ATHLETES + FACILITATORS

OUR ATHLETES, FACILITATORS AND PANELISTS FOR 2020

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 

AZISSA SINGH

Originally from the foothills of South Carolina, Azissa got hooked on climbing during college. Over the years that followed, she pursued a career in commercial guiding and climbing instruction in North Carolina, Utah, and Colorado. She now spends much of her time playing and working in and around Boulder, CO. Azissa is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Assistant Rock Guide, SPI Assistant Provider, part-time guide for Denver Mountain Guiding, and Grassroots Education Manager for the American Alpine Club. 
 

ABBY DIONE

Abby Dione Climbing picAbby is the proud owner of Coral Cliffs Rock Climbing Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was recently featured in ESSENCE magazine and The Read Podcast.  With over 12 years of experience, Abby has led in sharing her own passion for the sport by developing a strong group of adult and youth crushers in the South. Abby’s a badass sport climber, USA Climbing Coach, AMGA certified climber, and lover of all things climbing.

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.

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.

LAUR SABOURIN
Laur is a climbing guide and trainer in Las Vegas, Nevada.  They love working with climbers of all abilities to dive deeper into their experience and develop a lifelong love of the sport.  As the Climbing Director for The Warrior’s Way, Laur develops and teaches mental training curriculum for recreational and elite athletes. They believe that a love-based approach to climbing creates space for playing with new challenges and enjoying the learning process. Laur loves all types of climbing, but they are most drawn to steep desert cracks and long, aesthetic walls.

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.

ALANNAH YIP

Alannah is a 26 year old climber from Vancouver, BC. She competes on the World Cup circuit in all three disciplines of sport climbing (bouldering, lead, and speed) and hopes to qualify to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She is the first female Canadian finalist in a World Cup event, and recently placed 7th in bouldering at the World Championships in 2019. Climbing both outdoors and for competition has taken her all over the world, from South Africa and Switzerland to India and Australia. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Mechatronics from the University of British Columbia. Sponsors include Arc’teryx and SCARPA.

MOLLY MITCHELL

Molly Mitchell has been climbing for 10 years and is based out of Boulder, CO. She mainly focuses on sport and trad climbing, and she has achieved ascents up to 5.14 in both disciplines. Molly is very open about her struggles with anxiety, and has taken what she’s learned from working on her mental health and applied it in her climbing. She loves projecting, and all the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of this part of our sport. Her goal is to help others fall in love with the process of projecting and value each step of the way.

GENEVIVE WALKER

Genevive Walker has been climbing for about six years and with the Shawangunks as her original home crag, trad climbing always had a special place in her heart. Within the last couple of years she combined her love of travel with climbing and experienced an array rock, amazing people, and interesting cultures. Her favorite part of traveling is meeting people from all walks of life and sharing this common passion. Indian Creek is another favorite, but whether it’s sport, trad, or buildering she’s obsessed with dippy tufa limestone and standstone climbing.

HARRIET RIDLEY

Harriet is a rock climber based in beautiful North Wales, which is where she first learned to plug gear aged 18. She has climbed in many countries around the world and loves everything from sunny sport routes to multi-pitch adventures, and from desert cracks to adventurous sea cliffs. In climbing, Harriet is most inspired by multi-pitch routes, alpine rock, flawless rope work and positive attitudes, and has intense love-hate relationships with baggy finger cracks, hanging belays, and wiggy British trad.

MARINA INOUE

Marina InoueBorn and raised in NYC, Marina Inoue is a professional tattooer. She began climbing as an adult at the age of 26 when she moved to Richmond, VA and fell in love. She has spent the majority of her climbing career living on the road and chasing the good temps. Mostly a sport climber and boulderer, her favorite areas are the New River Gorge, Rifle, and Hueco Tanks. She is eternally grateful to be supported by Scarpa, Tension Climbing, and Friction Labs.

PRISCILLA MEWBORNE

Priscilla is climbing photographer and videographer based out of Yosemite National Park. During the winters you can find her practicing aerial arts and teaching skiing at Squaw Valley. She enjoys pushing herself both mentally and physically, applying her degree in Mechanical Engineering to the complex rope systems of bigwall filming. Over the past couple of years she finished shooting a movie for the Banff Mountain film festival, helped establish the first natural highline on El Capitan, cleaned a new bigwall route on Higher Cathedral Spire and took aerial silks into the relm of multi-day bigwall ascents. Priscilla is excited to share her experience with other women and show that the only limit to what you can achieve is your imagination.

KATE RUTHERFORD

Kate Rutherford loves to climb. The integration of body, landscape and community help inspire her to seek new lines and friends all over the world. Bishop, California is now home, it’s perfect for exploring cracks and summits in the mountains, doing art and learning to boulder.

RACHEL SAPP

rachel sapp

Being adopted from Chile, the love of mountains have always been a part of her DNA. Rachel’s serotonin levels spike from the clanking of trad gear, torquing of stein pulls, pretty anchors, and killer views. Rachel is a certified AMGA SPI and was awarded the Rock Guide Scholarship from First Ascent and the American Mountain Guides Association. She is a Wilderness Paramedic, certified Rope Rescue Technician, and the owner of Backcountry Pulse, a philanthropic-oriented wilderness medicine education company that uniquely integrates tools for rescuer mental health. Rumor has it she is always up for a good ‘ol fashioned alpine sufferfest if cookies are involved. You can be sure to find her digging through topos to plan out the next triple digit mountain run or silly dancing around with her seven-year-old twin daughters who are always a guaranteed source of risk management and adventure.

FACILITATORS

AGNES VIANZON

Agnes Vianzon is the founder and executive director of the Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps.    She has been featured in publications such as The Voice, Sisu Magazine, and the She Explores podcast and book.   An immersive wilderness-based AmeriCorps program launched her outdoor career working with young people building trails and community. She spent her summers working for the National Park Service and the California Conservation Corps living in the mountains of Kings Canyon National Park, the Inyo National Forest, the Stanislaus National Forest, and all over CA traveling between youth corps crews while winters were spent working for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.  After spending nearly 15 years working with young adults in these capacities she founded ESCC and believes in the power of the outdoors to provide a transformative experience.

LAURA EDMONDSON

Laura Edmondson is a climber, hiker, and yoga practitioner, who cares deeply about the environment. Laura uses she/her/hers pronouns.

She is the Corporate Responsibility Manager for Brown Girls Climb, an organization whose mission is to increase visibility and access for women of color in the climbing community. 

Professionally, She is a Program Manager for a non-profit called Best Buddies, where, among other things, she teaches public speaking and self advocacy classes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Laura was raised in Knoxville, TN, Taslaguwetiyi (Cherokee) and Tsoyaha (Yuchi) territories, outside The Great Smoky Mountains. These days you can find Laura roaming around the Mountain West in her van with her dog Willy.

JEAN TUCKY
Jean has been a yoga practitioner, rock climber and mountain rambler 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. Jean has blended her traditional Ashtanga roots with her Vinyasa training to develop an active, heart opening, Flow into Restorative style of teaching yoga. Her classes string postures together using the breath, before dropping into longer, more restorative holds. This approach to yoga builds warmth and flexibility, while calming the mind and breath. She also 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.

  DANIELLE O’FARRELL

Danielle is a long distance hiker with a climbing obsession.  She lives for the Type 2 fun where these interests intersect, scrambling in the backcountry to push her hiking to greater heights.  She has completed the Wind River High Route, Southern Sierra High Route and Sierra High Route among others. Aside from loving to play in the outdoors, Danielle teaches Wilderness Medicine classes and Leave No Trace workshops in the Bay Area with her company With The Wild Things.  With over 10 years of teaching experience, Danielle founded With The Wild Things to help more people get outside confidently and expand their comfort zones safely in the outdoors.

JOLIE VARELA

Jolie VarelaJolie Varela is Nüümü and Tule River Yokut. She is the founder of Indigenous Women Hike, an organization that promotes healing through land connection. Jolie is an organizer based out of Payahuunadü where her people have resided since time immemorial.

KRIS HOHAG

Kris Hohag is an educator, artist and native of the Owens Valley. Raised in Bishop as a citizen of the Bishop Paiute Tribe,

Kris received his Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine and his Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Washington. His work has focused on language revitalization, youth leadership development, outdoor education and building bridges between diverse cultures to unite over our common love of water and land.

A University and Rez-educated scholar and organizer, he initially built a solid reputation by working as a teacher in local schools and mentoring at-risk youth in Southern California, the Pacific Northwest and the Eastern Sierra. Over time and by example, he has proven to be an influential community voice while honing his chops as an entrepreneur and artist.

He is a founding member of the Payahuunadu Alliance, a grassroots family of stewards comprised of diverse voices united around a great love for the lands east of the Sierras known as Payahuunadu and choosing to honor and respect the perspectives of the indigenous original peoples as our guiding forces leading to protection of the natural world for our future generations to experience and benefit from.

 

PANELISTS

SIDNEY WOODRUFF

Sidney didn’t start climbing until a couple of years ago when she moved from the south to California to work at Yosemite National Park as a wildlife ranger. There, she quickly fell in love with the sport and hasn’t gone a day since without mentioning climbing. Not seeing herself reflected in the rock-climbing community as an openly queer woman of color, she became passionate about increasing representation and access to outdoor recreation. She continues this equity and diversity work in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and higher education through mentorship programs and diversity trainings. Sidney returns to Yosemite every summer as a wildlife ranger, but now also as a doctoral student in Ecology at the University of California in Davis. Her research includes wildlife conservation and habitat change, specifically for native reptile and amphibian species on federal land.

MONSERRAT ALVAREZ

Monserrat Matehuala (Guachichil/Mexica) began her career in the outdoors during her college years, she has worked with communities from North Carolina to Colorado. She currently lives in Boulder, CO by way of Raleigh, North Carolina by way of Oxnard, California by way of Mexico. Over the last eight years, Monserrat has worked hard to create spaces for her communities and redefine her relationship to the outdoors. She spends most of her time at the American Mountain Guides Association as the Membership and Inclusion Coordinator where she oversees membership needs and inclusion work at the association. She also works part time as a rock instructor and consultant around Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in the Outdoors. Monserrat is the Outdoor Program Director for Brown Girls Climb and a sponsored Outdoor Research athlete. She is a certified Single Pitch Instructor, WFR, and Master LNT Educator.

ISABELA ZAWISTOWSKA

Isabela grew up in Vancouver, BC and moved to the Southeast when she was 15 years old. She studied Public Policy and Social and Economic Justice at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating college, she worked in advertising where she learned about the importance of storytelling to effect positive change. Living at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains also exposed her to the slab climbing in Western North Carolina. She’s since fallen in love with the climbing community and started volunteering as a Brand & Outreach Specialist for Ascend: Leadership for Athletics. Through Ascend, she has been able to combine her passion for social justice, climbing, and women’s empowerment. 

CHERYL ENDO

Cheryl grew up on a farm in rural Oxnard, California, where there was no cable tv or corner stores, so she became an inadvertent outdoor person. It was just her, her bike and her dogs out on adventure. After a lifetime in the outdoor industry she begrudgingly admits that she sucks at most of the activities she loves and she tends to break the equipment she has. So if you see her out there, smile and maybe give her some duct tape, because chances are she just broke something

 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.