DATE: SEPTEMBER 15TH - 16TH 2018
LOCATION: TIETON, WA
AUTHOR: CARLIE SULPIZIO
TRAINING STAGE: BASE
CLIMBING TYPE: TRAD
I had the opportunity to go on my first NSM trip to Tieton and it was an overwhelming empowering experience. We lucked out with great weather that set the stage for every lady from first time climbing outdoors to years of experience to get comfortable with being uncomfortable in a trad setting. For me, this trip allowed me to not only meet amazing lady crushers but also get back on the sharp end and place some gear!
The weekend started off with everyone learning about and getting comfortable with trad gear as well as practicing placing cams and nuts into the rock and going over ideal gear placements. The idea was for everyone, even if they were not leading, to feel that trad climbing is accessible and can diversify our climbing opportunities. We began to climb and talk through our trad concerns and fears and learn from one another’s bomber (or not so bomber!) gear placements. We ticked off climb after climb and spoke about crack systems. It was empowering to be with a group of people who were so excited to learn new skills and test them on the rock. It was amazing to see one another push through those fears and improve their climbing techniques. Throughout the day, we went from climb to climb enjoying each other’s company, views of the Tieton River and the fact that the rain had held off. I was able to see that everyone was becoming more comfortable with trad climbing and were excited to place gear of their own. The idea of placing gear was becoming less and less scary and becoming more and more of a reality.
By the end of the trip, you could feel the increase in confidence and excitement for trad climbing. The encouragement and support of the group directly impacted the success of the trip and provided a safe space for each woman to express her climbing goals and surpass them. This was my first experience with NSM and as a relatively new Seattlite, I have struggled to find my place here but as I continued to climb and share with these women, I began to feel a part of this community. I look forward to many more trips in the future!