Written by Kylie Fly.It was the dead of Winter and I was driving home from the mountains. Fat snowflakes swirled across the highway, pounding the windshield and drifting across the hood of my car. I had just wrapped up a chilly mountaineering and rock climbing objective in the Eastern Sierras of California—one of my favorite places in the world— when I came across an interesting podcast. It was talking about an event called Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival. WHAT! I was floored. A climbing event especially for women? As a climber who is often surrounded by male partners, it seemed surreal to imagine a place where I can connect with so many new potential climbing partners in one place.
Life is full of challenges, but it’s also full of opportunities. When we have the confidence to lean into that with a positive outlook, amazing things can happen. This weekend at WCF I witnessed several women come together in conversation and on the rock opening up and making themselves vulnerable with a desire to learn and grow. It wasn’t just about climbing, as most things in life are not one-dimensional. It was about the human connection and learning to embrace a process that can be very hard and intimidating and even discouraging at times. Women climbing together at varying levels of experience and strength created opportunity to teach, to learn and to embrace challenges. Encouragement from the ground and celebration at the top made for a great day on the rock. Sharing dips in chalk bags and laughs over mistakes and try-hard moves, ego was left at the door and self-empowerment stepped in.When we recognize our strengths and weaknesses and work hard to improve them then we can work against the very thing that is holding us back. WCF provides a space for women to connect in this intimate way, learning from one another and gaining confidence by simply sharing where we are at in our process and learning how to improve.