Monday, August 3, 2015

"Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun." ~Randy Pausch

I recently climbed a mountain with a group of 5 others. It didn't bother me to be the only female in the group, and I can only assume it didn't bother my team either. As we came over the final move on top of a challenging summit, I heard some one say, "Oh! You have a token female in your group." Yes, this was funny, and we did all laugh. Then, I thought about it.

It occurred to me, about half of my female friends do the same adventurous stuff on a regular basis. It's true, at the moment the ratio of men to women in the mountains is weighed down a little more on the male side, but don't underestimate those gals out there because they're just as capable. As far as I can tell from my group of adventure gal pals, we're not out to prove something to the world on behalf of all women, we're just out to have fun.

Nicole: You've heard about a Nicole before. She's my climbing partner, which means a lot. No really, a lot a lot. Nicole showed me that the mountains are full of encouraging, empowering individuals. Sure she enjoys champagne martinis and wearing her pea-coat instead of her puffy, but that's not stopping her from adventure.

Nicole on Belford/Oxford last year. This was her 30th summit for the year.

Nicole on Pyramid. Climbing like a boss.

Laura and Charlotte: Laura is like the energizer bunny, and one of the most competitive individuals I know. There's nothing like building a bond with a person by catching their lead falls. Laura will relax dockside, but she's also known to gain quite a bit of elevation on the weekends by foot and/or bike. Charlotte is afraid of public bathroom handles, but she'll throw on a helmet and gear for some fun.

Laura and Charlotte hanging out on the Via Ferrata outside Telluride.

Helmet on, and ready to go. Sneffles SW Ridge.

Kara: Kara is a veteran member of the 14ers group. She might be a cardigan wearing librarian, but she has some great stories of challenge and triumph in the mountains - one that includes a nearly 60lbs pack into Chicago Basin.

Kara on the diving board with the infamous Maroon Bells in the background.

Kara having some fun on Humboldt.

Noel: I haven't mentioned Noel before, but this woman is one inspiring chica. She enjoys baking cookies, and just about anything with bacon. This grandma isn't going to let anything stop her from getting out in the great wide open.

Noel looking to Longs Peak from the boulder field.

From ice ax to ice tools. She'll climb anything.

Erin: She's been spending a lot of time with a PT lately, but that hasn't stopped her from getting out in the mountains and on the rocks. Erin is just as passionate about sharing the mountains with others, as she is about getting out there herself.

Erin knows where to find the views.

Look at that trad rack. Erin working on her 30 for 30 goal.

Marcia: She might be the first gal I met in the 14ers climbing group. I was there for her finisher, and I've appreciated every bit of advice she's offered over the past two years. Don't be fooled by this hospital employee, she's not afraid of no trad.

Marcia owning the Crestones.

An unforgettable trip to Nepal for Everest Basecamp.

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