ASI climbs for inclusivity, celebrating International Women’s Day from the BRIC rock wall

By Gregory Karp, March 14, 2023

To celebrate International Women’s Day  Associated Students Incorporated Indoor Rock Climbing and Programs hosted Women’s Climbing Night at the Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex’s climbing wall on Wednesday, March 8.

The first annual event saw excited climbers participating in a quick yoga session before strapping into harnesses for the long climb ahead. The BRIC rock wall came alive, as multicolored lights set up by AV staff shined against the towering structure, while celebratory music swelled throughout the night.

ASI staff managed the event from a table by the entrance, signing in participating students and providing them with climbing shoes, while other staff members were seen climbing the wall to assist the incoming climbers.

Sarah Sharif, ASI staff member, spoke on the importance of inclusivity toward women at the male-dominated rock wall.

“We wanted to get more women climbing, because just looking at our staff, we don’t have a lot of women working or climbing here, period,” said Sharif. “So, we thought it would be a good recruitment event for International Women’s Day to get more women comfortable in the space.”

The event began with a 20-minute yoga class to warm students up before their climbs, limbering their bodies in numerous stretching positions.

Maia Marin, a landscape architecture student, explained the importance of the event for women climbers and the support felt from one another.

“I guess it’s just a reminder to myself and the people around me, my friends and other women in my life how important we are and how we shouldn’t belittle ourselves,” said Marin.

Although Marin views climbing as a male-dominated sport, she’s met many amazing women that all support one another.

“It’s cool though, because climbing is a male-dominated sport, but I’ve met a lot of amazing women, queer and non queer and everyone’s equally supportive,” said Marin.

Marin also stated that she has many friends who work at ASI and she enjoys climbing amongst them.

Further into the night, climbers continued feeling their way around rock climbing holds with aching hands,stained in sweat and liquid chalk during their slow ascent.

Liberal studies student, Emily Ptacek-Dominguez, a liberal studies student expressed her feelings towards International Women’s Day.

“I feel like it really represents what women have gone through, you know?” said Dominguez. “As a whole, we’ve been through so much, so it’s pretty cool that we get this one day to really celebrate who we are.”

By the end of the night, participants were visibly exhausted from their lengthy climbs and traversing of the giant rock wall.

The impact of CPP’s first annual Women’s Climbing Night proved to be a success, allowing students to climb amongst friends, in celebration of women all over the world.

For more information on future events, go on myBAR through the CPP website to ASI’s Indoor Rock Climbing & Programs.

Feature image courtesy of Gregory Karp

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