The third annual Treeline Women’s Climbing Festival, with Title Sponsors MEC and Arc’teryx, is happening in Squamish, BC on July 19-21, 2019.
As per the website, “This event is aimed to celebrate the community of women in climbing and give them a place to nurture new skills and friendships in an environment free of judgement and intimidation.”
Katie Hurley is the founder of Treeline Women’s Outdoor Community and she has organized this annual festival, with the help of top Canadian climber Vikki Weldon, since 2017. We spoke with Hurley to find out more.
“The top priority is building community,” says Hurley. To try and “keep it intimate,” the number of participants, including guides and volunteers, stays between 80 and 100. “There are fewer connections made with bigger groups,” Hurley explains. She sees the success of the festival in terms of “growth in experience rather than growth in numbers.”
Historically, the clinics have been a big draw to the event. Treeline has a lineup of highly skilled professionals running 13 clinics and workshops for various skill levels. Learn the important basics of moving from gym to crag, sign up for a guided tour of the boulders or a workshop in climbing photography. There are also clinics in aid climbing, rock rescue, and how to push your level sport climbing. See the complete list and descriptions of clinics here. Clinic leaders include ACMG guides Kinley Aitken, Jen Olson, and Hannah Preston, and more.
In addition to learning new skills, “part of the experience is staying together,” says Hurley. Participants will camp at the Kingsman Campground on Loggers Lane, eat “family-style” dinners, share in a sunset walk, etc. The goal is to create a “basecamp vibe” at the festival headquarters with a centre shelter and chill-out areas with ambient lighting.
Finally, the schedule includes opportunities to give back to the local community through trail building, led by Squamish Access Society, and a silent auction with 100% of the proceeds going to organizations and programs such as Squamish Search and Rescue and Mountain Mentors. This year the proceeds will go to Canadian Adaptive Climbing as well as other groups.
Spots are limited so sign up soon via their website.