The 2016 Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival took place in California’s bouldering hot-spot last weekend.

By Kim House

To say that the energy in Bishop was vibrant this weekend would be an understatement. At least 200 women made the trek to the small town in the Eastern Sierras to participate in the first ever Women’s Climbing Festival.

Some of the participants from the Women’s Climbing Festival. Photo Graham McGrenere

Some of the participants from the Women’s Climbing Festival. Photo Graham McGrenere

The Festival is the brainchild of Shelma Jun, founder of the growing, grassroots organization Flash Foxy. They use photographs, stories and interviews to celebrate and empower female rock climbers everywhere.

The inaugural Women’s Climbing Festival created a safe space filled with dynamic energy where women could climb, inspire and support each other. Friday night began with a welcome party at the local brewpub with slide shows from athletes Daila Ojeda and Babsi Zangerl.

Babsi Zangerl on her send of Go Granny Ho V7. Photo Graham McGrenere

Babsi Zangerl on her send of Go Granny Ho V7. Photo Graham McGrenere

On Saturday, ladies made their way to the Buttermilks, the Tablelands, and the Owen’s River Gorge for a variety of clinics and workshops covering subjects such as rock climbing basics, strategic projecting, climbing-based nutrition, and the ins and outs of climbing media.

The day was wrapped up with an evening panel of female role models in the climbing industry, who tackled tough subjects such as the importance of FFAs, sexualisation of women in climbing media, and what makes for the best cragging snacks.

The panel discussion. Photo Graham McGrenere

Women in Climbing Panelist. Left to Right: Shelma Jun (Founder of Flash Foxy), Julie Ellison (Editor, Climbing Magazine), Kelly Fields (Guide and Founder of Chicks with Nuts), Colette McInerney (Professional Climber and Filmmaker), and Katie Lambert (Professional Climber). Photo Sasha Turrentine

The No Man’s Land film festival concluded the evening with a celebration of badass women in adventure sports. A ton of awesome prizes were raffled off and over $1,100 was raised for Access Fund projects in the Bishop area.

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.

Natalie Siddique, co-founder of Moja Gear, on Seven Spanish Angels V6. Photo Graham McGrenere

Natalie Siddique, co-founder of Moja Gear, on Seven Spanish Angels V6. Photo Graham McGrenere

To witness more moments from the weekend and to read some moving accounts of what the Festival meant to those who participated, check out #womensclimbingfestival on Instagram.

The Girl Crew.  Photo Graham McGrenere

The Girl Crew. Photo Graham McGrenere

Be sure to follow Canadians Kim House and Graham McGrenere on Instagram here.

 

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