Press Coverage of the Women’s Climbing Festival

Updated: 5.25.16

I can’t believe that it’s already been one week after the Women’s Climbing Festival. At this point, what I recall is a dreamy mash up of so much stoke, support and smiles… and crushing, so many rocks being crushed. As I’ve spent the last week wrapping things up, I haven’t quite had a chance to sit, reflect and write about my experiences.

However, there have been some beautiful recaps of the festival from several of the lovely ladies that came out. Enjoy!!

xo, Shelma

Why It Matters: One Story of the Women’s Climbing Festival
Sasha Turrentine, Flash Foxy

The all-woman panel talks about gender-specific issues in climbing, with all-female ears in the crowd.

Photo By: Sasha Turrentine

“The more I relaxed into the weekend, the more I got it. Stripped of the political statements, stripped of the act of exclusivity, stripped of all of the cultural stereotypes and pigeon-holing, we were just a group of women climbing together, and it felt good. It wasn’t forced: it felt natural and comfortable. It felt as if we were saying to each other, “Hey, being a woman can feel really confusing and hard sometimes, let’s just hang out and climb and forget about all that bullshit”.

Womanhood is our bond, and climbing is the language that enabled us, for one weekend, to express and understand that bond. It’s never felt so easy.”


What I Learned at the Women’s Climbing Festival
Julie Ellison, Climbing Magazine

Photo By: Julie Ellison

Photo By: Julie Ellison

“The point of a female-centric event like this isn’t to exclude men; it’s to uplift and empower women…We’ve all heard the cliche that climbing is a male-dominated sport, but it’s clear to me after this weekend that men aren’t the only ones calling the shots any more. Our girl crew is growing—and fast. It’s time to get on board or get out.”


A Recap of the 2016 Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival and What It Means for Female Climbers
Natalie Siddique, Moja Gear

Photo by RV Project

Photo by RV Project

“Have you ever experienced that magical moment when you’re climbing and your friends shout the exact beta and encouragement that you need to hear at just the right time? Almost as if it wasn’t just you—but an entire posse of you and your biggest fans—sending the route in unison?

Imagine that scenario on crack. Times 100. Spanning virtually every single corner of your periphery.”

The 2016 Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival
Kim House, Gripped Magazine

Photo By: Graham McGrenere

Photo By: Graham McGrenere

“The Festival successfully brought women together in a way that was truly magical. There is a lot of momentum around women climbing with women right now, and it is an exciting time to be watching what the near future will hold.”


The Women’s Climbing Festival: Just the Beginning
Jessi Allen, The Cliffs LIC

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 7.08.28 PM

Photo By: Jessi Allen

“There aren’t many spaces, both in time and physically, where I find women reveling in conversations about their passions—in this case climbing—without the distractions of relationships and responsibilities. Places where we’re viewed and valued as individuals who are pursuing their interests without consideration of what we ‘should’ be doing, or how we ‘should’ be behaving. This festival created that space, and as a woman who is very passionate about her career, traveling, and climbing, it felt incredibly liberating and exciting to participate.”


Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival 2016- A Review and After Thoughts
Valarie Tes, Valarie Tes Blog.

Photo By: Trish Ang

Photo By: Trish Ang

“Many women spoke of feeling more open to try harder problems and felt secure in climbing higher than they ever had before. I myself felt surprisingly relaxed 25 plus feet off the deck, knowing the women below had my spot, and that my own ideas of success were all that mattered…it was exciting to see so many strong women climb, but it was even more inspiring to see all the women trying so hard, digging deep, and pulling down to lift us all up.”


The Women’s Climbing Festival: A Perspective
By: Carrie Cooper, La Sportiva Blog


“Within 20 minutes, car load after car load of women started walking up into the boulders. I was speechless. It was like witnessing a herd of unicorns enter the buttermilks. I would top out a boulder and hear giggles from the side of another boulder or shouts of encouragement. Falls followed by more giggles.”


One Story of the 2016 Women’s Climbing Festival
By: Cauri Hammer, Fringes Folly

Photo By: Cauri Hammer

Photo By: Cauri Hammer

“Rather than feeling like I needed to be protected or feeling like I had certain roles I had to adhere to, at this festival, I felt strong. I felt free… at this gathering of women, we were encouraged to fully embrace ourselves as climbers, athletes, women, and whatever else we identify with because that is what is going to help us grow as human beings and collectively as women–especially women climbers.”


Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival: Family I Never Knew I Had
By: Paisley Close, The Inspired Climber


“For the first time in a climbing setting, I felt normal for having fear of exposure. I felt heard and supported, not awkward or ashamed for speaking about the enormous and challenging mental aspect of climbing. I felt understood, not because men don’t also get afraid, but for how women respond to each other during these times. Bringing so many women rock climbers together in one place was more than just a festival, it was like coming home to a family I never even knew I had.”

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