Come to the Fitness and Recreation Center for “Girl’s Night” April 3r, and bring a trustworthy friend to learn the basics of rock wall climbing. Climbing wall supervisor Jamie Esparza will be walking the attendees through rope and wall techniques at a beginner level, but all level climbers are welcome to come and celebrate a difficult but empowering sport.
“This event is to empower and celebrate the women in the climbing community,” Esparza said. “We will have popcorn and play a short documentary created by the Flash Foxy crew, who are women climbers. Then follow with some fun climbing for the rest of the night.”
Conquering a rock-climbing wall is all the excitement, technique and exercise of rock climbing up a cliff, without the wind or the chance of death in the event of failure. Even though a rock wall is perfectly safe, certain obstacles like a fear of heights or a lack of trust can stand in the way of someone attempting the sport. Kaitlyn Houser organized and created “Girl’s Night” as part of her Outdoor Nation Ambassadorship. She hopes to involve a new audience in the outdoor sports industry by bringing women together to try it. Out-door sports, according to Houser, is a “boys club”, which can be intimidating to many women and girls with a genuine interest in taking up biking, climbing, hiking etc. Houser says that the way she got comfortable on the wall was with the support of her girl-friends.
“I am terribly afraid of heights, but I learned I thoroughly enjoyed the sport the more I practiced at it and became comfortable and confident in my strength, balance, and most importantly, my belayer. It was my girl- friends that got me into climbing in the first place, and it has been new girl friends that have kept me on the wall over time and motivated me to improve my skills and challenge my fear of heights,” said Houser.
Many cultural aspects of the outdoor sports arena can appear foreboding to the beginner. For whatever reason one might be held back from enjoying a new sport, there are resources available to get started. Houser suggests groups like Flash Foxy, Girl Trek, Outdoor Afro, Latino Outdoor, Out There Adventures and Brothers of Climbing.
The short documentary queued up for the evening is a production by The Flash Foxy, a film made to introduce rock climbing to the beginner, but also to celebrate experienced women in the climbing community. The Flash Foxy Crew is an online platform created by Shelma Juhn for women climbers to come together, plan events and inspire other women. The foundation started in 2014 and has held annual climbing festivals since 2016. For more information, visit their website for the climbers that need a Girl’s Night more than once a year.