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More Seats At The Table

Making space doesn't mean you lose your seat. It just means we pull up more chairs. 

I remember what it was like to be a new climber - mostly because I was one not too long ago. Let’s be honest - when I started climbing in 2019, I had no idea what I was doing. In fact, on my first summer out I decked (hit the ground) on a 5.7 in Wild Iris. But the following summer, I sent my first 5.12. A year later, I was projecting my first 5.13.


As a minority woman, I sat on the sidelines for too long while others walked into spaces where I didn’t feel like I belonged. It wasn’t until I was empowered by my community that I started to undo those beliefs and begin to feel freedom in my own body and mind. Climbing was the catalyst for my self-actualization and has forever changed my life. But I also had access to a climbing gym where I gained confidence on the wall. I had access to mentors who brought me to crags I didn’t know about and taught me about climbing ethics. Access to gear...guidebooks... and most importantly, a community that allows me to show up as the truest version of myself.


It makes me think - how many things could I have excelled at if I felt like I belonged there as much as everyone else? How many folks are out there that may never know their true gifts simply because they weren’t afforded the same privilege and access as others?


I made a decision to share the access I had with others so they could start to undo some of those beliefs too. So after a decade of building safe and representative spaces in early childhood classrooms, I decided to use my passion to do the same in the climbing community. I co-founded Cruxing in Color: an organization working to connect, support, and empower self-identified climbers of color in Colorado's Front Range. I also serve as Manager of Climb United at the American Alpine Club where I work to serve and uplift marginalized communities nationally. 

I believe we all have a shared responsibility in this work. If you would like to partner - please reach out!

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Follow shara's story!

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