Sheclimbs started in January of 1995 as a group of 25 women in Portland, Oregon who wanted to have the opportunity to climb with other women. As we grew, the transformation that took place for many of the women in our group became readily apparent. They developed new-found strength and confidence that spilled over into their work, school, and social lives. Their lives were changing in positive ways, and climbing had a lot to do with it. It was clear that climbing presented a fairly straight- forward way of making a difference in the lives of women and girls, and with that premise in mind, the mission of the organization was defined.
Sheclimbs is for women of all climbing abilities, from those who have just taken up the sport, to those with 20 or more years of experience. We have members as young as 8 years old and as old as 60. New members must bring with them a basic level of knowledge about climbing and safety, as Sheclimbs is not a certified or insured instructional or guiding service. We do draw on each other’s skills, and encourage mentoring of less experienced climbers, but we do not provide formal classes. If you need to learn the basics, we will be happy to refer you to a qualified instructor.
Since that first meeting in January, 1995, we have grown into an organization with many chapters all over the US. We continue to climb together, encourage and learn from one another, organize events, and participate in service-oriented functions such as crag clean-ups. We publish a monthly newsletter that presents articles of interest to the group as well as notices of chapter events, and we provide a roster to all our subscribers to assist in networking. Individual chapter subscribers get together for climbing, crag clean-ups, slide shows, information sharing and socializing.
We have sponsored and organized women’s only climbing competitions for individual chapters, and have provided scholarship money to help send girls on the U.S. Youth Climbing Team to the 1996 World Youth Climbing Championships in Moscow, Russia.