2011 Rock Chicks Calendar


It has all been on our minds for quite some time now. Certainly it has been on the minds of most female rock climbers; and even on the minds of the more imaginative male rock climbers while contemplating the newly-acquired bruises on the shapely legs of their female counter-parts: when is someone going to do a girls climbing calendar?


The answer to that question is this year.


2011 will be the first edition of the annual Rock Chick Calendar, featuring some of the finest female rock climbers to come out of South Africa as well as some psyched newcomers to the sport. 


While fooling around at the crag with some of my male climbing buddies taking cleavage shots, a grand design started swimming through my head, and thus was born the idea of the Rock Chick Calendar. I immediately set about finding out what it would take to have the calendar made and how many female climbers and climbing photographers would be interested.


First boulder to scramble over:


Where would I find eleven girl climbers who would be willing to have their pictures taken for a calendar when I only knew four?  And where would I find a girl to do the slack-line photograph for December?


Enter Warren Gans (the cleavage shot photographer).  Warren has been climbing since he was in high-school and, being a loquacious and jaunty guy, had made friends throughout the climbing community and throughout South Africa.  After a conversation with a particularly frustrated and testy moi, Warren hopped onto Facebook and sent out a message to all the female climbers he knew.


The very next day the replies came back and I was both overwhelmed and completely surprised that so many girls were interested in being a part of this – especially since they had no idea who I was.


So, with the girls sorted, I turned my attention to the photographers – or should I say, photographer.  I had my heart set on one exceptional and well-known climbing photographer and it seemed like plain sailing to the finish, until…


The Mountain with the tricky route:


I needed to find someone who could assist me with the basic know-how of getting something like this off the ground, up the rock and out the top.  Through my good friend, Warren, I met with Tony Lourens of SA Mountain Magazine and was both daunted and slightly shaken when I found myself in uncharted territory feeling immensely exposed.  This had now all become real for me and was no longer just some minor little project I was putting together.  Nevertheless, I walked out of Tony’s office with a frightfully tight deadline and a lot of work to do.


When I notified the girls, they paused briefly at the deadline before agreeing to go ahead with the project.  My photographer however, had some not-so-good news: he would only be back in South Africa two weeks before the photos were to be in and would be starting a job as soon as he arrived.   “Take!”


Swinging under the roof:


Oy vey!  I was back on the phone to Warren and it wasn’t long before I was on the phone to a lot of people.  But I found that, as enthusiastic as the girls had been, so too were the photographers and before I knew it, one photographer had been replaced with six top climbing and sport photographers.  I was back on the route.


The impossible multi-pitch: 


So, with the girls and photographers all doing their thang, the layout of the calendar sorted and the printing quotes in, there was just the matter of the money.  It was too late to ask for sponsorships (as so many of the email replies stated) so I did what any fearless (i.e. crazy) and passionate climbing girl who wants to send an impossible route would do: I went to the biggest belayer in town – the bank. 


And so, here is the 2011 Rock Chick Calendar – a testament to the sheer will of climbers to just do it, an example of the sisterhood (and brotherhood) that exists amongst climbers, and the definitive proof that girls just look better climbing.


                                                                                                                                - Delaney Carpenter


Rock Chick Calendar Acknowledgments:


v  Warren Gans for his unequalled assistance with this project.  I can only imagine his unwavering support and help comes from his love of climbing and women.  From the bottom of our hearts – thank you.

v  Tony Lourens for his knowledge and assisting me in finding out everything that is involved in a project such as this and for promoting the calendar both locally and abroad.

v  The photographers – gurus and geniuses of their chosen occupation or hobby:- to Roger Nattras, Dillon Holm, David Johns, Jean Tresfon, Greg Beadle and Mathieu Schneuwly, thank you all so much for investing your time, support and talent to this project.  You guys have taken some outstanding pictures.

v  Jean Paul de Villiers – you came out of nowhere and were such an incredible help.  Thank you.

v  Dirk Smith for your recommendations and support.  Hope to have you aboard for 2012.

v  Gustav Janse van Rensburg for trying to fit us into his busy schedule.

v  To my boss, Graham Fenwick, for his support and encouragement.

v  Claire Marek and Majda Johaardien for their assistance in getting the printing quotes together.

v  Ashley Legg for his assistance with putting the calendar into its format.

v  Alan Hills for his suggestions and the use of his equipment.

v  To all my long-suffering friends – thanks so much for your encouragement and understanding during the “stressed” times.

v  And lastly to the girls:- Candice Bagley, Rachelle de Charmoy, Faye Brouard, Naureen Goheer, Illona Pelser, Tasja Reckhaus, Gosia Lipinska, Julia Chen, Susan Watts, Tarryn Thomson and Julia Wakeling – I have been privileged to get to know you through the emails and sms’ and facebooking and cannot thank you enough for allowing your incredible talents to be showcased in our Rock Chick Calendar and for stepping forward enthusiastically to be apart of this project.  You are all amazing.  Thank you.


Please contact Delaney on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for your nearest retailer.


The 2011 Rock Chick calendar will also be available online on Climb ZA (www.climb.co.za) from beginning October 2010.