Written by: Emily Escapule
Women took their past valentine revenge out on the ice this February 14th as SheJumps held a beginners ice climbing clinic at the Valdez Ice Climbing Festival in the iconic Keystone Canyon.
Ice Climbing is a particularly challenging sport to try for the first few times because of its gear intensity, inhospitable settings, and intimidating nature. But that didn’t stop the women of Alaska, for over 40 women came out, many of which swung picks for their first time!
The day started off with a smaller- core group of beginners, many of whom had never tied into a rope before, learned about the gear, safety protocols, and how- to’s of climbing. Everyone was incredible, as we formed an open, encouraging environment and dived out of our normal comfort zones. Everyone shared gear, helped belay, and found ways to laugh!
For those who wanted to learn more advanced climbing techniques, or technical skills such as belaying, I was able to have one on one sessions with them, as to help progress any climber who wanted to learn!
By 1pm we had 5 ropes set up from WI2-3+, and over 40 women climbing of all Ages from all around Alaska, including: anchorage, Wasilla, Seward, Fairbanks, homer, and Kodiak!
We had an amazing time! And I can’t wait to do it again next year!!!
Photos by Amanda Tuttle, Greer Gehler, Julie Costa, and Sasha Johnson