Climbing Grief Fund



The mountains provide a foil for some of our greatest joys, deepest friendships, and personal growth. However, they can also be places of loss and struggle. Whatever you are bringing into your mountain adventures, whether on rock or ice, without a doubt we carry our hearts into this sport: fears, triumphs, etc. Any discipline of climbing will force you to come to know yourself, all in different ways – yet how do we face this self that we come to know? What do we do with this information? We also know that “climbing is inherently dangerous”. Have you lost someone in the mountains? Do you climb to cope with the losses attendant in daily life? How do we continue to engage with our passion following loss? How do we use our passion to process loss? Join the American Alpine Club’s Climbing Grief Fund for a two-hour group discussion as we attempt to answer these questions and more. We aim to create a space for you to get uncomfortable, try new things, and offer solace for our often weary souls – a space where community members can share skills for how they navigate difficulties. This will be an open forum discussion covering resilience, stress injury prevention, and loss. 

The group will be facilitated by friends, climbers, and therapists with the Climbing Grief Fund, Tosha Jones & Jess Shade.

Tosha is the American Alpine Club Twin Cities Chapter CGF Chair, an Individual Therapist at Ellie Mental Health, Licensed Graduate Social Worker, with a Masters in Clinical Social Work and Social Work Policy Advocacy and a Registered Yoga Instructor. Tosha is a lifetime athlete who started as a swimmer and morphed into a psyched sport climber, a medium stoke pebble wrestler, and a newbie ice dabbler with a preference for mixed climbing –  as well as a fan of snowboarding, running, dogs and coffee, all the coffee. Tosha’s passion is counseling clients through trauma via exposure therapy techniques, movement & breathwork, and self compassion & assertive communication skills work.Jess is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, American Alpine Club CGF Member, and high-altitude ski mountaineer. Jess has skied Manaslu (8,163m) in Nepal and gone on expeditions to other great ranges such as the Karakoram, St. Elias, and Andes. She masochistically loves dancing on the stairmaster, climbing in her local gym, and playing in her backyard of the Wasatch Mountains. Jess devotes much of her professional life to counseling mountain athletes and members of the LGBTQIA+ community through her private practice, Altura Counseling and Coaching. She partners with the Utah Avalanche Center, BRASS Avalanche, Park City Powder Cats, the LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapist Guild of Utah, and more

Date:Saturday, 2.11.23

Time: 3 pm

Location: Headquarters, Room TBA

Cost: Free, Accepting donations to the Climbing Grief Fund

Title: Resilience in Mountain Sport: How to increase emotional and mental capacity, cope with grief and loss, and support general mental health as a community of climbers

Prerequisites: Curiosity about how we engage with our mountain sports and pursue wellbeing