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Crystal Rose Hudelson - Her love and passion for climbing and her work as Co-director of CoC

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Crystal Rose in her own words:

“I am Crystal Hudelson (she/her) a cishet (both cisgender and heterosexual) gender Black woman I am a foster youth who was brought up by the state. This gives me incredible empathy for marginalized people which is what led me to my work with Climbers of Color (CoC).

I am in love with sport climbing (specifically outdoor leading). Certifications: The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) apprentice rock guide, Single Pitch Instructor

All of my climb training focuses on being a solid leader outside on rock. I used to co-host Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC - Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) climb nights for Climbers of Color at Stone Gardens Bellevue since it started there.

Climbers of Color opened up a platform for people like me to connect and teach with the climbing community in the closest way to my heart: Black people, people of color, and marginalized communities.

As my involvement grew, I became part of a new branch of CoC: outdoor rock climbing instruction. My partner and I developed all the instructional programs for rock at CoC and strive to make each course a welcoming, equitable, and informational experience for each participant.

CoC is the entity who has mentored me through the AMGA certification process and trusts I will do a good job. They have placed a confidence in me I have known few other places and I am grateful for it.

Within the BIPOC climbing community, I have seen a wide array of abilities and experience.

I want you to know that we see you because we are looking. We see you and want to honor you by creating a strong climbing community who shares joy with one another. Bringing one’s culture and ancestral essence into climbing is what will allow us to enter the climbing community as our whole selves.

Fun facts about me: My ancestry is Haitian and Irish. By day I work as an aircraft mechanic in the avionics department on heavy jets and my partner and I are building our first climbing wall in our backyard.

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Show notes

  • Who is Crystal Rose

  • Her current roles

  • What she was like as a little girl

  • Not having the opportunity to go outside much

  • Trying to find her place in the world

  • Getting into rock climbing through her partner Keith

  • Her passion for climbing and the outdoors

  • Meeting Keith and how their relationship developed

  • Not coming from an athletic background

  • Enjoying the mental aspect of the challenge

  • Managing fear and being able to believe in herself

  • Her love for sports climbings

  • Sport Leading Outside and why its her favourite type of climbing

  • Her journey in getting her climbing qualifications

  • The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA)

  • Single Pitch Instructor Course

  • Needing traditional gear and being supported by the climbing community

  • Gear Fund Collective - IG @thegearfundcollective

  • The challenge of finding climbing partners

  • Managing fear while climbing

  • The power of breath work and why it is one of the best tools you can use

  • Getting into a mindful space

  • Falling out of love with climbing in 2021

  • The need for rest and figuring out a balance

  • Being a Co-director of Climbers of Color (CoC) which was established in 2017

  • Her volunteer role at Climber of Color

  • Working full time as an airline mechanic

  • Assisting people to become guides

  • Driving change in the climbing world

  • Having scholarships available

  • Partnering with the American Alpine Institute

  • Her passion for writing and sharing on her blog - Rock Rose Blog - Examine the intersection of climbing, Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color, and policy.

  • Magical moments while climbing

  • Reflecting back on one of the hardest climbs she’s ever done

  • Not feeling worthy of being able to climb at a certain grade

  • Climb training for sport climbing

  • Following the Anderson Brothers Training Manual

  • Mercedes Pollmeier - Longevity Climbing Coach IG @modusathletica

  • Modus Athletica Website

  • Working with Climbing Coach Emily Taylor IG @browngirlsclimbing1

  • Brown Girls Climbing - 1st all BIPOC girls & GNB youth pioneering adventure based-climbing from Ohlone Land. Website -

  • How climbing and your everyday life can cross over

  • Advice for women who want to start climbing and to step outside their comfort zone

  • Look for an affinity group and finding a climbing partner who you connect with

  • Connecting with people via the internet and social media

  • Safety is number one and the skills will follow

  • Building her own home climbing wall

  • The community feel of the project

  • Deciding to name the climbing wall - the Monolith

  • How to connect with Crystal Rose

  • Final words of advice

  • Why healing isn’t linear


Social Media

Personal Instagram - Examine the intersection of climbing, Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color, and policy.

Climbers of Colour - Creating leaders of color in mountaineering and climbing. Based in Western Washington.


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