In this pursuit [of climbing], we found a community — strengthened by different stories, experiences and perspectives. This community has shown us that the only way forward is together. We believe in a world that is united by difference, bound by empathy and strengthened by understanding.

— The North Face

Inclusivity isn’t just a catchphrase. It’s part of the essence of climbing — it makes up the community and drives the sport forward. Bringing other voices into this pursuit makes us all better, so this Saturday, August 24, in partnership with the North Face, we’re recognizing our diverse and amazing community for Global Climbing Day 2019

  • At all of FA locations, first time visitors can climb for FREE from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Return visitors can enjoy free rental gear with purchase of a Day Pass.
  • At First Ascent Block 37, Sending In Color will be hosting a POC meetup from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
  • At First Ascent Avondale, we’ll have a special guest: The North Face climber Emily Harrington will be joining us from 2 pm to 10 pm! Here’s the schedule:
    • 3:00-4:00 pm: Meet & Greet
    • 4:30-5:30 pm: Women’s climbing session with the Women’s Climbing Collective
    • 6:00-7:00 pm: Storytelling and Slideshow
    • 8:00-10:00 pm: Screening of her film Golden Gate with a food truck, beer from Off Color Brewing, and a DJ to spin some tunes after the film

We are so excited for Emily’s visit, we reached out to see if she’d be willing to answer some questions beforehand and she graciously obliged. Here’s a snippet of what you’ll hear about when you come meet her on Saturday:

1. Why did you choose Golden Gate to screen on Global Climbing Day?

I’m really proud of Golden Gate and the film/story that was created out of it. I think it tells a great story of imperfection & failure as well as determination. In addition, I am currently trying to climb Golden Gate in a day so it seems relevant and timely 🙂

2. What’s driven you to accomplish all the hard climbs you have?

I think as humans we are driven to be challenged. To discover things about ourselves through our struggles and failures. Everyone has their own way of expressing themselves and learning about themselves in this way. Mine happens to be through climbing. That may change in the future but for the last 20 something years, I’ve found it to be the most inspiring, engaging, and interesting way to find out about myself. 

3. Why do you think climbing has become so popular over the past few years?

It’s definitely a combination of everything: big films, the Olympics, and just the interconnectedness of the world. I think a huge part has been because of climbing gyms. Climbing is no longer an activity reserved for a certain demographic, age group, ethnicity, gender, etc. It is as diverse and vibrant as the cities that house dozens of climbing gyms. It’s becoming more approachable, accessible, and cultural. And that’s a really cool thing. 

4. What are some of the skills as a climber that you think have been most helpful to adapt to all the different styles you’ve participated in?

Mainly humility. The awareness that climbing is incredibly versatile and requires vast skills and experience in order to master all the disciplines. I just do my best and try and remember that being a beginner again is often the most productive and growth-inducing phase.

5. If you could talk to yourself when you were a new climber, what advice would you give yourself?

I’d probably tell myself to have more fun. Sometimes I think I take it far too seriously. Even still. It’s important to remember that it’s just a form of expression and experience.

That’s it for now. Join us this Saturday, August 24th at First Ascent Avondale to meet Emily and learn more about her climbing pursuits! And if you can’t make it to Avondale, grab a friend and go to your FA home gym for free climbing from 2-5 pm to help us spread the love of climbing.

#WallsAreMeantForClimbing

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Global Climbing Day is officially one week away! We’re stoked to partner with @TheNorthFace and climbing gyms all over the world to foster inclusivity in the climbing community. A quote from The North Face that rings true in our community: “In this pursuit [of climbing], we found a community – strengthened by different stories, experiences and perspectives. This community has shown us that the only way forward is together. We believe in a world that is united by difference, bound by empathy and strengthened by understanding.” There will be FREE climbing for first time visitors at all FA locations from 2:00-5:00 pm and free rental gear for all return visitors. At FA Avondale, @EmilyaHarrington will be joining us from 2-10 pm for meet and greets, a women’s climbing session, storytelling and slideshow, and a screening of her film Golden Gate with a food truck, beer from @offcolorbrewing, and a DJ to spin some tunes after the film. At FA Block37, @SendingInColor will be hosting a POC meetup from 2-5 pm! Check your location’s Facebook page for more details. Avondale: https://www.facebook.com/events/2798181850254721/?ti=icl Block 37: https://www.facebook.com/events/332319014342168/?ti=icl Uptown: https://www.facebook.com/events/436798620509017/?ti=icl Humboldt Park: https://www.facebook.com/events/2312671772329231/?ti=icl Peoria: https://www.facebook.com/events/350418165625632/?ti=icl Grab a friend or family member and join us to spread the love of climbing and connect with this awesome community! . . . @thenorthface_chi @thenorthfaceclimb #WallsAreMeantForClimbing #climbingcommunity #climbinggym #globalclimbingday #letsclimbchicago #northface #climbon

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Photos courtesy of Keith Ladzinksi and The North Face.