ATHLETES + FACILITATORS


ATHLETES

ABBEY SMITH
Abbey Smith is a producer, writer and professional rock climber born and raised in Colorado. For over two decades, Abbey has dedicated her life to climbing rocks of all sizes, exploring uncharted territories, and the art of storytelling in print, digital, virtual reality, big screen and live events. Her unrelenting drive in the field of exploratory and big mountain bouldering has led her all over the world from the extreme altitudes of the Indian Himalayas and the Peruvian Andes to remote islands in Thailand. Abbey’s exploits have been featured in film, online, commercials and in the pages of Yahoo, VICERolling StoneFortune, ESPNMen’s JournalOutsideBackpackerClimbing, Alpinist, and other international publications. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Sponsors: Marmot & La Sportiva 

ANNA LIINA LAITINEN
Hailing from Finland, Anna Liina Laitinen didn’t start climbing until she was 17. But that didn’t stop her from dreaming. With pictures of mountains on her bedroom wall and a fierce desire to climb, Anna quickly progressed. Now, at age 28, she’s set the bar for Finnish women, claiming the national championship four years running, starting in 2014. Traveling frequently for outdoor climbing, she’s moved beyond her homeland and has been crushing at the crags. She’s redpointed 5.14c in Kentucky and Spain, onsighted 5.13d, and continues to train like crazy to get better. Her motivation is infectious, and that’s why she’s so inspiring.
Photo by Matty Hong

BECCA DROZ
Becca is a psyched climber, beatboxer and AMGA single pitch instructor. Inspired by rocks of all sizes (from pebbles to bigwalls), Becca has pursued her biggest climbing objectives in all female teams and values the unique camaraderie this brings. In the gym and outside in Boulder, CO, Becca specializes in instructing women’s climbing courses to help students improve competence and confidence in climbing with an undertone of transferring this awareness into the rest of life.

COLETTE MCINERNEY
Colette McInerney is a filmmaker, photographer and sponsored rock climber from Nashville TN. She has been climbing for 16 years and working in the industry for the last 8. She describes herself as a climber first and a photographer second, expressing how one passion lead to the other. Most recently she’s been working with Never Not Collective, an all female adventure production team who is currently planning their next big project, “Pretty Strong” an all women’s climbing film.

DAILA OJEDA
Daila Ojeda started climbing at the age of 18, inspired by a climbing competition in her hometown. Before falling in love with climbing, Daila surfed for many years, something very common in the Canary Islands, her home. After a few years of climbing, Daila decided to leave the island, and she moved to Catalonia, Spain, one of the best places in the world for rock climbing. For Daila, it was really inspiring to be able to climb with a lot of talented climbers who taught her a lot about the sport and the lifestyle. Since then, Daila has been very active in the climbing community, sending some hard sport routes up to 8c/+ (5.14c) and traveling around the world to share her climbing passion. As a female sport climber, she is a role model and has been featured on the covers of climbing magazines around the world. Daila feels very lucky to have climbing in her life.

HAZEL FINDLAY
Hazel Findlay has been climbing for 20 of her 26 years, and started out trad climbing on the limestone sea cliffs of Pembrokeshire. She dabbled in competition climbing – she was the British junior champion six times – but at 16 decided to give it up to focus on climbing on rock, especially trad climbing which is her main passion. Hazel has been a full time climber for the last four years, which has allowed her to travel all over the world climbing interesting pieces of rock.
Hazel was the first British woman to climb a trad route at E9, and free El Capitan in Yosemite, which she has now done three times. Hazel has also red pointed 8c and onsighted many 8as, loves all types of climbing from bouldering to alpine climbing and is especially interested in the mental challenge that climbing evokes.

JENN FLEMMING
Jenn is a New England native who solidified a love of climbing over a decade spent in Colorado and across the American West. She strives to be an all-arounder, with her start in a Boston gym nearly 13 years ago. She enjoys projecting hard sport climbs, pushing her psychological limits over small gear, hard off-widths, long routes in remote mountainous locations, and floundering on boulders. She has climbed and put up first ascents around the world in locations like Tajikistan, Iran, Bolivia, China, and South Africa. In her other life, Jenn is a humanitarian aid technical advisor, specializing in child protection, resilience, and education in conflict and crisis contexts. Work and climbing have taken her to over 80 countries around the world, but she is currently back enjoying the beautiful mountains and rock of Colorado.

JOSIE MCKEE
Enlivened by movement, inspired by wild places and curious to see what’s possible, Josie finds herself continuously drawn to the adventure, challenge and presence of mind that only climbing can provide. As a professional climber with over 20 years of experience, Josie has put up first ascents around the globe, holds bigwall and alpine speed records and has done expeditions in the US, Patagonia, Mexico and the Himalaya. She has worked on the elite Yosemite National Park Search and Rescue team (YOSAR), guided around the US and internationally, and currently teaches wilderness medicine and climbing workshops nationwide.
Through climbing and rescue work, Josie has developed an extensive skill set. Along with her knowledge of technical systems, she learned to thrive under intense mental and physical stress. Josie’s goal as a member of the climbing community is to inspire and educate others to meet their own physical, mental and technical challenges.

LAURA SABOURIN
Laura is a climbing instructor and trainer in Flagstaff, Arizona.  She loves working with climbers of all abilities to dive deeper into their experience.  As a certified trainer for The Warrior’s Way, Laura helps empower climbers with new processes for falling, thinking, and moving on a climb. She believes that a love-based approach to climbing creates space for playing with new challenges and enjoying the learning process. Laura loves all types of climbing, but she is most drawn to steep desert cracks and long, aesthetic walls.

LIZZY VANPATTEN
After years of climbing all over the United States and Patagonia, Lizzy started She Moves Mountains as a means to confront the lack of female presence in the climbing and professional guiding world. While her heart belongs to climbing long beautiful lines in the mountains, she recently made Bend, OR home base where she can be found roller blading, skiing, playing music, and climbing. 

MICHAELA KIERSCH
Michaela Kiersch has transformed her indoor competition success to become one of the best climbers in the United States. Whether it’s hard boulders like Crown of Aragorn (8B or V13) in Hueco Tanks or endurance testpieces such as Joe Blau (8c+ or 5.14c) in Oliana, Michaela is extremely motivated to accomplish her goals. Since she’s graduated from DePaul University in 2017, all her energy is focused in climbing and we’re excited to see where she takes it.

MIRANDA OAKLEY
Miranda Oakley has been climbing for almost 18 years and has been loosely based in Yosemite since 2006. She loves every type of rock climbing but specializes in traditional free climbing and big wall (grade VI) speed climbing. She has climbed El Capitan over 20 times in every style imaginable. Miranda is a Certified Rock Guide through the American Mountain Guides Association. She teaches classes of all levels and guides in Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows. In addition to climbing Miranda enjoys writing, painting and running through the woods.

NIKKI SMITH
Nikki Smith has been shooting climbing and the outdoors for more than 16 years. Her work has been on the covers of many climbing and outdoor magazines and used by outdoor and climbing companies all over the world. She has been an instructor at the Rock and Ice Photo Camps and is passionate about helping others document their world.
Nikki is also an avid climber with more than 200 first ascents throughout the west and Asia and has authored five climbing guidebooks for Utah.

NINA WILLIAMS
Nina is a professional climber originally based out of Rhode Island, USA. She began her career at the age of 12 in the gym, training with a team and competing on a local and national level. She loved the outdoor climbing of New England but eventually moved West in her early twenties.
Nina spent 8 years in Colorado focusing on bouldering competitions and expanding her outdoor resume. She trained in the gym while making numerous visits to Joe’s Valley and Hueco, as well as several trips to Rocklands in South Africa. After sending Ray of Light, a V13 in Rocklands, Nina shifted her attention towards the mental aspects of climbing. She explored 30-50ft highball bouldering with ascents such as Footprints (V9), Evilution Direct (V11), and Ambrosia (V11) in Bishop, CA. She also began learning the skill-sets for traditional climbing after her first visit to Yosemite, testing herself on the West Face of El Capitan (5.11c) and The Final Frontier (5.13b) on Fifi Buttress.
She resides in Boulder, CO where she seeks a balance between hard bouldering, alpine trad, training, and coaching. When she’s not climbing she enjoys a good cup of coffee and hanging out with her hedgehog, Ms. Frankie Von Quillsbury.

FACILITATORS

JAEL BERGER
Jael Berger is a Bay Area-based rock climber, writer, activist, backpacker and outdoor educator. She grew up in the Mission District in San Francisco, CA. Jael studied at Pitzer College, where she pursued a BA in Creative Writing and Art, graduating in May 2016. In 2018, Jael worked for Stanford’s Outdoor Education Center and lead their intro and intermediate outdoor field sections. She is currently working for Patagonia as a Floor Lead and one of the retail Environmental Grant Coordinators. She is a leader for Brown Girls Climb, a community of women of color aiming to promote and increase visibility and diversity in climbing. She has worked with GirlVentures for three seasons as a field instructor, logistics staff, and as a mentor and coordinator for the ‘Girls Climb On’ after-school program. Jael is passionate about promoting these type of programs that provide a space for healing, growth, exploration of self and confidence-building, which are essential for youth development, especially young women/femmes. When she’s not working, you can find her somewhere in the mountains, sipping on chai tea, climbing rocks, taking photos, wading in hot springs or swimming in alpine lakes.

JEAN TUCKY
Jean has been a yoga practitioner, rock climber and alpinist for over 20 years. Based in the Eastern Sierra and Yosemite, the majority of her climbing has been long traditional routes and big walls, climbing El Capitan 12 times on 11 different routes. She has blended her climbing athleticism, traditional Ashtanga Yoga roots with her Prana Vinyasa teacher training to develop an active, heart opening, Vinyasa Flow style of teaching. Her classes string postures together, moving seamlessly from one to another using the breath. This active approach to yoga builds strength and flexibility, while calming the mind and breath. Jean weaves yoga philosophy and mindful messages throughout the practice. Jean spends her summer months as an Interpretive Park Ranger in Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows, where she offers free nature-inspired yoga classes twice weekly.

NINA WILLIAMS
See bio above.

TORI ORLOWSKI
Before settling in the Eastern Sierra, Tori spent her time rock climbing around the world, teaching yoga and coaching climbing. Throughout her travels she studied various approaches to health from both Eastern and Western origins, culminating in a holistic approach to the human body and its complex systems. Personal experience with acute trauma and chronic pain landed her in Physical Therapy school to investigate the nature of biomechanics, neuroplasticity, healing, and performance.
She got her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at NAU in Flagstaff, AZ where she could put these principles to work in a community fueled by playing outside. While there, she researched the nature of chronic upper extremity climbing injury, and successful management/prevention strategies. This project is ongoing and has given her insight into how to guide climbers into healthier training practices while improving climbing performance. Additionally, she has pursued continuing education on training and injury prevention for elite and recreational rock climbers. Tori enjoys the process of getting to know her patients and working with them to meet their goals. Whether it’s getting out of bed or standing on a summit, everyone deserves to move better, feel better and live better, for life.
When she’s not in the clinic, she can typically be found on the trails, rocks or snow, with her dog Zephyr nearby.

PANELISTS

ERYNNE GILPIN
Erynne M. Gilpin is a Saulteaux-Cree Métis (Treaty 5) Phd Candidate/ instructor of Indigenous Governance and Wellness at the University of Victoria (unceded Coast Salish territories). She also works as a  Birth-Doula, yoga practitioner, performance artist and rock climber. She is also:
– The founder of
Indigenous Womxn Climb: A community of Indigenous climbers which promotes diverse representation of Indigenous bodies in the climbing world and educates non-Indigenous communities about issues such as Land protocol, permissions, power and privilege and accountability.
– Ambassador of  Native Womens Wilderness; a community to raise the voices of Indigenous women in the outdoor realm.
– Ambassador of #Zai_sintasevivo  an outdoor climbing/yoga community based in Brazil.
She is passionate about community health leadership and reclaimed relationship to Land and Waters.
Please find her website here.

JILLIAN YATSKO
Jillian grew up as an athlete in the northeast pursuing everything from classical dance to downhill skiing to her ongoing passion of rock climbing. Jillian has used athletics and outdoor recreation as a means to navigate the human condition in both herself and her community. Jillian founded the first west coast adaptive climbing program in San Diego and began traveling the world promoting the importance of inclusion in sports. She has received multiple awards for her work in the global community including a Recognition of Service award from Rotary International. As the Founder and President of The Hazel Foundation for Athletics, you can often find her over-caffeinated in the climbing gym looking for ways to improve her world through sport and recreation.

JAEL BERGER
Please see bio above

HALCY WEBSTER
Shortly after learning to climb, Halcy started living out of her vehicle to pursue the vertical world. She is now living in Denver and is on the executive team of Alpenglow Collective, a platform based on community and advocacy for marginalized genders in climbing. She especially enjoys multi-pitch trad, eating chocolate, good puns, bad puns, and learning something new.

 SHELMA JUN // MODERATOR
Shelma is the founder of Flash Foxy and the Women’s Climbing Festival. Shelma is a current Board Member of the Access Fund and in 2017, she was named one of 40 women who’ve made the biggest impact in the outdoor world by Outside Magazine. A leader in our community, she has written, spoken and presented on the importance of creating a climbing community that reflects and welcomes everyone who identifies as a climber. A California native currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Shelma can often be found plugging widgets into horizontal cracks at the Gunks or getting scared on granite highballs in Bishop.