Celebrating Women in Climbing

Shauna Coxsey (Image BMC www.thebmc.co.uk)

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th, acknowledges women’s achievements as well as the struggles that many women face in society. To honour that, today we’re celebrating women in climbing.

We know that women are taking up climbing every day. According to the International Federation of Sport Climbing, 38% of climbers are women, compared to 31% participation in other sports. It’s a sport that values mental strength, as well as physical, and it brings people together from all backgrounds. With such diversity in the sport, it’s not surprising that some of the best climbers in the world are women.

Shauna Coxsey MBE won the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in both 2016 and 2017. She has recently confirmed that she will make a bid for a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Climbing will make its Olympic debut in 2020 and Coxsey is well placed to take Team GB all the way to gold. Just four years old when she started climbing, she’s since won numerous competitions and taken on some of the toughest bouldering spots. We’re so committed to helping climbers from an early age and Shauna’s story is one that really inspires us to keep going with that. Who knows, Boulder Hut could produce a gold medallist!

Another climber who inspires us is Hazel Findlay. She was the first woman British climber to climb a route graded E9 and the first to climb a route graded 8c/5.14b. She was the first person ever to climb Adder Crack in Squamish, British Columbia. She has climbed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park four times, having been the first British woman to free climb it. El Capitan is a vertical, granite rock formation that is well-loved among climbers. There are many challenging routes to the top. Findlay made the first ascent by a woman of the Golden Gate route in 2011 and of Pre-Muir Wall in 2012.

Across the pond, Sasha Digiulian is a World Champion climber who, in 2012, became the first American woman to climb grade 9a. She has climbed over 30 first ascents by women as well as 8 significant first ascents. In 2015, she became the first woman to free climb Magic Mushroom, one of the most difficult routes on the north face of the Eiger, in the Alps. Also from the US, Margo Hayes, from Boulder, Colorado, is the first woman to climb a route graded 9a+, and closer to home, Angela Eiter, from Austria, is the first woman to climb a 9b route.

These women are just a few who are blazing a trail in the climbing world, but we’re also motivated when we hear about women who are simply turning up to their climbing walls every week and having a go.

The This Girl Can campaign celebrates active women getting involved in sports that they love and encourages women to try out something new. It’s all about showing your strength, regardless of how you look or who is there to see it. This campaign teaches us about owning our love for getting active and feeling empowered to keep trying.

We hope that women will always feel welcome at Boulder Hut. Until we’re open, check out your local climbing walls, celebrate the wonderful women around you, and have a fantastic International Women’s Day!

 

 

About the author

Millie Kidson

Freelance writer and blogger Millie Kidson can usually be found writing about books and wine. She is a huge fan of exercise and takes to the climbing wall to increase her strength.