Episode 136: Shelma Jun – A Better Way.

Photos: Top Sasha Turrentine, Left Julie Ellison, Right Chris Vultaggio

On Episode 136 of the Enormocast, I sit down beside the Popo Agie River in Lander, Wyoming at the International Climbers Festival with Shelma Jun. Shelma somewhat accidentally started FlashFoxy, which after beginning as a humble Instagram account among friends, morphed into an advocacy movement for women’s climbing. Shelma then added the Women’s Climbing Festival to part of the FlashFoxy community and woke up as a full blow culture warrior. Level headed and not reactionary, Shelma lays out a list of issues she sees as oppressive to woman in climbing – many seem like minor slights but add up as a whole that is affecting women negatively. Shelma and Flashfoxy attempt to simply create space where women can feel safe to express themselves and climb as one of the gals instead of the one of the guys. The talk with Shelma is a call to the climbing community to be better at treating each other with respect and be welcoming to climbers of all genders, colors, and abilities.

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About Chris Kalous

Owner, operator, guru, yogi of enormocast.

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8 Responses to Episode 136: Shelma Jun – A Better Way.

  1. James Lucas says:

    What’s Shelma’s hardest redpoint?

    • Georgia says:

      Hey James

      Would the answer to that question change how you think about Shelma?

      In the episode they discussed the fact that comments sections are rarely good places for quality chats. So please know that I’m genuinely curious to find out why you want to know the grades she climbs.

      I’m a female climber. I haven’t redpointed anything really hard in a long time. I’m just a weekend warrior who loves getting outdoors. I love big trad routes and love learning the skills I need to become totally self-sufficient on bigger climbs. Climbing brings me so much joy, at a range of grades. It’s a pretty rad community to be a part of.

      When I see questions like this one, I jump to the conclusion that maybe I have to climb harder routes, before I count as a ‘real’ climber, whose thoughts and opinions about climbing are valid and worth listening to. I think, wow, if a badass like Shelma is getting questioned, then some lowly bumbly like me will never be welcome here.

      That might not be your intention at all. Maybe you just want to give her a massive hi-5 for kicking ass.

      But I thought that this time, I’d actually ask you about it, instead of jumping to conclusions with no context about where you’re coming from.

      May the gravity be low and the stoke be high on your next day at the crag.

      G

      • Chris Kalous says:

        Thanks for the thoughtful comment. And in case James doesn’t see this reply, I’m confident to speak for him at 100% to say that he was being sarcastic and facetious. The absurdity of caring about that, and being obtuse enough to ask it after listening to Shelma was the point of the sarcasm. Comedy that missed its mark, and therefore, bad comedy.

        Of course what she redpoints is irrelevant to our conversation. What you redpoint matters to you, and perhaps your partners (skill is important in certain partnerships when approaching projects together), and it shouldn’t matter to the rest of us. Are you safe? Are you positive? Can you offer something to the community? That’s what matters.

        Thanks for listening.

  2. ann says:

    Nice job Chris, what a great guest. I heard Shelma on the Power Company podcast a few weeks ago and was super impressed with how articulate she is, and how chill. Lots of emotional intelligence, and a real forward-thinking vibe.

  3. EJ says:

    Sharing this on my Facebook page Babes on Belay. But I am wondering: why is Bootsy Collins’ middle finger on my next adventure?? WAIT. I don’t want the answer to that.

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