Saloni Shah and "Fierce Female Strength"

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Kim McCallum (left) and Casey McTaggart.Jonathan Vickers

Kim McCallum

Age: 36
Years climbing: 19
Occupation: Geospatial analyst and developer for the USFS
Favorite local area: Poptire Crag

“My friends are my teachers, and a huge part of the process for me. When we all train and learn together, we share that elective suffering and get to add some lessons in compassion as well. The interactions I have with others training, climbing, and whatnot are more real. When we try our hardest, struggle, fail, and occasionally find that flow together, we realize that we are all the same.” (Left, in photo.)

Casey McTaggart

Age: 41
Years climbing: 17
Occupation: Software developer
Favorite local areas: The Compound, Little Cottonwood Canyon

“One of the best things about Salt Lake is the crew of strong and motivated women. I’m inspired by their fearlessness, their execution, willingness to try really hard, to work hard, and to improve …. I aspire to be more like my friends, whom I put on a pedestal. (Right, in photo.)

Saloni Shah.Jonathan Vickers

Saloni Shah

Age: 37
Years climbing: 13
Occupation: Physician
Favorite local area: Maple Canyon

“Growing up in a large Indian community, ‘strong’ was never a word associated with women. To go from a culture that mostly values delicate, beautiful, and submissive women, it was wonderful to discover an active lifestyle as an adult that introduced me to strong and inspiring women.

“I am surrounded by fierce female strength, and it makes me so happy! I love seeing muscles rather than tiny, dainty limbs. I love working hard and sweating, and that’s definitely when I feel the most fulfilled and strong. I believe that the future of lady strength is infinite, and it’s very exciting.”

Read Strong: 12 Women Reflect on Strength and Climbing [Pt. 3]!