Header photo by Saki Cake from the 2017 Woman Up Panel.
The panel at last year’s Woman Up sparked important conversations about womxn’s experiences in climbing, and this year we’re excited to dive a little deeper with some truly extraordinary ladies! The theme of this year’s panel is Taking Care of Each Other. How do we maintain the relationships and traction from the movements we started last year? How do we honor and celebrate each other across different experiences, identities, and perspectives? This is the lens through which we’ll be examining a variety of topics.
We are honored by the opportunity to tackle these questions with our panelists. Here’s your chance to get acquainted with them and get psyched for what’s sure to be an incredible discussion!
Maricela Rosales is a rock climber, advocate, and volunteer. As Latino Outdoors’ Outdoor Brands & Advocacy Coordinator, she connects organizations and leaders to expand their reach to underserved communities; change the narrative of outdoor recreation, ambassadorship, and environmental conservation; and provide insight and assistance on a national level for Latino Outdoors. Her goal is to expand accessibility to different types of outdoor recreation for leaders and the community, bring cultural relevancy into the forefront of getting outdoors, and build a new wave of Latino leaders and conservationists.
Shelley Sella lives in Oakland with her climbing-supportive wife and son. She was a “climbing mom” for many years, bringing her son to Berkeley Ironworks from the time that he was five years old. (He is now 22.)
Four years ago, at the age of 57, she decided to take the plunge—or rather, climb the heights—and try climbing for herself. She started top roping, which was nice, but then she was introduced to bouldering…and she was hooked. She is now well-known to the staff at Berkeley Ironworks because she is there all the time! Most recently, she has started climbing outdoors, which she loves.
Her short-term goal is to send The Ramp at Mortar Rock. Her long-term goals are to be able to continue climbing and maybe even one day, send a V6. Last year, she attended Woman Up and found it to be a phenomenal event. The routesetting, all by women, was great, but more importantly, the atmosphere was truly inspiring.
She is extremely appreciative of the Touchstone Climbing community, which has always been generous and supportive of her efforts.
Summer is half of the badass duo that created The Brown Ascenders (TBA). TBA is a POC climbing crew working to increase representation and build community with other climbers of color. Summer has been climbing for 3 years and loves it, even when it doesn’t love her. Bouldering is her jam and ropes…it’s a love-hate relationship. Outside of climbing, Summer is a Professor of Graphic Design and is building a house truck—follow her journey on YouTube!
Jackie Hueftle is an owner and operator of Kilter Climbing Grips and has been a climber and routesetter since 1998. She has seen first-hand how the climbing industry has changed from a fringe sport to a growing mainstream pastime. Jackie feels mentorship is one of the most important and most often overlooked factors in getting women into and keeping them in climbing and routesetting. She enjoys setting events and teaching setting and climbing clinics both at home and on the road. During her tenure as Head Setter of The Spot, she recruited and trained many new setters, including several female setters, making The Spot one of the only gyms in the world to regularly have multiple female setters on staff.
Beth was born in San Francisco and grew up in Davis, California. The mountains were always important to her family and she spent most of her family vacations exploring the Sierras. At the age of 14 she started climbing in her local climbing gym. She quickly rose to the top of competitions, winning Junior Nationals three years in a row and traveling to World Cups across the globe. Mission Cliffs became one of her favorite training spots during her teenage years. After five years of competitions she turned her focus to outdoor climbing. She redpointed To Bolt Or Not To Be (5.14a) during her “semester off” of college, becoming the youngest female at the time to redpoint a 5.14. She never went back to UC Davis, instead taking the opportunity to travel to Madagascar with her climbing idol Lynn Hill. Over the years she has become one of the most accomplished climbers out there. She’s free climbed three El Cap routes (Lurking Fear, The Nose, and El Corazon), established 5.14 sport climbs, and established one of the hardest traditional climbs in the world, Meltdown (5.14c) in Yosemite Valley. She’s currently focused on her hardest pursuit yet: motherhood. When she’s not chasing after Theo, she can be found either in Berkeley or Yosemite.
Alex Johnson has been climbing for 20 years. She’s been a National Champion in all disciplines of competitive climbing: Bouldering, Sport, and Speed. Alex grew up in the comp scene, winning her first Youth Nationals at 12, Adult Nationals at 13, and a Bouldering World Cup in 2008 at 18. After a few years on the World Cup Circuit, Alex relocated to Las Vegas to predominantly climb outside, establish first ascents, and tick off hard sends up to V12 and V13. This spring, Alex moved back to the Midwest to become the Head Coach at Vertical Endeavors, the gym she grew up in. She currently lives in Minneapolis with her girlfriend Bree and three dogs.
Emily Harrington is a professional rock climber, skier, and adventurer who has traveled the world for over 2 decades exploring remote places, climbing some of the most difficult rock faces, and summitting and skiing down the highest peaks in the world. In competition she is a 5x US National Championship and 2x North American Champion. After a decade of success in climbing competitions at the highest level, Emily’s adventurous spirit has led her to blaze new trails in the mountains, notching first female ascents on some of the hardest technical routes around the globe, free climbing big walls, and summitting the world’s tallest peaks. Emily has climbed everything from Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan, a 3200ft granite face and arguably one of the most famous rock faces in the world, as well as summitted Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak.