very own Sadie P. ventured with her family to the annual Women's Climbing Festival in Bishop, CA. She was kind enough to write about her experience there. Enjoy!
I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since the Women’s Climbing Festival in Bishop, California! The 2nd annual gathering of 300 women climbers of all ages and abilities was more beautiful and more welcoming than anything I can easily describe. The feeling of climbing and just being with only women for a whole weekend was very foreign to me. I didn’t know what to expect. But what I found was an excited and open environment where nobody held back. While it was very inspiring to climb with that many women at one time in one place, the most powerful piece of the experience was the energy. It was relaxed, easy, supportive, and intensely motivating without feeling competitive.
I think that the Women in Climbing Panel really highlighted the (possibly obvious) aspects of the entire festival -girl power and climbing - and really everything in between. The discussions ran the gamut from getting underprivileged youth outdoors to breaking into route setting as a woman. The conversations my mom and I had that weekend and continue to have that were sparked by this festival are too many to count. Do we need events like these? What do we get from them? How do they support us in our daily life?
I can’t forget the world class climbing found in Bishop! I went climbing in the Happy Boulders both afternoons I went out. I climbed my first V3 outdoors called “Monkey Hang” as well as a smattering of easier climbs. The supportive environment that surrounded me as I climbed felt very comfortable as a new outdoor boulderer. I even got to have a conversation with Nina Williams- a phenomenal climber who I follow closely!
I will never forget this experience and hope to attend the festival again in coming years. I also plan to make an active pursuit of continuing to climb with lady crushers in the future!