Women who rock

Rocky Mountain Ventures, Lowe hosting clinic

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Jennifer Lowe was terrified the first time she went rock climbing.

She had to rely on the equipment and trust that the rope would hold her. But after the first time she slipped and realized she wasn't going to plummet down the rock face, she relaxed.

"Once you get over the initial fear, it's fun," Lowe said. "It's physical, but it's very mental. You have to think about where you are moving to, and if you are lead-climbing -- going up with the rope behind you -- then it's all about keeping your head together."

Lowe is holding an all-day rock-climbing clinic for women at Rose Dome on July 24. Lowe has 16 years experience with the National Outdoor Leadership School, including instructor experience. She taught rock climbing in college and has climbed throughout the world.

By offering women the chance to learn the sport with other women, Lowe hopes to attract anyone who has any interest in rock climbing.

"I really didn't believe doing an all-women's thing was different until NOLS started offering women's Rocky Leadership Seminars," Lowe said. "I was blown away at how different it was. ... It was a very supportive environment. It was extremely social."

The clinic will be geared for beginners who have never climbed and for those who have climbed several times but aren't yet comfortable with the sport.

The morning session will be instructional and will focus on equipment, basic safety and how to belay. The afternoon will be reserved for climbing. The clinic costs $60 and tentatively will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Gear is provided.

"If the interest is there, hopefully we'll do some more advanced clinics," Lowe said.

Lowe is working with Rocky Mountain Ventures to put on the July 24 clinic.

"It's kind of an addictive thing," Lowe said about climbing. "For me, the joy in climbing is being outside and the physical nature of it. Inevitably, there is that other side to it, that you did it. It can give you confidence. For me, as I learned more and became more proficient in rope systems involved, it was more of a confidence builder, and I think it's the same for most women."

Those interested in registering for the clinic or anyone with questions can call Lowe at 846-6377.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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