Recently, we got the chance to interview Ixchel Foord. She’s a super-strong and talented mountaineer who is also an inspiring and innovative ice climber. Make sure you check out this link: The Kiwi Ice Seekers.
So, what makes this amazing athlete tick? Let’s find out!
Editor: We’re honored to speak with you and appreciate your time, Ixchel. Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Ixchel: I was born in Puebla, Mexico, surrounded by mountains and volcanos. Although Puebla is a big city, our parents taught my siblings and I to enjoy the nature and the mountains every time it was possible. Sometimes we would enjoy walking in the woods and at other times we would try to reach the summit of one of the mountains.
Editor: Where can readers go to learn more about Kiwi Ice Seekers?
Ixchel: We have the Facebook Page: Kiwi Ice Seekers or check out our official website www.kiwiiceseekers.com
Editor: How old were you when you first started climbing? And where was this?
Ixchel: I started climbing at 23, when a friend invited me to a indoor climbing gym in my hometown. Since then I was hooked and drawn into the climbing world.
Editor: Who was your first climbing coach?
And what was the one piece of teaching or wisdom from them that you always carry with you?
Ixchel: I have had many coaches or tutors during my climbing career: I started sport climbing with my friends; they were my first coaches and advisors. They are still sport climbers and are surprised how I have learned the different disciplines in alpinism.
They always say to me: “Never stop.” “Keep motivated with new challenges”, and “Be positive during your performance.”
I like to climb with people from different countries and backgrounds so my philosophy is that I can always learn from others and that I must be humble with the mountains.
Editor: Is there a certain dream project that has always intrigued and challenged you?
Ixchel: I have always wanted to go to the Karakorum. For me, it is a very magical place and a Mecca for the alpinist. It is a stunning place that challenges anyone who wants to climb its peaks and mountains.
Editor: When you were just starting out, which climbers did you find most inspirational?
Ixchel: The climbs that Lynn Hill did on El Capitan and free climb of the Nose inspired me and intrigued me to learn more about the Big Walls. Later I came face to face with my dream when I climbed The Salathè Wall.
Editor: What is your advice to young climbers who look up to you?
Ixchel: I always say that to start to learn a new technique is difficult and painful but they have to keep on trying until the pain transforms into an enjoyment and the suffering ends. Our body always adapts to the work we are doing…so we must never give up.
Editor: As a climber, how do you deal with risk and loss?
How do you cope when you hear about any climbing calamity, like when a climber loses their life?
Ixchel: It is difficult at the beginning, specially when it is a friend. Rather than letting the sadness overcome me I prefer to be more active than ever. I climb a lot; because, by doing so, I think they would feel very proud of me.
Editor: Here’s an important question that truly defines a climber.
Why do you climb? What does it give you emotionally? What has climbing given to you and to your life?
Ixchel: I climb because I like the movement while we dance with the rock or ice. That feeling makes me concentrate and keep calm. My thoughts are concentrated on my performance.
I like to climb because the mountains are a challenge, physically and mentally. And another reason is I like to be outdoors and far from the noisy city.
Editor: What are your thoughts on the preservation of nature and climate change?
Ixchel: Indeed, nowadays it is more difficult to find good conditions for ice climbing. The global warming exist and that could mean for us (ice climbers) to have to search higher in the mountains. This winter, in my last expedition to New Zealand, it was so warm that we had to make longer approaches with skies or snowshoes to find colder conditions.
And that requires a whole new set of skills, like ski mountaineering and avalanche awareness.
Global warming is caused by our lack of respect of nature.
While human beings refuse to acknowledge their responsibility to care for nature, then destruction occurs.
Everyone of us should help to conserve nature by teaching through our own example and educate the new generations.
Check out Ixchel's social media links:
Kiwi Ice Seekers
Facebook: Ixchel Foord
Interview conducted by Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
Facebook Page 'An Interview With'.
Editor-in-Chief of ClimbSkiBoulderMagazine.com
Interview © Vera Kaikobad
Image supplied by Ixchel.
On the Cover:
Ixchel Foord -
The Kiwi Ice Seekers