We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Beezley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kate, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
There is a perception that rock climbing, and to a lesser degree the outdoor recreation industry in general, is for young thrill seeking enthusiasts. Not true! If you come out to a climbing area (aka a crag) on a weekend you will see people of all ages, abilities, body compositions, and backgrounds. 60 year olds, and older, routinely climb as hard or harder than 20 year olds. Kids can be found climbing with their parents on weekends. Climbing and the climbing community is a lifestyle for all ages and abilities. Rock climbing is pure fun and joy, even for those with a mild aversion of scaling heights.Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started my career as 20-year old saddened and scarred by 9-11-2000. I responded to a time of fear and uncertainty by seeking ways to give back to my community. Thus, I joined Teach for America in 2002 and spent three amazing years teaching in Oakland California. My whole career has been defined by giving back to my community and meaningful work. After Teach for America I pursued my graduate school dream at CU Boulder. During the economic recession in 2008 I returned to the teaching world briefly. Finally, after volunteering in the nonprofit space I found my calling of leading and managing a small nonprofit. This was a big career change at the time: I found by taking on new challenges, reading as much as I could on a new topic, and being open to failing occasionally that I could ultimately explore a career change. I absolutely thrive as an executive director of a small grassroots nonprofit. I love shifting gears often, toggling from site visits to spreadsheets. I get to meet new people and support our community, while having a positive impact on our local landscape by stewarding our climbing areas.If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am going to make a huge assumption on this section and assume COVID is fizzling mostly out and we can safely explore the the metro area again. If my best friend was visiting I would give them a proper mix of what the Front Range has to offer, outdoors, culture, and good beer. First up, we would do a little proper tour of the Flatirons with a scramble and trail run, and then some bouldering on Flagstaff Mountain. We would stop by Upslope for a beer and then head to Avery Brewing for some yummy pub food. If we were not too full, then a nice stroll along Pearl Street to check out some of my favorite local shops like Two Sole Sisters, Fabricate, and the Boulder Book Store. Next up, I would take them to Eldorado Canyon State Park one day for some climbing or a hike depending on their preference. We would follow up that day with a traditional climber meal at the Southern Sun. If we were really lucky, Neptune’s might be hosting a film or speaker night that evening for us to enjoy. For a rest day, Denver Art Museum and lunch at City O’ City with a stroll around capital hill. If they need an active rest day, biking to Denver and riding around is the perfect way to see the city. Now that they have acclimatized, we would heed up to the Indian Peaks Wilderness for a trail run or hike. After a long day we would enjoy one of the unique brews at Knotted Root Brewing, followed by the best wood fired pizza on the Front Range at Crosscut, both in Nederland. Finally, tucking into the hot tub for some relaxation and star gazing.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shoutout the climbing community in general for welcoming me many years ago. It was a community that let me be myself, explore my boundaries as a human, and ultimately led me to the love of my life. Ones community is the root of our identity, our well being, and a source of inspiration, so I am thankful for mine.
Facebook: Boulder Climbing Community
Ben Beezley Keiko Tanaka Evan Louis Anderson