Women’s Next Step Camp 2012

What a great weekend! With women coming from the East Coast to Colorado, the Pat Boswell cabin was soon filled with positive climbing energy and a stocked fridge of various beers.

The Girls met up on Friday morning and we headed off to Haffner Creek. Luckily for us we were the first there and we made the most of all the great ice lines we were able to put up. After a bunch of steep toproping, we set our sights on the smaller ice pitches in the back and worked on our leading skills.

A large focus of this camp is to work on leading, taking ice climbing to the “next step”, which is independence. Of course leading ice is a hug jump from seconding ice, and being confident in ones’ ability to place a screw whenever you need to is a big part of taking that leap. The day was spent working on mock leads and some real leads!…and a bunch more climbing on the steeper ice and mixed lines.

Back at the cabin, we indulged in Sonja’s magnificent appies and dinner. So nice to come back to a warm comfy cabin and home cooked meal after a day of ice climbing.

The following morning we got up early despite our close venues to ensure we would be first there. Kris took Collen, Dara and Maija to Grotto Canyon, where the women led up Grotto in a couple pitches and also played on Hers and some mixed routes.

I went with Diana, Jess, Jodi and Cheryl to Chantilly, where they also led up the entire climb and ran the descent as well. Very fun social day…and great leading by everyone!

The following morning we thought we would take a little trip into the Ghost. I love this area and was excited to share it with everyone. The drive in had a bit of excitement right at the start, but all in all the driving was still pretty good! Dara, Maija and I were dropped off at the Valley of the Birds, Erica, Jodi and Jess went to Beuwolf and Kris, Collen and Diana attempted to go to Fang and Fist. Sadly someone had scooped them, so instead they played on This House of Sky. We had a great day in the Valley of the Birds.

It was quite cold though and the ice on Yellow Bird had a LOT of tension in it! Dara and Maija had some great leads up the canyon and on the first pitch of Yellow Bird and we all played on the pillar pitch of Yellow Bird. I love that canyon, water worn rock and cool notches…always peaks the curiosity of what is around the next corner! Crossing the river had its share of adventure as well!

We met up with the rest of the crews and everyone had great stories of their climbs that day. Lots of bouncy driving had us with a late return back to the cabin where Cheryl and Sonja were waiting with another great home cooked meal of Lasagna! Such a treat.

Sonja and Cheryl meanwhile had a super day with Merrie-Beth on Essondale Right. Sounded like a spicy pillar!

With only one day left, everyone was getting a bit tired, but also still very psyched to make the most of the trip.

The following morning, Colleen and I headed to Professors, Jodi and Diana to Louise with Kris and Dara and Maija with Erica to Chantilly. More leading was on the menu for the final day, and Colleen did an incredible job of leading all the pitches to the final 2 pitches of Professors!

Amazing job! As well, Dara and Maija led all of Chantilly!

It was a cold day, and unfortunately the Louise crew had some bad luck on their climb and were unable to do the route. Thankfully though, everyone is safe and sound, and at the end of the day, that is the greatest thing to be thankful for!

We finished off with beers at the Drake. Once again, 4 days goes by so quickly. Such a great group, tons of good energy, a willingness to learn and push themselves and enjoy a little piece of the Canadian Rockies.

Thanks for a great week! And thanks to Outdoor Research for once again supporting these courses with amazing Rumor Hoodies!!!

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