The 2018 Smith Rock Craggin' Classic Took on Diversity and Inclusion in Climbing
September 22, 2018
If you were here for last weekend’s American Alpine Club’s Smith Rock Craggin’ Classic, you may have noticed it step outside its comfort zone of white male and female “rock stars” in feature films and clinics.
Sarah Wolfe, the organizer for the event is very proud of this year’s panel ‘REPRESENT: Diversity & Inclusion in Climbing.’ “ I developed this program with a host of panelists and honestly, I was most excited about this part of the programming I put together and made a point to be able to participate!”
Panelists were (in the order featured in the header image courtesy of Bryan Sillorequez):
Hira Shamsuddin - Pakistani-American ice climber
Truc Allen - American Alpine Club (Vietnamese-American)
Aaron Mike - Natives Outdoors - Navajo / Dine climber/guide
Devo Derby - Adidas athlete and Japanese/African-American
Lila Leatherman - Alpenglow Collective, transgender climber
Ashley Shaeffer and Kellie Standish with Oregon Adaptive Sports [Ashley is an alter-abled athlete]
Keeping with the diversity goal, “The guest athletes (always a challenge, as climbing remains a largely white male sport) were a great mix,” according to insurance and instructional/materials partner Jim Ablao from Chockstone Climbing Guides. Adding, “this was one of the best and most competent (not only climbing but instructing) groups I’ve worked with.”
Smith Rock Park management had offered up two or three options for projects to connect with the Craggin’. Sarah chose the Bivy Campground ADA project because she is personally invested in diversity and inclusion, and wanted it to feature programming around that at the event. “It’s great to see the park focused on making as much of the area ADA accessible as possible.” Rangers and Craggin’ volunteers installed 3 permanent ADA campsites easily accessible right off the main loop trail. Each pad is 18’ x18’ and made of compacted quarter minus gravel.
A new movie partner this year was Adventure Film Festival (Craggin Classic has typically partnered with REEL Rock Film Fest, but their timing no longer aligns with the Craggin’ series) offered films that connected with the diversity/inclusion theme, even if it meant it focused on something other than climbing.
And, just for fun, the Craggin’ added a Dyno Comp this year, presented by Bend Rock Gym and Entre Prises—a big hit. They built a wall specifically for the event and they hope to be able to feature it again next year.
Kudos Smith Rock Craggin’ Classic on providing fun, knowledge, AND food for thought to this year’s participants!