Womens ice climbing is on fire. These athletes are strong and fierce, and the competition is booming.

When 16-year-old Georgia Witchell picked up a pair of ice axes for the first time, she didn’t know she’d be hooked, hanging on for the ride of her life a few years later in the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation World Cup in France.

From mentored to a mentor, we follow her journey as she trains, laughs and competes in the 2017 USA Ice/Mixed Climbing North American Championships held in Durango, Colorado, and her hometown.

From dawn to dusk, through bitter temperatures and howling winds, here’s what she had to say.