Chicks with Picks, which offers ice climbing clinics for women (led by women) just announced a scholarship fund in memory of Karen McNeill, a guide who disappeared near the south summit of Alaska’s Mount Foraker last May. According to Chicks, “Of special significance are [Karen’s] myriad of all-female first ascents, including the Cassin Ridge on Denali. To us at Chicks with Picks, “Curly” McNeill will always be remembered for her sparkles, her flair for fashion, a love of fine chocolate, sense of humor, and her gentle spirit.” The scholarship covers full tuition for one woman to attend either “The Sampler” in Ouray, Colorado or “The Teaser” in North Conway, New Hampsire. Both clinics are in February and the application deadline is November 15.
In addition to getting women out of the kitchen and onto the ice, Chicks with Picks has a strong record of giving back to the communities in which the clinics are held. To date, the group has donated $93,800 to local women’s shelters and is looking to break the $100,000 mark in 2007.