Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Interview with Chicks Climbing

Recently I was asked by Maijalisa Burkert of Chicks Climbing if I was up for an interview.  Who is Chicks Climbing, you might ask?  They are only the premiere go-to place for all things related to women’s climbing, both on ice and on the rocks.  Their instructional clinics  (“Chicks with Picks and “Chicks Rock“) can be found all over the country, where they promote self-reliance by teaching technical skills to help women become knowledgeable, independent climbers.  The theme of both their ice and rock climbing clinics is “Women climbing with women, for women.”   These Chicks also aren’t afraid to give back – over the past decade they have donated more than $150,000 to local women’s shelters in the Colorado region.  This is girl power at its finest, folks!

So with a rap sheet as cool as that, how could my answer to Maija have been anything but a resounding YES!  Please head on over to their site to check out what these cool chicks are doing – and if they’re in your area, maybe even sign up for one of their clinics (which I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about!)  If you are interested in reading my interview, you can read it here.


7 Responses to “Interview with Chicks Climbing”

  1. Christopher Serenari

    yeah dude, this is how is starts…hard work and lots of writing…well done!


  2. Tori Schulte

    Yay! You are one of them Erica (awesome chicks)


  3. Jen Norman

    Erica, you have a great blog! I’m a fellow ‘cragmama’ who shares many of your ideals. I have a 17 month-old son. I was determined not to give up climbing once I became a mom and I’m so happy that my son seems to have taken a liking to life at the bottom of a cliff.

    Even though I’m a mom with grown-up responsibilities, it is so important to me to make time for myself. It makes me happier and I find that I have more to give my family. Moms who sacrifice their own hobbies and interests to be martyrs for their children have it all wrong in my opinion. That’s like teaching your children that once they grow up, their own dreams no longer matter.

    We started hiking with Cole early on in the baby Bjorn and quickly graduated to the baby backpack, which he loves. He pulls my ponytail like a reign and I don’t mind a bit. I love feeling that little hand touch my shoulder as we hike. When we climb, he’s busy playing with sticks and picking up rocks. He might occasionally eat a little dirt, but hey, there are worse things I suppose. Occasionally, I catch him watching us climb—really studying what we’re doing; trying to make sense of it. Maybe it’s because I want so badly for him to love it too, but I think he’s really interested. I love to see the amazement, wonder, and curiosity in those little eyes.

    I hope that Cole does end up with a love for climbing. It’s not my goal to raise a little Sharma, but I hope he sees the same challenge and rewards that I’ve grown to love so much. I don’t mind at all when he climbs the furniture. He started climbing the stairs in our house at seven months old. I never discouraged it. I just sat there with him every step of the way. (Mantle—nice! Rock over on that foot, baby! You can do it!) I can’t wait for the first time we put him in rock shoes and tie him in to the rope.

    I pride myself in an ability to conjure up clever ways to sneak in training. For instance, my friends and I meet at lunch twice a week to climb in our local gym. I set up a slackline in my backyard to entertain and challenge myself while Cole plays in his baby pool. My climbing partner has two kids and we’ve adapted well to the demands of climbing with children. With all the stuff we carry to the crag, it must look like we’re staying there for a month.

    I want to instill in my child a love for the outdoors and an appreciation for nature. Already, Cole has been on tons of climbing trips. He has climbed to the summit of Mount Mitchell, hiked dozens of trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway, played in waterfalls, watched his mommy ice climb last winter. In addition to climbing, I love to hike and trail run. It’s funny to me to watch serious runners come around the bend on a single-wide trail–sweaty, dirty, panting—and nearly run into me doing the same thing, all while pushing a 16 lb off-road stroller with a 30 lb kid inside. Pretty hard-core workout. It isn’t always easy, like the time when the front wheel popped off the jogging stroller three miles from the car. I tilted the stroller back on its hind wheels and pushed Cole “wheelie-style” all the way to the parking lot. He thought that was really funny. Or the time we had a flat tire on a long trail run. Or the dropped paci. Or the dirty diaper. But it’s always worth the extra effort. Some of my best mommy-memories are the times when I catch Cole letting dirt slide between his fingers, throwing leaves, or touching a caterpillar, or looking up at the sky. As much as I want to show him the beauty of the world around us, he helps me appreciate all the little things even more.

    Anyway, it’s refreshing to know that there are more of us out there. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Jen Norman


    • christie

      Jen, Im a friend of Erica and cragbaby and I found both of you women inspirational. I dont have kids yet, but hope to do so in the coming years and hope to raise them the same way. Thank you for sharing your experiences 🙂

  4. Jen

    Thanks Christie! I wouldn’t change a thing and look forward to so many more adventures with my own climb/hike/run-baby. Btw-have that kid soon–we need more moms out there climbing!!! (Kidding) You don’t happen to be friends with Sue Watson?–she has a friend Christie on fb with the most amazing climbing pics…


  5. Thanks for all the compliments and comments!
    @Christie – I agree with Jen, get on it!!! 🙂
    @Jen – Christie is friends with Sue so she probably is who you are thinking of…small world, huh?!?


  6. Slacklining is awesome, it’s just starting to get popular and it’s neat to see that anyone can try and do it! You meet a lot of cool people


Leave a Comment Life is in the conversation.


Your email will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN