Chicks With Picks is one of the best-known organizations of its kind in the United States. Clinics are held at the Ouray Ice Park in Ouray, Colorado, and staffed by the world's leading female guides. Women can choose from weekend clinics like the Betty Ice Ball (two days), The Quickie (three days) or the Complete Chicks (five days), and hand select the clinics they would like to attend. Classes are available to accommodate all climbers, from beginner to advanced. Demo gear is available at all clinics.
Glitter Girls, located in Canmore, Alberta (Canada), holds clinics in conjunction with the Canmore Ice Festival. The company, founded by Margo Talbot (former Mt. Vinson guide and internationally known ice climber and alpine guide), offers private ice climbing instruction as well as logistics support for solo ice climbing trips in Canmore, conveniently working according to your schedule.
Chicks With Picks launched Chicks Rock in 2009, the United States' first women-only rock climbing instruction courses. It hosts clinics in both Devil's Lake, Wisconsin, and Red Rocks in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's staffed by some of the great guides that also work with its ice climbing program. You can hand select your courses for the weekend and receive training tailored to your skill level and desire for development. Great food, great weather and high-quality instruction make the Chicks Rock events sure to leave you with a camera full of memories and a brain full of skills to use on the rock.
Women's Wilderness is a nonprofit organization dedicated to women's outdoor training. The organization, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, puts on clinics throughout the spring, summer and fall exclusively for women. The reasonably priced courses last from one to three days.
Climbing Gear Tips
Always inquire about gear before attending a clinic or training course. The Chicks With Picks and Chicks Rock offerings have demo gear available. For both rock and ice climbing clinics, however, you should inquire about harnesses. Climbing harnesses made for women will fit you better than men's harnesses, and if the clinic does not have them available for demo, it is a wise investment prior to attending your clinic. Bring your own shoes--the fit of climbing shoes between brands varies greatly.