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kenyan climber THE

CLIMBING

LIFE

KENYA

OFFICIAL

NEWSLETTER

ROCK CLIMBING AS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL IMPACT

WILDLIFE ON THE ROCKS CLIMBING LIFE KENYA 2020 ANNUAL REPORT - HIGHLIGHTS

APR 2021 ISSUE 03


karibu

PHOTOS: Cover: Silas Mugo at Baboon Cliff - Lukenya // 2,3: Participants at Climbing Life Kenya events // 4,5: Liz Ndindi atop Nemesis crag // 6,7,10-13: Participants at Climbing Life Kenya events // 14: Nyamzy Giati at Lukenya Cliffs // 15: Nyamzy Giati at Baboon Face - Laikipia, & at the 2019 Havoc MTB competition in Naivasha // 16,17: Participants at Climbing Life Kenya events // 18: Climbing Life Kenya team at Jamrock Climbing Competition, Hetal Shah and Hemal Haria at Point Batian, Mt. Kenya, : Domen Škofic climbs on the Trbovlje Chimney in Trbovlje, Slovenia on October 13, 2020 // All photo credits: Climbing Life Kenya; Others - Danny Skilton, Hetal Shah, Jakob Schweighofer/Red Bull Content Pool


The smiles have it! Climbing Life Kenya events and activities leave all participants with a sense of belonging and togetherness. People are open and available to others - challenging, uplifting, celebrating and affirming each other to the end. Laughter, conversation and energies flow beyond societal differences. As we climb together, the crag becomes our home and we are all family. In this issue of The Kenyan Climber, we highlight the strides made by Climbing Life Kenya through our mission of connecting Kenyans with rock climbing; steadily impacting our community - one climb at a time. Let us climb more, laugh more and smile more! Happy reading!

rock climbing and social impact 06 wildlife on the rocks

08

growth in action

10

Climbing Life Kenya is because we are. Pamoja,

Climbinglifekenya the kenyan climber 03


To progress through a climbing route is like progressing in life. Sometimes you stumble. Sometimes you fall. Sometimes you ace it. And sometimes you just don’t know what to do next. But like life, it is not about where you end up. Whether or not you find yourself at the peak of whatever route is possible, it’s about how much you enjoy getting there, what lessons you learn about yourself along the way and what special people you surround yourself with, who can help you get to the right place.

DAVID HWAN PARTICIPANT, CLIMBING LIFE KENYA


rock climbing as a tool for

social impact When asked, Climbing Life Kenya’s

they have been exposed to at the crag.

participants cited active participation by women, social interaction and mutual

Rock climbing holds the potential for:

support forged with others as what stood out

Advancing gender equity by promoting

most from their rock climbing experiences.

equal opportunity participation for girls and boys, promoting female leadership

Beyond the physical and mental benefits of

and encouraging respectful attitudes.

rock climbing, participants are left with the far reaching social and cultural impact that 06 the kenyan climber

Promoting intercultural dialogues and


and social inclusion by providing

The potential for rock climbing as a tool for

opportunities where people from

social impact in Kenya can be harnessed

different backgrounds interact, integrate

through creation of effective programs that

and establish mutual trust.

are designed to be inclusive and to prioritise social impact for the community.

Fostering youth development and experiential learning by creating

opportunities for participation, encouraging critical thinking and informed decision making, encouraging application of skills and knowledge for community and career development. Rock itself does not bring about nor is it a factor in social impact. It simply holds the

Rock climbing holds the potential for advancing gender equity, promoting social inclusion, fostering youth development

Visit climbinglifekenya.org to learn how Climbing Life Kenya using rock climbing to impact the community.

potential to serve as a tool. the kenyan climber 07


Slender Chameleon

pundamilia ZEBRA

kinyonga CHAMELEON

ndege BIRD

Common Zebra Scarlet-chested Sunbird African Dung Beetle

nyumbu

WILDERBEEST

mendepundamilia wa kinyesi Blue Wilderbeest

DUNG BEETLE

zebra


wildlife

twiga

GIRAFFE

ON THE ROCKS

Rock climbing in Kenya makes for a memorable experience. You get to climb in amazing locations with stunning views and intimately experience Kenyan wildlife and outdoors. Here are some of the animals we had memorable encounters with in 2020.

Leopard Tortoise

Maasai Giraffe

kobe

TORTOISE Spiny orb weaver / Kite spider

buibui SPIDER


CLIMBING

LIFE

KENYA

2020 annual report HIGHLIGHTS 2020 was an exceptional year for Climbing Life Kenya. Our work in 2020 enabled us to further centre on our mission to connect Kenyans with rock climbing by increasing visibility, building awareness and creating opportunities. We achieved significant milestones. To name a few; we launched our website, held our first slideshow presentation, hosted rock climbing sessions for beginners, took part in industry forums, undertook a study on local participation in rock climbing, and launched our newsletter, The Kenyan Climber. Many thanks to our volunteers and supporters who share their time, resources and knowledge with us. As we celebrate our accomplishments, we remain tied-in and chalked up as much remains to be done. Climbing Life Kenya is because we are. Pamoja,

social impact

Climbinglifekenya Equity Participation & Social Inclusion

75%

74% KENYAN PARTICIPANTS

64%

PARTICIPANTS HAD NO PRIOR ROCK CLIMBING EXPERIENCE

14% of our volunteers were participants in past Climbing Life Kenya events

of our volunteers are of African descent. Youth

87% PARTICIPANTS DID NOT OWN ANY CLIMBING GEAR*

Giving Back

85% of our participants are youth

31%

Women

50%

OF OUR VOLUNTEERS ARE WOMEN

38%

of our participants are women

of our participants took part in more than one event

*9% of them purchased an item of personal climbing gear by the end of 2020.

CONNECTING KENYANS


Climbing Life Kenya is a local female-led non-profit initiative in Nairobi, Kenya that

exists to connect Kenyans with rock climbing. Our interventions focus on increasing visibility, building awareness and creating rock climbing opportunities with the local Kenyan in mind.

Our programming approach engages rock climbing as a tool for positive social impact particularly amongst the youth and women. "As a first timer, I was very skeptical because I've heard stories of people falling and dying during rock climbing expeditions. I was already making excuses to not do the climbs. However, the belayers really encouraged me and guided me in the tricky areas of the climb. There's a satisfactory feeling one gets when they reach at the top of the climb which they really helped me achieve. We were even given basic training on how to do rock climbing and understand the jargon used with rock climbers. I'd definitely want to climb again with Climbing Life Kenya."

ABDALLA SAID

Climbing Life Kenya www.climbinglifekenya.org info@climbinglifekenya.org +254 (0) 758 823 838 @climbinglifekenya

75%

of the readers are based in Kenya

453%

highlights Study: Factors affecting Local Kenyans’ Participation in Rock Climbing. Covid-19: An Opportunity For Action Towards More Inclusivity We Train Together: Training for climbing with Rémi Samyn Climbing Advocacy Conference: The State of JEDI in Climbing

Growth in readership in Issue 02

climbinglifekenya.org

82%

OF OUR WEBSITE VISITORS ARE BASED IN KENYA

We gave Kenyans access to locally curated rock climbing information and resources to enrich their rock climbing experiences.

summary of activities Amidst the COVID-19 related constraints experienced in 2020, we held 53 events in total - a 89% increase from the 28 held in 2019.

JANUARY 08 New Climbing Life Kenya Logo 08 New climbinglifekenya.org Website 11, 28 Indoor Climbing Meetup 30 Trad & Sport Climbing

APRIL 03 Buildering Fun 06 Climbing Life - Sport for Peace and Development

JULY

FEBRUARY 09 Family Climb (Kids) 18 Buildering Fun 27 Slideshow Presentation

07 Amateur Indoor Climbing Competition 08 Women in the Outdoors Forum

MAY

JUNE

04 Circumspectacles Interview 26 15 Hours of Hell on Mt. Kenya 26-29 TCI Climbing Community Highlight on Kenya

AUGUST

15, 20 Sport Climbing 22, 27 Outdoor Bouldering

14 Outdoor Bouldering 27 Trad Climbing 29 Rock Climbing for Beginners

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

01 We Train Together Training Program starts (Episode 01) 06-08 Women Uprising Takeover 10 Rock Climbing for Beginners 12 Family Rock Climbing Excursion 23 Trad climbing 24 Rock Climbing for Beginners 31 Rock Climbing Excursion (OL)

MARCH

02 We Train Together Episode 02 07 Rock Climbing for Beginners 13 Rock Climbing Excursion (KH) 15 Panelist - Climbing Advocacy Conference 16 Indoor Rock Climbing Training 21 Rock Climbing for Beginners 22 Family Rock Climbing Excursion 26 Trad climbing

EVENTS 89% MORE IN 2020

WITH ROCK CLIMBING

02 Solidarity 25 climbinglifekenya.org/blog

SEPTEMBER 05 Women Uprising Training 11 Launch of The Kenyan Climber (Issue 01) 11 Opinion Piece on the Impact of Covid-19 on Local Kenyans' Participation in Rock Climbing 17 Trad Climbing 18,19 Sport Climbing 24 Trad Climbing

DECEMBER 5&6 Sport Lead Climbing Training 09 We Train Together Episode 03 10 Panelist - A Seat at The Table: Future of BIPOC Storytelling 12 Rock Climbing for Beginners 19 The Kenyan Climber Issue 02 19 Study on Factors Affecting Local Kenyans' Participation in Rock Climbing


TOGETHER


meet nyamzy Nyambura “Nyamzy” Giati has embraced the outdoors as an integral part of her lifestyle. Now, as the Director of Operations and an instructor at Climbing Life Kenya, she’s helping other Kenyans experience the outdoors and nature. The Kenyan Climber caught up with her to discuss life and her relationship with the outdoors.


How would you describe your relationship

incredible, having rained only once (we had

When and how did you start rock

with the outdoors?

already arrived at the camp) and a beautiful

climbing?

My relationship with the outdoors has and

sunny summit day, with spectacular views of

Having been an avid hiker for over 5 years,

still is a journey of self-discovery, growth and

Bujuku lake below and the surrounding

my partner Victor and I wanted to climb to

enlightment. I grew up in Nairobi, with my

forest.

the highest peak of Mt Kenya, Point Batian. Our curiosity led to us to discover the world of

I also have to mention my experience of an

rock climbing. I’ve been rock climbing for

unforgettable day spent at Ngare Ndare

about 3 years now, and I'm in no particular

Forest, where I first encountered elephants

rush to get to Point Batian.

while hiking and swimming in the beautiful blue waters at the waterfalls. A truly magical

What’s your favorite climbing destination?

place.

I have to say that Lukenya would be my favourite, not just because of the plethora of

What challenges have you faced in your

crags, but the bird diversity and serenity it

outdoor life? How did you overcome

offers just 45 mins from Nairobi.

them?

I had lived a rather sedentary lifestyle before

Do you have any specific climbing goals for

my friend Sarah introduced me to hiking.

2021?

Making the change in my journey to be able

My goal is to just enjoy climbing and taking on

to enjoy the outdoors came with a few

opportunities for personal growth. I’m pretty

bumps on the road. I lost friends, but quickly

optimistic for the year.

made new ones that have been true friends.

first experience with nature was catching tadpoles in the rain and transferring them into an old tyre in our little garden. I watched them swim and grow into frogs that would later escape out of the old tyre and into the

Engaging in outdoor activities does come at

If you could travel anywhere or climb

a cost, including financial, and a switch in

anything, what’s one climb or place you

lifestyle helps alot in being able to bear the

would want to explore?

cost.

I enjoy driving and exploring places I’ve never

"It is these anthropogenic activities that are a major contributor to biodiversity loss."

garden. My love for reptiles grew, and with

I had a pretty seamless entry into hiking,

more exposure to nature thanks to my

triathlons and mountain biking in Nairobi.

mother taking us on numerous game drives

There are numerous events organised for

during the school holidays, my relationship

these activities throughout the year, all with

grew 10-fold. I fell in love with birds and had

open information and training readily

a thirst to spot and identify as many birds as I available. It wasn't as easy to get into rock could.

climbing. Part of my work at Climbing Life Kenya is to ensure there is ease of entry into

I found a new way to relate with the

rock climbing for others who may be

outdoors when I was introduced to hiking in

interested.

January 2015. I found a serenity and a calm that I can only describe as divine. This

Are there issues surrounding the outdoors

opened my eyes to participating in other

in Kenyan that you are passionate about?

outdoor activities that I later came to love

Why do they matter to you?

such as mountain biking, participating in

I’m passionate about the conservation of our

triathlons and, of course, rock climbing.

natural ecosystems. The fast-paced conversion of land from ‘rural’ to ‘urban’ areas

What is your favourite adventure so far

is of great concern as it is these

and why does it stand out from the

anthropogenic activities that are a major

others?

contributor to biodiversity loss. The

My favourite expedition would have to be

conservation of biodiversity matters to me

hiking up to Margarita Peak in the Rwenzoris. because I would want future generations to The Rwenzoris are notorious for constant rain enjoy it and benefit from it the same way or most of the year, making it difficult to summit. My experience however was

better than we do today.

been to. I’d certainly love to spend more time doing so in Kenya. I would also love to visit, explore and climb in New Zealand. What do you do when you’re not rock climbing?

When I’m not rock climbing, I’m likely to be working at Climbing Life Kenya, enjoying morning bike rides in Karura Forest, hiking, birding or working on my organic farm. What are some of your past accomplishments in the outdoors?

I have been lucky to climb most of the highest peaks in East Africa. I also participated in and won a triathlon once! Most importantly, being a part of Climbing Life Kenya and the impact it has made in Kenyans' experiences in the outdoors.


CLIMBING LIFE KENYA

CONNECTING KENYANS WITH ROCK CLIMBING

FOR UPCOMING ACTIV VISIT climbinglifekeny


life kenya

pamoja

ns with rock climbing

CLIMBINGLIFEKENYA.ORG

INFO@CLIMBINGLIFEKENYA.ORG +254 (0) 758 823 838


climbing world Domen Škofic climbs on the Trbovlje Chimney in Trbovlje, Slovenia on October 13, 2020

AMATEUR ROCK CLIMBING COMPETITION Climbing Life Kenya volunteers and participants take part in the 2021 Jamrock climbing competition by Climb Blue Sky. // Mar 2021

© HETAL SHAH/ HEMAL HARIA

CONQUERING MOUNTAINS "To summit Batian peak of Mt Kenya." That was Hetal Shah's response to The Kenyan Climber when asked about her specific climbing goals for 2021. // Feb 2021

© JAKOB SCHWEIGHOFER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

GARNBRET AND ŠKOFIC 360 ASCENT Janja Garnnret and Domen Škofic climbed the tallest chimney (360m) in Europe (Trbovlje Chimney in Trbovlje, Slovenia) in 13 pitches. // Oct 2020

© GITONGA

GITONGA The Mountain Club of Kenya hosted a screening for the Gitonga documentary in Nairobi. // Feb 2021 18 the kenyan climber

in case you missed it


INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE BEST PRACTICES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ROCK CLIMBING

The IDSDP will be marked on April 6 in “recognizing the transformative power of sport and its great potential in advancing positive social change.” // April6.org

Later this year, The Climbing Initiative will debut a Best Practices guide for the Development of Rock Climbing Worldwide. // climbinginitiative.org

CLIMBING TRAVEL GUIDE

ROCK CLIMBING

A 200 page illustrated guidebook of the world's best

Look out for new rock climbing and training opportunities by

climbing spots and their local communities is due

Climbing Life Kenya this year. // climbinglifekenya.org

to be published this year. // mapotapo.com

what to look out for

SPORT CLIMBING IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES Sport Climbing makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. Scheduled to take place 3-6 Aug 2021, this event will feature speed climbing, bouldering and lead climbing. // tokyo2020.org

COLD FEET Ash Mulama film featuring Peter Naituli's first barefoot free solo ascent of Point John, Mt. Kenya is scheduled for release in 2021. // pnaituli10.wixsite.com/website the kenyan climber 19


XTRYM.COM | EVENTS@XTRYM.COM | +254 717 261 033 CAMPING | OFF-ROAD CYCLING | WHITE WATER RAFTING | BUNGEE JUMPING | ROCK CLIMBING |

DAY HIKES | MOUNTAIN EXPEDITIONS | GAME PARK SAFARIS | TEAM BUILDING | OVERLAND SAFARIS

Profile for Climbing Life Kenya

The Kenyan Climber Issue #03  

Climbing Life Kenya's Official Newsletter.

The Kenyan Climber Issue #03  

Climbing Life Kenya's Official Newsletter.

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