Melanin Base Camp is partnering with Mountain Equipment Co-op & Marmot to produce a short film about Sabrina Chapman. She’s a black Canadian climbing prodigy on a mission to complete her first 5.14a! Thanks to your help, we successfully raised over $28,000 during our 30 day Kickstarter campaign!
Sabrina is a first generation Canadian who didn’t start climbing until she was 26-years-old. That’s a very late start in a sport where kids as young as five participate in climbing competitions! She regularly sends 5.13a/b and she’s one of a handful of black women in the world who are attempting elite grades. Haven’t heard of her? Don’t worry, we’re trying to change that.
Her story is inspirational for womxn who don’t see themselves represented in the outdoors, but who are determined to find their place in it. We’re excited about sharing stories of womxn of color in the outdoors—that includes black women like Sabrina who are climbing hard and pushing themselves to their physical and mental limits on the rock! We’re relying on donors like you to help make that possible.
Want to get involved? Download these graphics to share on social media along with our hashtags #melaninbasecamp, #titanproject and #diversifyoutdoors.
Our Donor Wall
Sabrina has the distinction of being the first woman to be featured on the cover of a Canadian climbing guide, the first woman to complete a 5.13d grade ascent in Ontario and possibly the first black woman ever to land the cover of a climbing guidebook according to Ontario Rock Climbing.
Sabrina Chapman is a black Canadian climber on a mission to send her first 5.14a, and yet, she didn’t even start climbing until she was 26-years-old! Her story is proof that you can start late, take a non traditional path and still pursue your passion. Help us bring Sabrina’s story to the big screen!
Read more articles about womxn and gender non-conforming climbers of color
In 2019, African-American mountaineer Rebecca Ross flew halfway across the world to meet her climbing partner for the first time. Together they planned to climb two 16,000ft peaks high in the Georgian Caucuses. Needless to say, things did not go as planned.
Diversity, racism and sexism are things that many people are not comfortable talking about—myself included. We do things like rock climb to get away from society, to escape the norm—including politics and racism. But I realized that my refusal to address those issues had more to do with my discomfort. I needed to find confidence and comfort. Climbing gave me both.
Creating balance in your life can be tricky. Here are some reflections on my experience creating an amazing balance in my own life—one that takes into consideration work, play, and especially rest—as well as the work it took to get there.
We interviewed eight amazing Asian & Pacific Islander women who are changing the climbing scene through advocacy, representation and redefining what it means to #climblikeagirl.
Interested in diversifying your outdoor Instagram feed? We can help!…Stay up to date with our list of 15 Black Women & Genderqueer Climbers to Follow on Instagram!
…Alex said, “hey, we should all go to Spain!” I was like, “I’ve never been, but sure, sounds great!”
Every time I make a list of bouldering climbs I want to send, I get butterflies in my stomach. It's the best kind of nervous anticipation. I think about the process: dissecting the climb in isolation and working it piece by piece