Adriana Chimaras, the Joe’s Valley Festival’s original Festival Coordinator, started climbing shortly after moving to Oregon from Florida in 2009. Loving the outdoors and wanting to continue to develop those ties to the outdoor community, she started asking coworkers and friends to go on adventures. Through this, she met Briand (Oaks) Monteiro and an amazing group of women that would get out together and climb. It was empowering and invaluable for Adriana to see women in such a positive light. Women supporting each other, climbing strong together and simply enjoying being outside. It was quite different from her experience growing up in Florida.
For the first couple of years that Adriana climbed, it was solely with other women. Looking back, it was a unique and extraordinary way to get immersed into the climbing community. Lifelong comraderies were formed and independence was a distinguishing factor. Also the snacks. There was a lot of great food consumed!! Unsurprisingly, it was hard not to become addicted to the culture and freedom that climbing presented, and it quickly became a way of life for Adriana. Within a year, she wanted to be on the road and live the climbing dream full-time. She worked for the next year to save up, and in 2012 borrowed a friend’s van and hit the road.
Adriana (lovingly) blames her involvement and, ultimately, the creation of the Joe’s Valley Fest on her partner, Steven. While writing the guidebook for Joe’s Valley, Steven had created a Facebook page for Joe’s Valley Bouldering. Through this, he was contacted by the county about ways to expand tourism in Emery County. It was a distinctive opportunity to not only highlight the climbing community but also the entire community that surrounds Joe’s Valley.
Adriana was moved. Since coming home from her time on the road, she had been looking for that next thing to inspire her the way climbing had initially. Both had grown so close to her heart - and it was a perfect blend to cherish both groups. The very next day she went out to get an LLC for Joe’s, and from there the Joe’s Valley Festival was born!