Climbing Photography: Snapping Through a Fear of Heights

words and photos by Shani Leead :: A few years ago, if you asked if I would scramble to the top of a rock formation, I would have looked at you like you were nuts. I’m terrified of heights, specifically if it entails a life-threatening level of exposure. I am also clumsy and leave most physical activity with bruises. But on a recent trip to Joshua [...]

Girl Beta in Bishop: A Weekend with Flash Foxy

They waited, mouses poised, hoping to score one of 200 spots. Within one minute of ticket sales opening, the second annual Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival was sold out. Those who secured a spot would be on their way to Bishop, California in the first weekend of March to meet female climbers from across the country. The demand was high because the festival answered a [...]

Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival: We Grow Together

words: Laura Grieser. Photo: Instagram My voice wavered as I told my boyfriend I was headed to Colorado for a weekend of ice climbing. “It’s an all-women's trip,” I said. “I’ll make friends.” He laughed. I’m not a climber, and I’ve never expressed interest in climbing. But off I went, taking ferries, hopping planes, and carpooling with strangers so I could [...]

Suspension: How a Bridge Helped Me Cross My Fears

Riding the gondola to the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Photo and words: Lisa Kowieski 10:00 a.m. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, British Columbia: Rain is coming down hard and the fog and heavy rain clouds have hidden the mountain range in a thick blanket of gray. Four of us are raised into a clearing in the middle of it; the 360-degree [...]

Leave No Trace: Correcting Common Beliefs in the Wild

Illustration by Lisa Kowieski “Ladies first,” the hiker said, stepping off the trail and gesturing to the thin strip of rooty ground next to the swampy trail. He watched in bemusement as our group of women splashed straight through the mud and puddles, chattering to each other about the best place to dig a cathole. I do this frequently: walk through puddles and talk [...]

Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival: No Excuses

words and photos provided by Kayleen Castelli 6:30 a.m. Bishop, California: The sun is beginning to light the horizon. I want to snuggle a little deeper into my sleeping bag. Instead, I crawl out of my tent and breathe a sigh of relief. Today, a Friday, I am thankful not to be at work. Frankly, I am also thankful to no longer be in a [...]

Injured: A Holiday Blessing

words and photos: Catherine Slater Our adventures started 24 hours later than planned after the Manchester airport ran out of de-icer. As John, my boyfriend, and I sat on the plane full of Norwegians, we couldn’t help but be a bit embarrassed. Compared to the crazy winters in Norway, our English weather was pretty mild, yet we still couldn’t take off. We were [...]

Lessons from Lead Climbing: Balance in the Risk

words by Rachel Clark; illustration by Lisa Kowieski   A forty-foot wall is really high when you’re only a little taller than five feet. I was 18 when I first climbed. My friends took me to an indoor climbing gym, where I got about halfway up the wall and immediately wanted down. My sweaty hands agreed, but my belayer did not. Refusing to [...]

GQ Style: You Took Climbing & Made it Into Sexist Advertising

Climber: Pamela Shanti Pack Photo: @jasongebauerphotography An open letter to GQ Style editors There are many reasons behind climbing’s growing popularity. It can be an accessible leisure option or an extreme adventure in the wild—and it looks good on camera. Us climbers can be protective of our discipline, but it’s so good that we feel compelled to share it. That’s why seeing [...]

Scientific Adventure: Greenland’s Caves & Climate Change (Part II)

photos by Robbie Shone   Gina Moseley returned home after a one-of-a-kind adventure. Her journey was sparked by a mission: to reconstruct the climate change history of Greenland. To do so, she, along with her team, planned to go deep into a remote system of caves and retrieve samples from ice cores. Through these, she hoped to study the past and understand the [...]