Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!

Chelsea Griffie

Chelsea Griffie

I took a climbing trip with Outward Bound in my early 20’s, and it changed my life. It was a physical accomplishment I did not think I was capable of achieving – and my awareness of possibility and faith from that successful experience remains with me today.

Chelsea Griffie was similarly inspired by rock climbing and the outdoors. Her Chicago parents were not campers, so she climbed for the first time as a young adult on a trip to Brazil, and was hooked. In the years since, Chelsea’s skills grew through her participation and leadership in  NOLS, the National Outdoors Leadership School.

In additional to reaching her own climbing goals over the years in the Yosemite Valley, considered the climbing Mecca, Chelsea teaches backpacking skills and yoga to women of color through the Balanced Rock organization. She is also currently the Program Director of Bay Area Wilderness Training, an organization that offers basic leadership courses and advanced seminars to prepare adults to lead youth safely into the wilderness. Here is more about BAWT:

If you are interesting in learning to climb, Chelsea suggests taking a trip to your local climbing gym, where you can test out the sport before deciding if it’s right for you, or if you are up for more of a challenge, consider Outward Bound or NOLS courses. These rigorously rewarding courses are organized around nearly every age group and located all over the world. Try climbing at least once — it just might change your life!

Listen HERE to my talk with Chelsea, which follows an delightful interview with Audrey Peterman, organizer of the Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great American Outdoors Conference.

Photo by Dudley Edmondson

9 Thoughts on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!”

  • Hey, I just took a two week outward bound backpacking/mountaineering course in the Colorado Rockies. It was incredible, I was pushed to limits I thought I couldn’t pass. Thanks for this article!

    • CONGRATS Jesse! That experience will remain with you forever — and you’ll always know you can “trust your feet”.

      Thanks for sharing!


  • This post for some reason reminds me of the episode of the Cosby Show where Theo tried to impress an outdoorsy young lady with his climbing skills in the basement. Of course, hilarity ensues.

    What a great site! We live near the beautiful Stone Mountain Park in Georgia, and enjoy its natural beauty whenever we get a chance. My 4 year old even hiked the mountain with Daddy! I’ve always wanted to rent an RV and do some cross country park hopping. I’ll keep up with this site on my Google Reader for ideas on how to connect my fam with the outdoors a little more. Thank you!

    • Thanks for visiting Elisa!

      Consider joining our community site where you can connect with others in your area, as well as share pictures and movies of your adventures!

  • Great post. I’ve tried rock climbing. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be; it was fun. I’ve added your site on my blogroll, under outdoor recreation blogs. I hope my readers enjoy the relevant link.

  • Rue,

    Thank you for showcasing the work Chelsea is doing with BAWT and the Balanced Rock organization as well as making note of her climbing accomplishments. I am her non-camping ‘Chicago parent’.

    Needless to say, I am very proud of her and pleased to support her in every way I can (OK – maybe not joining her in a Mother-Daughter rock climbing trip … I have my limits.) As a photographer, I have developed a great love and appreciation for the great outdoors.

    I hope you will continue to showcase adventurers breaking the color barrier.

    Thanks again!

    Sheila (aka: Chelsea’s Mom)

    • I am so glad you chimed in Mom! Thanks for being an example of encouragement and support — for both Chelsea and myself! Hope you’ll visit OA often!

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