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A Great Success: Iranian Women’s Climbing Exchange

Posted on: July 30th, 2012 by Luke Bauer

After just five days, the women participating in the American Alpine Club and Iranian Alpine Club Climber Exchange Program have already accomplished a lot of climbing and significant bonding as women with a common passion for the mountains and mountain sports. 

After spending a day getting acquainted in the Boulder and Golden areas, the eleven women from Iran and eight American host climbers packed into host vehicles and drove to Estes Park to spend the remainder of their first week based out of the Hostel at the Colorado Mountain School. Divining into smaller groups, the women were able to choose different objectives for their days.

One group ascended Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak, happily encountering most of the animals that Rocky Mountain National Park has to offer, and enjoying a chance to meet and talk with female park rangers and volunteers while on the trail.

Another group had the opportunity to push themselves and clip bolts at Jurassic Park’s sport routes. Meanwhile, those that wanted to experience some hand-jamming fun were given a crack climbing clinic on the cracks of Hen and Chicks at Lumpy Ridge. One full day was spent doing multi-pitch routes at Left Book and Bookmark on Lumpy Ridge. The summit shots and wide grins were abundant.

While the words of Farsi and English may be far apart, there is a common language among these women–driving to and through the mountains of the Front Range, all express adoration and happiness with smiles and sounds of contentment. And, there is a good bit of learning of each other’s words for climbing, rocks, belay, and counting to three for picture taking. With another five days ahead of them, the connections between all will only continue to grow, as will the number of summits.

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