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Author: Emily Pitts

Getting Outdoors // My First Outdoor Climb

“I never thought I’d see you posting something like this.”  Helen’s friends clearly didn’t think that rock climbing would feature in her life.  Ever.  Helen provide them wrong and has the photos to show it!  If you think ‘sport isn’t for me’ or ‘climbing is only for people who are strong’, then read on…. 

I have always liked to consider myself adventurous

Womenclimb Adventure Sports Quiz

So, as part of our Get Outdoors month, we’re promoting all things outdoors.  Play our fun quiz – test your knowledge of Adventure and Extreme sports.  Maybe you’ll find something new to have a go at.  Whatever you do, let us know about it.

What you’ll need: A pen and paper or your phone/ tablet/ computer ready for you to type

The Womenclimb Adventure Sports Quiz

Get Outdoors! Women Climb Profiles

During June, as part of our Get Outdoors Series, Women Climb will be profiling some of the amazing women who work in Britain’s Outdoor Industries, specifically as climbing instructors and guides. Women are underrepresented in the industry so, with this series we want to show that there are women out there with years of experience and buckets of skills and qualifications who make a living doing what they love. If you’re looking for a guide for your next adventure or, just want some inspiration to follow your own dreams of making working in the outdoors, this series might be just what you need!

Our first ‘Get Outdoors’ Profile is the wonderful Lou Stone who is a hill walking guide and rock climbing instructor based in Brighton.

Everest Climbing News Summary 2016

Everest summit season started with earnest in May and is now coming to a close, having brought some outstanding climbing feats from women around the world.  There are some absolutely unbelievable stories in here, from start to finish.  I’m so excited to show these to you and to hear what you think.  Who inspires you most from this selection of wonder women?  What do you think?

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

#FridayFilm // Metallica

Weekly film entertainment, this week featuring the incredible Aleksandra ‘Ola’ Taistra, as she takes a step away from her usual sport climbing, on a mountain trip into the Polish Tatra range, bringing a new perspective to her climbing.

Ola Taistra FFA First Female Ascent Metallica Tatra

Ola on ‘Metallica’ in the Polish Tatra Mountains

Indoor Climbing in Brighton

Brighton is a seaside resort on the south east coast of the UK in Sussex.  It has a vibrant climbing community focussed around two climbing centres.  There is also fairly quick access to London, so check out our London guide too.  Also of note are the lively and inclusive women’s climbing group, Vertigirls and the LGBT group Not So Trad, which has a strong female membership.  

#FridayFilm // Bolder

Our regular weekly film recommendation, this week featuring Katie Mundy, as she talks about how to get back into climbing after having a baby.
Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 11.56.59

Climbing after pregnancy is different for everyone.  See what Katie, owner of Eden Rock bouldering wall in Carlisle, tells us about her experience.  

The Best British Climbers?

Last year I was asked to put together a list of climbers ‘of note’ to help a member of staff working in an outdoor centre. The centre had a series of rooms, all named after male climbers and she wanted to encourage the inclusion of notable female climbers. If you’re curious about who’s on the list, read on. You might disagree, leave us a comment if you do!

Climber Bio // Rocio Siemens

‘You are not alone.  Being afraid is normal.’  

These are the words of Rocio Siemens.  Rocio (pronounced Rotheo) is a 5ft 5 (165cm) tall Spaniard who started climbing at the age of 21.  Depending on how stretchy the material is she is a size 10 or 12.  Born in 1975, she is 41 years old at the time of writing.  She is an International Mountain Guide and an IFMGA member who climbs all sorts of winter and summer routes in the UK and beyond.  Her short answers are an incredibly insightful look into the life and experience of this climber.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

#FridayFilm // Project Ellie

Each week we feature a film to inspire, excite and motivate you to go on an adventure.

Ellie running across gorse in the hills, with a thin layer of snow on the ground.  She is carrying a rucksack and wearing a hat and buff.

Ellie Johnstone out running in the hills in winter

They films are free to watch.  Some feature climbing, while others will showcase other great sports.  If you want to find more films, just click on the ‘Reviews’ tab and scroll down to ‘Film’, where you will find even more awesome films to enjoy.

Ella Williams // Climber Bio

Ella Williams - Outdoor Instructor‘Climbing for me is like a dance, when I am in the moment I don’t have to think about what I’m doing.’

Ella Williams is an outdoors instructor living in North Wales.  At the time of writing, she was 29 years old, born in 1987, having started rock climbing at the age of 26.  She is 5ft1 (155cm tall). We met Ella on a climbing weekend in north Wales in 2015, where she showed her love of sharing the outdoors with others.  This is a really beautiful piece of writing, enjoy.

15 Knee Surgery Tips for Climbers

There are all types of knee surgery, from ligament repairs and reconstructions to cartilage trims and kneecap scrapes.  Two of the Womenclimb team have been in for knee surgery in the last 12 months (August 2015 and Feb 2016) for meniscus repair and ACL reconstruction respectively.  They have put together their top tips to help climbers who have knee surgery.

Itching to Climb // Barbara James // Book Review

itching to climb Barbara JamesItching to Climb, by Barbara James, is a book unlike any other I’ve read. It’s a non fiction, autobiographical book, a copy of which I found adorning the shelf of a lovely second hand bookshop in Caernarfon whilst visiting on a rainy day of a mountaineering club weekend. The story recounts the progress of this highly adventurous woman through life, talking though her jobs, one of which was as the first and only female civilian instructor with the British army, through her relationships and through family life. 

Climbing without an ACL

For my entire climbing life, I have climbed with an ACL injury.  The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of a pair of cruciate ligaments in the knee, forming a cross shape with the Posterior Cruciate Ligament. It provides crucial stability to the knee, preventing the knee from twisting and rotating.  You can find out more in this Youtube video about what the ACL is and what it does.

Background – how I tore my ACL

Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Pt 1

The trials and tribulations of a meniscal repair – Knee Surgery Recovery

In August 2015 Beth Thomas went into hospital to have a repair of torn cartilage (also known as meniscus) in her left knee.  This article series is about her journey, from hospital to getting back to climbing.  Thank you to Beth for sharing.  We would love to hear your comments about her journey – please tell us what you think about her story.   

Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Pt 3

In August 2015 Beth Thomas had a repair of torn cartilage (meniscus) in her left knee.  This is the final article in the series that charts her journey from hospital to getting back to climbing.  We would love to hear your comments about her journey – please tell us what you think about her story.   If you want to read the first parts you’ll find them here: Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Part 1 & Part 2

Climbing after an operation

4 months on

Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Pt 2

Training and Complications after Knee Surgery

In August 2015 Beth Thomas went into hospital to have a meniscus repair for torn cartilage in her left knee.  In her last article she talked about the first part of her journey to recovery and the first weeks after her meniscectomy.  Today she talks a bit about the realities of her recovery – the workarounds and the setbacks.  Tell us what you think.  If you’ve not read the previous article you can find it here: Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Pt 1

New – TLC

The Learning Corner (TLC) is about helping you find out what other, ordinary climbers are up to in their lives.  Sometimes it's easy to feel isolated or like you're the only person experiencing the highs and lows of the climbing world. So, we are kicking off...

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Emily Allen’s App recommendations

IMG_5581Emily Allen was the youngest female to climb 8a in the UK.  In July 2013 she climbed Aberration at Chee Dale.  If you’ve never heard of her you should read her story – she’s really inspiring, having had a number of setbacks yet still achieving the outstanding performance at the age of only 14 years old.  You can read more about Emily at Stoke Sentinal or on this superb UKC article.  A while back she shared her favourite three mobile apps with us, so we are sharing them with you now: