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Climbing For All, A Free Mentorship Program For Aspiring Photographers, Is Accepting Applications

Six climbing photographers from under-represented groups get the opportunity to participate in a no-cost photo workshop with leading photographers Irene Yee, Keith Ladzinski, and Climbing's art director and editors.

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Climbing is a diverse sport, with disciplines ranging from bouldering to gym climbing, alpinism to sport climbing. Yet diversity within the community itself is under represented. As part of an ongoing initiative to equally represent and welcome all climbers regardless of gender, race, gender identification, age or physical ability, Climbing and Adidas Terrex now offer Climbing For All, a photography mentorship program. This four-month-long workshop is free for participants, and will help six young climbing photographers from underrepresented communities establish themselves as new voices and creators in the climbing community.

How does it work?

Six mentees will be chosen through an application process (see application form below). The selected mentees will then collaborate with Climbing’s mentors—its editors and art director, and professional photographers Irene Yee and Keith Ladzinski—for four months, from November 2021 through February 2022.

There is no cost to students.

During the mentorship period, each mentee will be encouraged to take climbing photos, and every two weeks send their best shots to the mentors who will review the works and provide feedback. This will be an ongoing process, and each photographer will receive adidas clothing and Five Ten footwear for their climbing subjects. The goal is to elevate each student’s skills, and publish their best photos in our annual Ascent edition, out in spring 2022. Climbing will also publish an online gallery. At the conclusion of the program the six mentees will be encouraged to continue contributing to climbing media to make it more representative and welcoming of all climbers.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE APPLICATION PROCESS IS CLOSED. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR APPLYING, WE RECEIVED OVER 120 APPLICATIONS.

Who can apply?

Any climber from a disadvantaged or underrepresented community who is interested in working with professional photographers, and who is serious about improving their photography skills. There is no cost to students.

Application criteria

  • Applicants must have basic photography knowledge/skills.
  • Applicants must have basic climbing knowledge/skills.
  • Applicants must provide your own photography equipment.
  • Applicants must submit a complete application and supporting materials by the application deadline.
  • Because of the mission of the program, preference will be given to the most well-qualified diverse applicants, with an emphasis on populations unrepresented in the Climbing field.

Application deadline

October 31, 2021. Six students will be selected by November 5, 2021 and begin their mentorship program.

Meet the Mentors

Irene Yee: Irene is a professional rock climbing and adventure photographer based on the west coast. She started rock climbing out of pure joy, and picked up a camera soon after. Her focus is to uplift women, BIPOC, and the LGBTQIA2+ communities; finding inspiration in those with passion over muscle.

Keith Ladzinski: Keith is a National Geographic photographer and Emmy nominated director. His work primarily focuses on natural history, climate change, extreme sports, fine art and advertising campaigns Keith is a founding member of the Sea Legacy Collective and has worked for clients globally including Apple, Disney, Google, Nike, Toyota, Adidas, Oprah Network, Canon, Discovery, Subaru, Red Bull, The North Face, OPPO, The New York Times, and National Geographic TV.