Wanted: Female Rock Climbing Ambassadors

When I first started climbing, I had a lot of excuses for why I wasn’t able to climb a climb:
My arms weren’t long enough. My hands were too small. I was too short.
I would dismiss the climb as impossible for all but tall, long-armed strong men
(one of which was probably the setter).

Then Shannon, a girl friend (who was probably a foot shorter than me and 100 lbs soaking wet), would rock up to the same problem in her cut-off jean shorts and lime green 5.10s and crush it.
“You can totally do it Anna,” she would tell me, “just turn your hip into the wall and really reach for it!”
She was a strong climber with great technique, and she inspired me.
If Shannon could do it, then one day I could do it too, right?
(I just needed to ditch the excuses and become a better rock climber 😉 )

I like to think of Shannon as a Female Rock Climbing Ambassador*.
Shannon in general made my climbing experience better.
She would shout encouragement, was always happy to give beta (“girl” beta I would say ), and was generally stoked on climbing, which made me stoked to climb with her.

Shannon sadly moved on to a better place (British Columbia), but Im sure wherever she is, she is still crushing and encouraging other women to crush.

So, in memory of Shannon, I’d like to challenge all of you lady rock climbers out there, regardless of skill or experience, to become Female Rock Climbing Ambassadors!
Be part of creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for women in what can sometimes be a frustrating and intimidating male-dominated sport.  It can be as simple as sharing a smile or some encouragement at the crag or gym. Or supporting a ladies’ climbing night or event. Or even offering to take an indoor-climbing-lady outdoors for the first time!
(my first time climbing outdoors was really awkward because it turned out the guy was interested in me as more than just a climbing partner…Other females may relate to this experience)

Become a Female Rock Climbing Ambassador!  Spread the stoke!

lady

Ladies helping ladies!

*This is likely not the right use of the word, but I like it and Im sticking with it!

One thought on “Wanted: Female Rock Climbing Ambassadors

  1. Other women certainly do relate to that experience! I once received a phone call (or an e-mail, can’t remember which) from a guy in our club asking if I wanted to go climbing/camping at the weekend. I was busy and said I couldn’t. When I spoke to another girl friend in the club, she said she’d had the same invitation and had gone – not only that, she said she later found out that all the other girls in the club had had that invitation too… When she got there he was surprised she’d brought her own tent as he had his all ready for her – complete with nightlight candles which were supposedly romantic! She braved out the weekend – in her own tent I hasten to add – and he eventually got the message she was there to climb.
    Carol.

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