Kitty Calhoun

She says, "I am a Christian, a mom, a storyteller, I work as an ambassador for Patagonia, and my ascents include the Cassin on Denali, Bouchard Route on Chacraraju, East Face of Dhaulagiri, West Buttress of Makalu, West Face of Middle Triple Peak."

calhoun.jpgKitty first roped up in South Carolina at 18. A year later, she started ice climbing while attending University of Vermont which led to winter ascents in the Rockies where her passion for alpine climbing began. While guiding for the American Alpine Institute, she traveled worldwide and climbed dozens of peaks in Peru, Bolivia, Alaska, Argentina, and Nepal. In 1990, she led a successful expedition to climb Makalu — the fifth highest mountain in the world at 27,825' which is located on the border between Nepal and China — becoming the first woman to make the ascent.

Last Ascents: Kitty Calhoun at TEDxMosesBrownSchool Published on Nov 16, 2013

During her career, Kitty has instructed the Navy Seals, been an instructor for Outward Bound, starred in a climbing documentary called Fire on Ice, received the prestigious Underhill Award for outstanding mountaineering achievement from the American Alpine Club, and created the Mugs Stump Award which grants funds to expeditions who most exemplify a fast and light climbing style.

Today, Kitty can be found climbing in and around her home in Castle Valley, Utah or leading worldwide trips for Chicks Climbing, the premier U.S. provider of women's ice and rock climbing clinics, and Patagonia, where she has been a mountaineering ambassador since 2000.

Kitty Calhoun Is Asked About Her Religion
Kitty has been part of SRCFC for many years. As a high-profile climber, making a living as a climber, she has never been reluctant to talk about being a Christian. She was recently interviewed for a podcast by and shares faith perspective comments without getting too preachy. ​Click to hear that and more.

ANOTHER QUOTE FROM KITTY: "Until I found God, climbing was my only religion. I was drawn to climbing because I knew nothing about it. Although I was afraid of heights, I wanted to challenge myself and alpine climbing, especially in the winter in the Rockies, became my passion … climbing at my limits keeps me humble. I am trying to lose the judgmental attitude and focus instead on my connections with other people and the environment. I have finally reached a place where I can be a driven climber, but content at the same time. Though I am still looking for the next cool line to do, that search no longer defines who I am."

Learn more about Kitty


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