“Ice climbing isn’t all about strength,” says Kitty Calhoun of Chicks Climbing & Skiing, an exclusive all-female Colorado-based club teaching that climbing ice, empowerment and community for ladies is attainable through mountain sports. “It’s about using technique and balance.”

Chicks shares their skills around the world, but we found them in the Ouray Ice Park, a mile-long frozen manicured gorge in Ouray, Colorado, where alpinists come to train and climbing ice is what it’s all about.

Calhoun, one of the most celebrated mountaineers in the world, says that women have a secret weapon: what she calls the power center.

“Our power center is our hips,” she says. “If we’re really using our legs and our hips to push us up the climb, then we’re taking advantage of our power center.”

These ladies take a mountain of ice and crush it.