Rad Resources For Female Climbers

©istockphoto/photobacA new sur­vey has con­firmed what most female climbers already know: being a women who climbs can be com­pli­cat­ed. Accord­ing to this Out­side, 64% of women who took a recent sur­vey said they felt uncom­fort­able, insult­ed, or dis­missed at some point dur­ing their train­ing. In the sur­vey, female climbers report micro-aggres­sions that include unwant­ed star­ing and advice, phys­i­cal and ver­bal harass­ment, and gen­er­al dis­com­fort in the gym.

That sucks—and unfor­tu­nate­ly, sex­ism isn’t lim­it­ed to the gym. But luck­i­ly for all the badass female adven­tur­ers in the world, there are an increas­ing num­ber of resources for women who climb or are inter­est­ed in learn­ing to climb. Check these out:

All-Wom­en’s Courses
If you’re new to climb­ing or want to improve your skills fast, look into an all-women’s climb­ing or moun­taineer­ing course. Chicks With Picks is a long­time favorite, offer­ing pro­grams that spe­cial­ize in rock climb­ing, ice climb­ing, and ski­ing, all taught by high­ly qual­i­fied female guides. Inter­na­tion­al Moun­tain Guides also runs an all-women’s moun­taineer­ing course, which is locat­ed on the breath­tak­ing Mount Shuksan.

All-Wom­en’s Nonprofits
If you don’t have the time or mon­ey to take a course, there are sev­er­al use­ful non­prof­its, too. She­Jumps focus­es on out­door edu­ca­tion, youth ini­tia­tives, and grass­roots gath­er­ings for women. The Out­door Women’s Alliance is a vol­un­teer-run media col­lec­tive that engages and edu­cates female adven­tur­ers world­wide. And the Amer­i­can Alpine Club—which isn’t gen­der-focused, but is still a great place to meet climbers of all kinds—hosts meet-ups, gives grants, pub­lish­es acci­dent reports, and encour­ages mem­bers to seek out edu­ca­tion­al opportunities.

Inspi­ra­tional Reading
For some inspi­ra­tional read­ing, check out Girl on the Rocks: A Wom­an’s Guide To Climb­ing With Strength, Grace, And Courage by Katie Brown and Women Who Dare: North Amer­i­ca’s Most Inspir­ing Women Climbers by Chris Noble. Also, con­sid­er sup­port­ing adven­ture-based media that’s run by women with a sub­scrip­tion to Mis­ad­ven­tures Mag­a­zine. Here’s what the founders say about their pub­li­ca­tion: “After years of being frus­trat­ed sub­scribers to big out­doors-indus­try mag­a­zines (which are writ­ten large­ly by and for men), and not see­ing our­selves on the pages of con­ven­tion­al women’s mag­a­zines, we decid­ed to do some­thing about it. [So]…in Novem­ber of 2013, we found­ed Mis­ad­ven­tures to bring qual­i­ty out­door and adven­ture con­tent about women to an over­looked but hun­gry audi­ence. [The mag­a­zine] cham­pi­ons women who embrace cre­ativ­ity, take risks, and go out and beyond. We spot­light inspi­ra­tional feats and fig­ures, beau­ti­ful spaces, hon­est-to-good­ness adven­tures, and dis­cov­er­ies of all sorts.”

Online Read­ing and Inspiration
For fur­ther read­ing, check out She Explores. It’s a web­site “…for inquis­i­tive women in the out­doors,” and it fea­tures pro­files of badass women, gear reviews, art, and more. They’ve even recent­ly launched a pod­cast! For more resources, poke around Whoa Mag­a­zine, Flash­Foxy, and Dirt­bag Dar­ling, fun blogs about women climb­ing. They’re enter­tain­ing reading—and con­tain some very use­ful infor­ma­tion, too.

Get Out There
Final­ly, remem­ber that there’s no sub­sti­tute for in-per­son inter­ac­tion. Many women report suc­cess in the moun­tains with female peers or men­tors. Poke around social media to find like-mind­ed climbers, and don’t hes­i­tate to reach out to women you admire. Remem­ber: at the end of the day, it’s all about hav­ing fun, being safe, and climb­ing hard.