Kitty Calhoun

Kitty Calhoun is a Patagonia ambassador and resident of Castle Valley, Utah. She first roped up in South Carolina at 18. She started ice climbing a year later, which led to winter ascents in the Rockies where her passion for alpine climbing began. While guiding for the American Alpine Institute, she climbed dozens of peaks in Peru, Bolivia, Alaska, Argentina, and Nepal. In recognition of her accomplishments, she received the American Alpine Club’s Underhill Award in 1991.

Paths Through the Uncertainty

A climber remembers her first experience with the
unexpected on Thalay Sagar.

Kitty Calhoun
4 min Read
Adventure Over Adversity

Paradox Sports Brings Accessibility to Climbing

Kitty Calhoun
6 min Read
Thoughts from an Encounter with a Baby Humpback

I was on my first snorkel, on the lookout for humpback whales near Tonga, when a monstrous creature slowly rose through the murky water from the depths of the ocean. She was close enough that I could see her eye studying me. I was afraid and, while holding her gaze, backed away as fast as…

Kitty Calhoun
4 min Read
The Time is Now: Protect Bears Ears

TAKE ACTION! Help protect Bears Ears in southeastern Utah. Ask President Obama to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to create the Bears Ears National Monument. Sign the petition In southeastern Utah, a battle has been brewing between conservationists, recreationalists and resource extractionists. The pressure on all sides has increased as the stakes grow higher.…

Kitty Calhoun
2 min Read
Kitty Calhoun’s Trip Continues

As my friends and I get older, the threat of slipping into a normal lifestyle becomes more real. I have to mow the lawn, get the oil and filter changed in the car, go to the dentist. These days, given a choice, I would rather do a few sport pitches and get a good workout…

Kitty Calhoun
6 min Read
Kitty Calhoun’s Empty-Nesting Return to Big Trips

I anticipated the change with dread and excitement. My son was leaving the nest for college and I was determined to return to my former goal-driven climbing lifestyle. Fred Becky would be proud of me. After a night of mourning, alone under the desert stars, I promptly returned home, found my address book, and started…

Kitty Calhoun
6 min Read
Kitty Calhoun: Climbing in Iceland with Loki the Deceiver

Iceland is a land of extremes – stark beauty within a harsh, unforgiving landscape and an equally daunting climate. Volcanoes are still erupting, earthquakes are nearly constant, yet the geothermal water provides Iceland with most of its energy needs and natural hot springs ease the cold of winter. Eleven percent of the country is covered…

Kitty Calhoun
8 min Read
Kitty Calhoun Chases Ice Climbing First Ascents in Iceland

Iceland is frozen in time. Arriving there in February 2012, it was exactly as I remembered from 1998 when I was there to climb with Jay Smith and the late Guy Lacelle – grey, windy, and remote. It is the largest land mass along a mountain ridge that begins under the ocean, where the North…

Kitty Calhoun
5 min Read
Returning to the Rock – Kitty Calhoun enjoys an El Cap Comeback

Comeback – n Informal or vb come back (intr. adverb)   1. a return to a former position, status,etc.   2. a return or response, esp. recriminatory   3. To become fashionable again I am just leaving the belay on Pitch 5 of Aurora (5.8, A4), a steep, difficult aid line on El Cap. It has been five…

Kitty Calhoun
5 min Read
Kitty Calhoun on Ice Climbing in Cody, Wyoming

Editor’s note: Our thanks go out to Patagonia ambassador Kitty Calhoun for sharing today’s story and photos. This is the first time we’ve featured one of Kitty’s stories on The Cleanest Line, hopefully it won’t be the last. Cars, phones, money are the necessary bane of my existence. On this trip I would need none…

Kitty Calhoun
4 min Read
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