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WCS 2013 // Inspiration

002Aside from sessions covering the practical care of our bodies there were plenty of inspiring talks at the Women’s Climbing Symposium this year.

The delightful Emma Flaherty talked about how she fitted in her job around climbing.  Emma was a bundle of enthusiasm. We learnt about her best friend, her boyfriend, and her determination and love of adventure. Nothing stops her from climbing: when neither she or her best mate had much experience of climbing they set off to Norway to climb their first multi-pitch; years later, she’s hitching a lift with a drunk boatman to an uninhabited island and arranging with him that he’d pick her and her boyfriend up in 3 days.

Nothing got in her way, not even her nerves when asking for time off. Emma managed to persuade her boss to allow her 5 months off to go climbing, and for another extended trip she even asked her boyfriend’s boss so that her boyfriend to go too! Her tip,“If they say no, come from a different angle!”

The last talk of the day was from the super confident Ella Fitzpatrick, not only the coolest 14 year old around but one of the coolest people.  What shone through was her humour – she turned technical problems during the talk into comedy and her story of climbing El Capitan showed her sense of humour, honesty and joy in climbing; 5 days of climbing and pull ups and she was tired, but finished the route free-climbing.  An inspiration to us to go out, take on challenges and enjoy it. I wished I had my 8-year-old niece there.

After the event someone asked me if there were egos or competitiveness and no, I didn’t see any of that, only 200+ women united by a love of climbing, swopping stories, helping each other out on climbs, cheering when someone reached the top and sharing advice – a truly fantastic day.

Aysha

Photo: Thanks to Matt Ralph

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