On the Sharp End with the New Owners of Chicks Climbing and Skiing

There are now five new owners of Chicks, including Karen Bockel, Elaina Arenz, Kitty Calhoun, Dawn Glanc and Angela Hawse. The new owners collectively represent the most experienced female guides working on rock and ice today. Chicks programs are lead by American Mountain Guides Certified Guides (AMGA). AMGA training and certification is a rigorous process of courses and examination, taking years of hard work to complete. There are three disciplines: Rock, Alpine and Ski. To hold all three certifications is the equivalent of having a Ph.D in guiding. Never ones to back away from a new route, the five owners have rolled up their sleeves and gone right to work to improve the experience both on the rock and snow, and within the close-knit community of Chicks Alumni, fans and followers. For example, Chicks Skiing launches later this year (2015), and will round out the vertical experiences designed specifically for adventurous women seeking to explore their limits and build friendships in the mountains. Ski mountaineering and winter alpine climbing will be added to the line-up, as well as new event locations. Details of a new ice-climbing event in Iceland, a new rock climbing event in Red River Gorge, and a new ski event in Southwest Colorado will soon be announced. Chicks offers transformational experiences for women climbers and skiers domestically and internationally. The organization upholds a strong tradition of both community and of giving back, especially in areas of access and land management. Through the past 16 years, Chicks Climbing has evolved and grown and the new owners fully plan to take the strong brand and amazing experience to incredible new heights! Learn about their journey and vision in today’s Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast! Follow Intrepid Entrepreneur to get more updates (especially about our upcoming weekly giveaways) by joining our community on Twitter (@GoLivingUber) and Facebook ( Don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe!


Habit for Success?

Elaina, Kitty, please add in your “habits for success here.”

-Over the last 12 years of owning my guide service at the NRG I’ve learned how to delegate responsibility and empower my employees to make decisions. I don’t micro-manage them and this helps free my attention and time to other work that need my focus.—Elaina

-Discipline. I used to train everyday.—Kitty

Pivot Moment?

While sitting in the kitchen at Kitty Calhoun’s house, the five women made the decision together to buy Chicks Climbing (and Skiing) from the founder, Kim Reynolds. It was a transformative moment – they committed as a team and never looked back.

Coolest Expansion Idea:

Chicks Climbing AND SKIING! This new facet of Chicks debuts this fall! Also, international expansion on Chicks courses!

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