CHICKS WITH NUTS
Helping Those Who Identify As Women Tie In To The World Of Climbing
What We Do
We host instructional climbing events for women that primarily focus on multi-pitch Trad climbing. Our experienced, certified guides turn the mountains into the ultimate classroom for teaching by incorporating curriculum into a day of guided climbing. Maintaining 2:1 student to instructor ratios allows us to better provide high-quality, customized instruction to climbers of all experience levels.
We love trad climbing and have a passion for teaching. We're also women, and have first hand experience with the camaraderie that is created when women team up in the mountains. We want to cultivate more of that, so that's what we do. We mentor. We empower. We connect. And we do this through climbing.
Chicks With Nuts was founded in 2011 by Kelly Fields (she/her) as a way to bring women together to teach them how to become more knowledgeable Trad climbers. We had the intention of hosting one event during our opening season. By the end of our first season we had hosted three events in Seneca Rocks, WV.
Since then we have gone on to host events year round, migrating seasonally between Seneca Rocks, WV and Joshua Tree, CA. We have helped hundreds of women advance their climbing skills while making valuable connections with other women. Participants have gone on to become professional climbing guides, climb long routes in the alpine, as well as make life-long friendships with other women.
As we have grown, we have made it a priority to create more opportunities for women in climbing by building a team of professional female guides, creating apprenticeship opportunities for women aspiring to become guides, and by supporting the women behind the scenes at our events by seeking out female chefs, photographers, and Airbnb hosts.
Each of our events incorporates a family connection that was an integral part of Kelly's growth as a climber. Kelly grew up climbing with her family who played a large role in helping us get these events off the ground. Her mother cooks delicious meals for the events, her father and brother travel to events to take photographs, and her sister (a professional guide) has guided for many events. We are a small business with a big heart.
Climbing can do so much more than push you physically. Trad climbing especially is a sport that works your body and mind. The mental benefits of coping with fear and other challenges will carry over into your daily life. This is a trade that can take you all over the world, introducing you to different cultures, belief systems, and people. Trad climbing is about having an adventure with the people you love, and Chicks With Nuts is about sharing those adventures with other women. Our only word of caution before embarking on this adventure is to watch out because it is highly addictive!
What Chicks With Nuts Alumnae Have To Say
Thanks To Our Friends
Our events would not be the same without support from our friends. Check out our sponsors page or click on the logos below to learn more about the organizations giving back to women in the climbing world.
"Thanks so much for putting together an awesome event. I had a blast with everyone, learned a ton and feel really empowered to get out and do some more climbing with other chicks! Thanks so much for everything. I'm already planning to be back for another CWN weekend next year!" - Beth
"This weekend was amazing - thank you, and the rest of the crew, for being so awesome at sharing knowledge, working with us on goals as a group and individually, while keeping everyone safe. Thanks so much for all you do to facilitate women in the climbing community, and putting on CWN events. " - Emily B
"It was SO great to meet you all this weekend. I am truly feeling refreshed and inspired after spending the weekend with such bold, hilarious, supportive women." - Ellen
"I learned so much info this weekend. I love multi- pitch!!! I am going tomorrow to place gear on the ground. There's a 5.3 here I can walk up not high get a back up TR and build anchors. I'm excited. Again thank you to everyone, especially Shelly and your mom, for the hospitality. I cannot wait to come back to Seneca abs wherever you are teaching. You're amazing and thanks for appreciating us moderate average climbers. We purchase gear and support the industry as well. Yay!!!!!" - Angela
"Thank you Kelly and Tori for making the weekend possible (and the rest of you for making it there!!), chicks with nuts is awesome!!! It was great to meet all of you ladies and spend the weekend with you. I am also feeling super inspired and can't wait to get back out and use everything I learned." -Tricia
"Thank you again for a great climbing experience! It was empowering on so many levels. And fun and beautiful too 😌. I will certainly spread the word about your skill level, patience and professionalism." - Terri
"I would just like to thank you again for a great weekend! Kait and I were eager to lead right when we got back! We went out a couple days ago with a couple guys and finally took the lead (well, Kait has once...so my first lead)! :) I would have never felt as comfortable without Chicks With Nuts! Thought you'd like to know! :) Have an amazing rest of the summer!" -Krista
"Thank you so much for having us for this fun and successful event! And thank you [to the guides] for teaching us so much of your knowledge. I'm sure I speak on behalf of all of us when I say it was incredibly valuable and appreciated! It was a great pleasure to meet each and every one of you ladies!!! Let's stay in touch and climb together soon again!!!" -Nancy
"I had such a blast on the Chicks With Nuts weekend...Elisabeth, Beth and I went out to Carderock for a bit this past Sunday and are contemplating out next adventure." -Corinne
"This weekend was amazing. Please, please let me know what else I can do to support you guys. I think what you're doing is so important to the industry. You're changing lives and making people feel so empowered." - Hollis
"Thanks again for a such a fabulous weekend! I feel so lucky that I got to be a part of it (and that there a such *amazing* photos to share with others -- thanks again to your dad for taking these)! " - Emily R.
"Thank you for an amazing weekend! I was back at the gym last week and honestly felt a lot more confident on the wall, after being outside with the Chicks. In terms of trad, I do feel like we went from being unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent! Thanks for all the great info and coaching. :)" -Lauren
"I thought you were totally professional (as always!) for the whole day in every respect - I am always so impressed by your clear and direct teaching and your amazing patience and kindness, even in stressful situations or with difficult or anxious clients." - Frances
"I liked the way the days turned out. First an intense training in the gym -- somewhat forced by the rain, but also very useful -- I benefitted a lot from running through the self-rescue scenarios. That's invaluable to me. I thought it was all very good." -Anna
"Last weekend was just what I needed. I can't wait to get back out there and lead some trad! I hope we can all climb again this season." -Heather
"So thrilled that I ended up at CWN. It was such an impulsive decision that I almost backed out of before contacting you. It was this initial "OMG THIS SOUNDS AMAZING AND JUST WHAT I WANT IN LIFE" followed by "but it's probably way out of your league, you're not experienced enough"...I am so glad I went with my initial gut feeling of excitement and joy. Attending CWN is the best impulsive decision I have stuck with. Thank you so much...So glad I met you and all lot of the other ladies." -Emily
"The weekend with you and the rest of the ladies was so amazing and I bet the photos are extraordinary as well. The climb to the summit was so worth the week of wearing jeans to cover up the knee bruises ;) I wouldn't have missed it for the world...That's a key to life I think. Doing little, sometimes bigger ;), things that reignite that inner sparkle. Thank you again for the opportunity to climb those rocks that we love so much. Best wishes and continue to "CLIMB ON!!!"" -Patrycja
"I had a blast and learned so much. While driving home last night, I was reviewing what I had learned in my head, and I feel like I'm so far from where I was before, and it feels great. I have the knowledge to know what I should be doing in many situations, and when to do many things, but still need to just have repetition of the exact "how," which is a really cool place to be in, because I can practice many things safely on the ground :) and have advanced people check things." - Emily
"Thanks again for everything. You were the best guide and I look forward to seeing where you take cwn and other ventures you have going. You rock! I could not have done it without you. You're a great teacher! So knowledgeable, cool and calm. I hope to climb with you again and am totally in for any classes you hold in MD."- Amanda
Who We Are
We invite all women (trans and cis) and enbies to join us at our events. Our goal is to create a safe, inclusive space built on a foundation of respect that promotes a healthy learning environment. Harassment of any kind will NOT be tolerated at any event or within the CWN community.
Our most recent events for Seneca Rocks, WV have been canceled due to COVID-19. We hope to see you all back on the East coast when this storm passes.
In the meantime, check out dates for JoshuaTree, events and stay in touch with us through social media for special online events. Take care, and wash your hands!
Photo: Steve Morissette