Lizzy, Women’s Climbing Festival Guide | “In June of 2014 I found myself finishing the last of 25 hikes I wanted to hike on Mt. Baker Highway. On every hike I would stare at Mt. Baker, dreaming of one day climbing that peak. I wandered into the American Alpine Institute one afternoon and simply asked, how do I learn to climb that mountain. They directed me to a 10 day course where I learned the basics of mountaineering and rock climbing, we summited Baker, Silver Star Peak, and my heart was stolen by the Beckey Route on Liberty Bell. The next month I bought a trad rack and learned how to lead, a few weeks later I took a trip to the Bugaboos, and that fall I bought a one way ticket to South America with the goal of exploring all of the 5.8s in Patagonia.
In my early experiences as a climber I was usually the only woman. On my course with AAI I was the only woman out of ten participants. When I went to look for climbing partners as a new climber, I could only find men who wanted to climb with me (and about half the time they weren’t just looking for a climbing partner). When I took my guiding course I was the only woman. And in my first year of guiding I was one of two female guides out of all the main guiding companies operating at Smith Rock State Park. It was isolating.
I was first invited to the @heyflashfoxy WCF to guide. In Tennessee I was introduced to this incredible community of passionate and ridiculous women who absolutely crush, being in their presence both humbled and inspired me. It’s comforting to know that I am not alone in my experiences as a female rock climber. And, as a business owner, it’s empowering to receive support and encouragement for my baby company @she_movesmountains.” Words by @LizzyVanPatten and photos by @Eliza_Earle #shemovesmountains
We’re excited to partner with Lizzy and her guiding company @She_MovesMountains and support their mission to increase the number of confident female rock climbers and guides out there.