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Sam Ortiz is making climbing more body inclusive

Host Denisha Jenkins talks to Sam Ortiz of Climb Big about accessibility in climbing on this episode of Her Voice.


Sam Ortiz is a Latinx climber, mountaineer, and photographer who has a passion for sharing her skills. She started Climb Big to make climbing more accessible after struggling to find a place in the outdoors herself. She has worked with Megan Banker and Bennett Rahn to set up a community where plus size climbers can connect and climb together. Ortiz’s message? No matter your body size, you are worthy of taking up space in the outdoors.

In this episode, host Denisha Jenkins chats with her about the origins of the organization and how it’s changing lives. Some highlights:

  • The ways climbing is inaccessible to plus-size people due to gear, culture, and psychological safety
  • The origins of Climb Big and how fast it has grown due to need for this type of space
  • What they are doing to reduce barriers that make the sport more accessible
  • Why representation is important in showing people what is possible

About the series

Beginning in 2019, Outside Business Journal and LifeStraw partnered to share the stories and experiences of women in the outdoors, so we can work toward a more equitable future for the industry. We’d like to welcome you to the second season of Her Voice. Episodes will be dropping monthly as our host, Denisha Jenkins, chats with a variety of women.

Want to nominate someone to be featured? Email Leslie Barrett to let us know whom you think we should talk to and how their story could benefit the industry.

Our host

Denisha Jenkins smiles at the camera while the sun sets in the background over mountains.

Follow Denisha on Facebook and Instagram @DenishaSpeaks.

Denisha “Neena” Jenkins, an avid traveler, educator and entrepreneur, is an Equity and Inclusion Consultant based in Austin, Texas. With over 13+ years of experience, she specializes in intercultural competence, community engagement and leadership development.

Logo for Her Voice presented by Lifestraw