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The Chicks Legacy Continues

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Lindsay Fixmer

The former owners – Angela Hawse, Elaina Arenz, Karen Bockel, and Kitty Calhoun – of Chicks Climbing & Skiing are pleased to announce that we have passed the torch to Dan Zokaties, a longtime friend and guide from Ridgeway, CO. He then asked the preeminent guide, Lindsay Fixmer to be Director of Chicks. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better successor.

As you may know, Lindsay is an adventurer at heart who desires to share her love of the unknown with others. I first remember guiding backcountry ice with Lindsay in Cody, WY four years ago. We were discussing the common routes that we climb and Lindsay patiently listened to me as she turned through the pages in her well-thumbed guidebook to the area. Then she presented her plan for the next three days – hidden climbs that she and her group would likely have to themselves. Lindsay’s signature trait might be her going above and beyond what is expected of her. As I worked side by side with her, I noticed that she is a meticulous teacher with a genuine desire to impart her knowledge of rope systems and movement skills. Her memory of one-liners in comedies and movies kept us laughing throughout the day. It all appears effortless for Lindsay, but I have seen the way she anticipates, organizes, and prepares for what is to come. What an awesome soul to take the lead.

Only a week after the becoming Director of Chicks and delving into the unseen business side of her role, Angela and I (Kitty) sat down with Lindsay to have a chat about her vision for the future:

Kitty: What is your vision for Chicks?
Lindsay: What I love about history is that it informs where we are going. Chicks has always been a leader. Kim Reynolds noticed in 1999 that there were not many women climbing ice. I want to open doors for people who haven’t had the opportunity to come into these sports.

Angela:
We are so stoked for you to take the helm, Lindsay. As you know, from our very beginning, Chicks has been a leader in providing safe spaces for women to learn mountain sports together.  We are committed to diversifying our offerings to create the same opportunities for the LBGQT and BIPOC communities. In doing so, we acknowledge and apologize for any harm or misunderstanding our original name, Chicks with Picks may have caused.  We also respectfully acknowledge that the lands on which we operate are sacred territories of ancestral Native Americans. Would you agree with this?
Lindsay: Absolutely. We want to work with a diverse background of people and continue to build upon that foundational ethos of Chicks.

Kitty: What attracted you to working for Chicks?
Lindsay: In my other guiding work, I frequently resonate with the guests. But Chicks is the most rewarding work because at every clinic I build amazing relationships. It’s a testament to the fact that the women’s community building is so important. Even with Covid and the decreasing number of participants, we still get a feel for the community – especially in big landscapes with women pushing themselves. For example, I was guiding Louise and Terri in Cody last winter and when Louise topped out on the climb, she said with big eyes, “I can’t believe I did that!” My reality was that at no point did I doubt that she could do it. Then it dawned on me that we are giving women the opportunity to realize their potential and what that means in the realm of life. Also, when you read the replies that many of the past Chicks guides made when you announced the dissolution of the business, what it meant to them – that’s revolutionary.

Kitty: What is your vision for Chicks courses, now and in the future?
Lindsay: I’ve only been thinking about it for a week (laughs). My first priority is to get the word out that the ice courses are up and running. Initially, we need to lower the group numbers – so instead of having 12 participants (with 3 guides) we might only have 4 or 8 participants – and not include group dinners with indoor dining. At least in the spring, we can camp, and also we are learning how to manage the risk of Covid. I am planning to continue programs in Indian Creek, Rifle, Maple. I want to add other places we haven’t thought of – like Ten Sleep, WY.

Kitty: What is your vision for creating and maintaining community within Chicks?
Lindsay: We need to scale down the frequency of the newsletter initially with it just being me. But look for another newsletter around the holidays or the New Year, announcing the spring programs. Every six weeks or so I will send out another one. Social media will be easy to continue.

Kitty: What is your vision for giving back? As you know, fundraisers have been part of the Chicks tradition.
Lindsay: It’s going to continue to be important to give back, and I intend to do so starting in 2021.

Kitty: Do you want to talk about fostering environmental stewardship?
Lindsay: Access and advocacy work is so important. Americans are fortunate to have such a diverse landscape. I’ve only had this job for a week, but huge issues need to be addressed globally, nationally, locally. I wish I had a solution – voting and education.

Kitty: Its ok, Lindsay. You don’t need to have the answers to everything in one week. Let’s talk about Covid. How will Chicks cope with the pandemic?
Lindsay: We have up-to-date Covid policies on the website, including refund and cancelation policies. We have adapted our programs. We are following CDC guidelines and encourage people to travel and climb in pods or groups that are familiar to them.

Kitty: What kinds of relationships do you envision with Chicks sponsorship partners?
Lindsay: I think we can provide quality feedback on the sponsor’s demo gear. Tangible evidence that a participant likes a demo item is when she looks for it and purchases it afterward. Sponsors can see how big the women’s market is becoming. We can help sponsors by providing the testing ground for participants and helping them make an educated decision. Sponsors can help us by making it financially possible to provide our service.

Kitty: Can you say a little about the ideal Chicks guide?
Lindsay: We are looking for guides who climb well, are experienced, and AMGA certified in the discipline they are teaching. We would also like to mentor and cultivate new guides.

Kitty: What are your dreams for Chicks? What would it look like in the future?
Lindsay: I would like to be a company that is welcoming to women getting into the outdoors, and who want to come to Chicks because of the talented, experienced guides. We are leaders in the industry. We are a community. We are made of people like Diane, who tried ice climbing and went home with a black eye (she choked up on her ice tool even when I told her not to) and a passion. It’s like music or art. It fulfills your day – day in and day out. Chicks serve that purpose by opening the doors for people.

Kitty: Anything else you want to add?
Lindsay: Stay tuned. Also, if you are inspired and have ideas, I want to hear from you. I would like to know what you loved about Chicks and what you are looking forward to. Please email me directly at [email protected]

The post The Chicks Legacy Continues appeared first on Chicks Climbing.

To see the latest Chicks with Picks and Chicks Rock! clinic schedule check out http://www.chickswithpicks.net/



Source: https://chickswithpicks.net/the-chicks-legacy-continues/


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