Just over a week ago, I rendezvoused with 3 women I’d never met before at The Castle Climbing Centre1 in Stoke Newington, London. We arranged to meet there after a conversation in Womenclimb Climbing Confidence2 group on Facebook; we’d discussed the need for a women’s climbing session that welcomed all levels of climbing.
We met in the cafe of The Castle, which uses organic vegetables grown in the surrounding gardens in the vegan and veggie dishes it offers. After chatting for a bit, we donned our shoes and warmed up by traversing the boulders. Then we moved to one of the top roping sections. Daniela (left photo) and Hattie (right photo) were more advanced at climbing than me, and I had a moment where I could have felt inferior but I noticed the thought and decided it wasn’t helpful.
Daniela and Hattie were both very supportive of where I was at and that helped my confidence grow; I didn’t need to be further on than where I was. I climbed some 5s, and attempted some 5+s.
Sioban was very nervous to begin with. In our online conversations she’d been ready to hang up her climbing boots for good. Once she’d settled in, she was climbing 5s in no time; by the end of the day she’d had so much fun that she knew she would carry on with climbing.
During lunch we decided on our next meet up: Saturday 14th April at The Reach3 in South London. Hattie suggested a name for our group, based on Lynn Hill’s statement after climbing an ‘unclimbable’ route: “it goes, boys!”4. Our group, It Goes, Boys!, is open to all women of any climbing ability. We have a Facebook event for the next meetup, and you’re welcome to just turn up and look for us.
1The Castle’s website is here.
3The Reach’s website is here.
4An article on the amazing Lynn Hill is here. Thanks to Hattie for providing link.