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Ask a Badass: Flash Foxy's Shelma Jun

Original Post
Shannon Davis · · Lyons, CO · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 140

Please welcome Shelma Jun to the MP forum!

Shelma is the founder of Flash Foxy and creator of the Women's Climbing Festival. Flash Foxy is a multi-media platform created to celebrate women climbing with women and to be a place where women can feel inspired by and connected to each other.

She's a California native, based in Brooklyn, NY, and she loves plugging widgets into horizontal cracks at the Gunks or getting scared on granite highballs in Bishop. Her writing has appeared in Climbing Magazine, Outside Online, and other publications.

Post a question for Shelma here, and next week she'll choose a handful to reply to. Our goal is to foster positive discussion about the state of climbing and to explore how we can be more inclusive as a community.

Shelma Jun
Flash Foxy
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Oh...boy. I apologize for my forum-mates in advance. Anyways...

Your article created quite a stir, for obvious reasons. One arguably valid criticism was that the scope of it was limited to a particular climbing scene in a particular area. Based upon your experiences as a widely-traveled professional climber/writer, do you believe the findings are widely applicable? On a related note, do you plan on conducting any larger follow-up studies to explore this question on a national, or even international level?

Jon Nelson · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,680

Hi Shelma, and welcome to the forum.

Here are three:

1) How did you get started in climbing?

2) Why does there seem to be so many famous climbers in Brooklyn?

3) If you were to pass on your own 'words of wisdom' to younger people, on any topic, what would it be?

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470
Ted Pinson wrote:Oh...boy. I apologize for my forum-mates in advance.
Let the hand wringing commence.
m kelley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

Genuinely curious, can you explain the difference you feel climbing with men vs women. A lot of flashfoxy's mission seems to be promoting women climbing with women. What makes it different?

I'm a new climber but i've been on long hiking trips with only female partners and others that had only male partners and I didn't really notice a difference.

I read the blogs and listened to the podcasts when this topic was in vogue before.

Paul Hutton · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 721


Any relation to Dan Osman?

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268


How do you get to call your "enterprise" Flash Foxy and then complain about how women are sexualized? Did you learn that in California?

Khoi · · Vancouver, BC · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 45
Paul Hutton wrote:Shelma Any relation to Dan Osman?
Are you asking that just because she is also Asian American???
the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Nice one Rick. Real class there.

llanSan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 130

I admire your work.

Not long ago women went climbing with guys and they were the ones to lead routes and girls to belay, follow or climb on top rope. this attitude was feed also by the girls at the crag but now I sometimes see girls climbing by their own leading, belaying, falling and most importantly having fun.

But so far usually girls that go climbing by themselves are experienced climbers. What do you think is still needed so female climbers massively start to have that attitude of male independency in all skill levels form learning the basics, to their first multipitch to onsight climbing at their max level?.

Shelma Jun · · Brooklyn NY · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to swing by and say hello! Stoked to be here and looking forward to checking out everyone's questions this coming week.


Christian · · Casa do Cacete · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 1,465

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Elliott Becker · · Washington, DC · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 51

Hey, you and the Flash Foxy folks are doing great. Don't let the trolls get you down. Thanks for doing what you're doing.

Paul Hutton · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 721
Khoi wrote: Are you asking that just because she is also Asian American???
Let's try to avoid hijacking this thread.
Comanche · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 10

Why do you think that it is men that hold the title "best" and "strongest" in all disciplines of climbing? - Bouldering, sport, trad, and alpine?

Based on biological differences, will it ever be possible for a woman to hold one of these titles?

DRusso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 380


I love the work that you and the rest of the Flash Foxy team are during. I really enjoyed the "Faces of the Women's Climbing Festival" portrait series that you did last year following the festival.

What are some of your goals, moving forward, for the Women's Climbing Festival and what do you see as the festival's role in the overall climbing community?

GDavis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 10

Hope this discussion goes well.

I love women's groups, used to volunteer for the Sterling Goddess of Rock event (well, got a free rope, heh).

I think it's very important that women have a place they can feel safe and I really appreciate seeing women climbing together and hope to see it more often.

Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 85
Christian wrote:What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
African or European?
NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105

Oh...boy. I apologize for my forum-mates in advance.

Exactly what I thought

Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 85

And now for something completely different:
Lately I find it hard to lead routes that have R rating. What ever might be the case, bad pro, run-out, I find consequences more important than the reward. My question would be where do you draw the line between consequences and reward in climbing ? And, does it scare you that sometimes reward outweighs the consequences (even if they are grave)? Thanks

BigRed11 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 713

Hey Shelma,

How do you deal with aggressive defensiveness and fragile male egos that are threatened by your efforts to shed light on real issues that women face in climbing?

Keep on keeping on!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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