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Bouldering in Bishop Part 2

Saturday is the first day of clinics. I get up early and walk to the Tri-County Fairgrounds where the Flash Foxy organizers were hosting breakfast. Volunteers from the Lions Club served us pancakes, muffins, and other goodies.

Learning Through the Women in Climbing Panel

2019 WCF group picture.
Group photo for WCF 2019 taken by Vikki Glinskii

My day started with attending the Women in Climbing panel. The panel consisted of Shelma, Erynne Gilpin, founder of Indigenous Womxn Climb, Halcy Weber, executive team member of Alpenglow Collective, Jael Berger, and Jillian Yatsko, founder, and president of The Hazel Foundation for Athletics. They opened the discussion with the treatment of women participating in outdoor activities. Then it was an open Q & A for the panelists from the audience.

Some of the topics mentioned were how the organizers were making the festival a safe space for all people. What steps were they taking in building DEI (diversity, equality, and inclusion) during the festival and within their organizations or groups? How to be an ally for people of color (POC) and LGBTQIA folks.

How to be mindful when traveling to public lands and respecting the land we visit. Push ourselves to learn more about the people who were there before and their history. One of the participants, Jolie Varela, Paiute tribal member and organizer of Indigenous Women Hike gave a small talk about how land acknowledgment is essential, and we need to be aware of it. I was glad I attended the panel because I learned a lot and there was much to think about that I hadn’t before.

After the panel concluded, we gathered for one big group photo before we went to our clinics. Climbing Photography with Nikki Smith was mine. Nikki’s had photos published by Rock and Ice, Climbing Magazine, and other outdoor publications. My group carpooled to the Owens River Gorge northeast of Bishop where our class was taking place.

Crossing to the Clinic

When we got to the parking lot, we did introductory icebreakers before heading to the crag. We also met our guides, Shannon and Katie before heading out. The approach wasn’t too bad now, but I would pay for it later.

Right before we got there, we hear that we had to cross a running stream because a bridge was removed. Greaaat. (Sarcasm) The guides crossed first then helped us over.

Thankfully I handed my backpack to Shannon before crossing. I moved across the rocks, and she grabbed my arm, but I lost balance and fell into the water. Bonked my nose on her arm as I went down. I got out and was ok but needed a minute to recover. My pants were completely soaked.

This was not a great way to start class with a bruised ego. Unfortunately, I had my phone in my pocket when I hit the water, thankfully it still worked. Luckily, someone from another group handed me her extra pair of pants, so I could change out of mine and let them dry. That was so sweet of her!

Climbing Photography

Katie working on a sport route for our clinic.

Shannon and Katie set up static lines for us to practice jugging as Nikki started class. She demonstrated how to set up jumars/ascenders with daisy chains, aid ladders, and how to ascend a static line with the gear. She gave us other tips to use when setting up the rig because she wanted us to be thorough. Then we would repel down on a GriGri. Nikki also covered what should we be looking for in composition and angles since our subject will be moving upward. Plus, planning when to shoot while she’s on the route.

If we weren’t practicing, we took turns belaying or backup belaying Katie so she could do a sport route and be our subject. It was good to refresh my memory setting up the rig and getting back into the rhythm of jugging. I zoomed up the rope. I didn’t get any pics while I was up because Katie was coming back down. But I did get photos in other spots.

Taking pictures wasn’t the easiest because of the lighting. Had mid-day sun and dark shadows from the rocks but we made it work. I feel like I learned a bit while out on the crag. I couldn’t let my fall into the stream ruin my day, but it was close. I needed to pay attention and get something out of it. If not, it wouldn’t be right.

After we packed up, I tried returning the pants I borrowed because mine dried enough to wear. I couldn’t find the person who gave them to me, but Katie knew her and said she would return them to her.

The hike back sucked! The road we were on had a steep incline to the parking lot. My legs couldn’t take two days of it. I got dropped off at my hotel and cleaned up for dinner. I walked back to the fairgrounds for supper and the No Man’s Land Film Festival viewing.

No Man’s Land Film Festival

Getting my photo taken with Hazel Findlay

NMLFF is a collection of short adventure films created and directed by women from all over the world. This collection talked about body positivity, having a place in the outdoors, harassment, loss, and life’s struggles. One can go through many feelings while watching the films, and they were all done well.

During intermission, there was a poster signing with some of the athletes attending the festival. I got to meet Colette McInerney and Hazel Findlay. I had to meet Hazel. I asked and got my picture taken with her because she’s one of my favorite climbers. She was so cool! It was hard to hide my excitement but so worth it.

After the showing, I eventually got back to my hotel room and crashed. It was a long and full day, and I needed sleep. I looked forward to seeing what the next day brought me.

In part 3, I face something that I’ve struggled with for a while and meet someone who helps me tackle it straight on. Learn more about what happens in my next article. If you want to read how my first day of the festival went, click here. Until next time, happy bouldering!