To everyone who attended the 2017 Woman Up Climbing Festival, THANK YOU! Seeing you all climbing, supporting one another, and smiling from ear-to-ear filled our hearts with so much joy. We hope you all had as much fun at the festival as we had organizing it. Watch the highlights here:
Check out photos from the event on Facebook:
ABOUT WOMAN UP 2017
Women have been at the forefront of rock climbing for decades, pushing the limits of possibility right alongside the guys. We’ve always known that we have just as much to contribute; but we’ve also always faced a host of pressures and expectations that tell us otherwise. From beta spray to microaggressions (“you’re strong for a girl”), we’re tired of being seen as the belayers, the followers, the girlfriends. It’s time for us to take center stage and show the climbing world what we’re made of.
That’s why Touchstone Climbing, in partnership with The North Face, was proud to present our first Woman Up Climbing Festival on July 22nd + 23rd at Dogpatch Boulders! This two-day event was designed to both celebrate the incredible women present in every aspect of rock climbing—from routesetters to weekend warriors to professional athletes—and to inspire women to join our industry, achieve their personal goals, and find their community.
The festival kicked off with an all-women’s comp on Saturday, featuring routes by the premier women routesetters in the country and designed for both the pros and anyone who’s ever been intimidated by climbing competitions. On Sunday, we hosted clinics, panels, and presentations by top athletes and routesetters, all geared towards acquiring new skills and opening up conversations about women in climbing.
For every woman who’s ever felt like they’ve had to justify themselves at the crag or the gym, this festival is a chance for us to inspire, support, and remind each other that we CAN reach that hold, we CAN make that dyno, we CAN lead that pitch—and the industry, too.
WHAT THE WOMEN HAVE TO SAY
We didn’t know what to expect in our first all-women’s comp, but the outpouring of support and joy from the community was overwhelming! Not only did we have women of all ages and skill levels competing in our Citizens Comp (many of whom were competing for the first time), but we had an absolutely stacked set of women crushers in our Open Comp, too! Open competitors climbed on qualifier problems alongside Citizens competitors, vying for a top-six spot to compete in the evening’s Finals round for a $5,000 cash purse. Competitors told us that it was the best experience they’ve ever had at a comp before, with everyone graciously taking turns on the wall and having a great time together.
The Finals show was a true spectacle with Nina Williams, Alex Plotnikoff, Cloe Coscoy, Kathryn Garcia, Emma Palmer, and Team Touchstone Athlete Mira Gottlieb going head-to-head. Despite a tough challenge from the young guns, Nina Williams took the crown at the first ever Woman Up Open Competition, with local crushers Cloe Coscoy and Alex Plotnikoff taking second and third.
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CLINICS AND WORKSHOPS
Clinic attendees were treated to a host of special opportunities on July 23rd to learn from the best, including an all-day routesetting clinic led by the same crew who set all the problems for the Woman Up comp, dyno clinics, and workshops with pros like Lynn Hill, Anna Pfaff, Beth Rodden, Nina Williams, and Alex Puccio!
The theme for 2017’s panel was Women in Climbing. How do women experience and contribute to the outdoor industry across the entire field, from professional athletes to community-building to outdoor stewardship? We were honored to have Lynn Hill, Beth Rodden, Anna Pfaff, Jackie Hueftle, Shelma Jun, and Katie Goodwin in conversation with us.
Closing out Woman Up 2017 was our Keynote Speaker, Lynn Hill! Lynn was the first PERSON to free climb The Nose on El Capitan, forever redefining the possibilities of rock climbing. She has put up some of the hardest big wall free ascents in the world in places like Kyrgyzstan and Madagascar, and has been an outspoken proponent of gender equality in climbing. She has broken the field wide open with her passion and determination, and is a true inspiration to climbers everywhere.
THE FACES OF WOMAN UP 2017
Touchstone Staffer Kendra Wood was out in the crowd during the competition! Check out her article, The Faces of Woman Up 2017, to meet some of the beautiful people who attended this one-of-a-kind event.