Global Climbing Day 2022 with Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), Black Girls Climb, Movement Gyms, and The North Face. Written by CI Instructor Carly Winner.
Did you know that August 20th is Global Climbing Day? Started in 2017, Global Climbing Day is a celebration of the climbing community and the opportunities we find in every obstacle. The holiday aims to lower barriers to entry to climbing. This year, Cottonwood Institute partnered with Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), Brown Girls Climb, Movement Gyms, and The North Face to have an awesome day of climbing.
The group met at the newly-built ELK Education Center and learned about the facility, which is next to Montbello Open Space and has its own bouldering area! Instructors from Brown Girls Climb discussed tips and tricks to use on the bouldering wall. After the group felt ready, we loaded the vans and headed to Movement Climbing Gym in RiNo. The staff at Movement greeted us with smiling faces, shoes to fit our feet, and an explanation of the space. Before we knew it, the group was spread out at many different bouldering walls trying out their new skills. The students tried several different colored routes that symbolized different difficulties. From gray, to green, to yellow, or red- the group was amazing. Students learned that falling doesn’t mean failure; it means a chance to try again and get better. They supported each other by cheering one another on, giving advice (“beta”) on foot placement, and laughing the day away.
After a few hours, it was time for a break. The group heard from professional North Face athletes about how they got into the sport of climbing. The athletes gave the students more tips and tricks and then it was back to climbing. With support from the pros at Brown Girls Climb and The North Face, the students were gaining strength and confidence every minute.
We celebrated the day by ending with a Chipotle lunch back at the ELK Education Center, where everyone talked about their favorite route, shared stories from the day, and ate until they were stuffed. Thank you to our partners ELK, Black Girls Climb, Movement Gyms, The North Face and Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s Partners in the Outdoors Grant for an amazing Global Climbing Day 2022!