Happy National Mountain Climbing Day! To celebrate, the SheFly team put together a list of our best tips and recommendations to help you find a team for your next mountain adventure.
Find a Mountain Climbing Partner
Regardless of where you want to climb or what level of experience you’re at, finding the right team for a mountain adventure is a critical part of ensuring a fun and safe experience. If you’ve never climbed a mountain before, we highly recommend finding someone with ample experience to go with you on your first trip. Keep it simple and start small - pick an easy climb that only pushes you slightly out of your comfort zone. Once you get your footing - no pun intended - and build your skillset, you can work your way up to more technical peaks!
If you’re new to climbing or just moved to a new place, finding someone to go with you may seem daunting. But with the right resources and networks, you will easily find a good partner. SheFly recommends a couple ways to find mountain climbing partners:
Ask Your Friends
See if anyone you already know spends time in the mountains in or around where you live. It’s best to push yourself and learn around someone who you already know and trust. However, if that’s not possible, you can use this opportunity to make some new friends too!
It is easier than ever to find people online who share your interests. SheFly encourages meeting fellow climbers through different groups, but like any online to offline meetup, we strongly recommend setting boundaries and expectations with new people before your trip to ensure a positive experience. It’s best to meet up in a public place first to make sure you trust each other and if possible, drive separately and go on a trip close to home where there is cell service and other climbers around.
Our favorite online groups for climbing include:
Women in Mountain Training
Womxn Who Climb
Brown Girls Climb
Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Forum
Women Who Hike (Regional Groups)
Melanin Base Camp
Plus Sized Hikers
If you are looking for a more official kind of group, there are several communities and clubs that offer meet-ups and group hikes with informal guides. This is a good way to meet friends and get outside without worrying about safety.
Hit the gym! Have you been practicing indoors waiting for an opportunity to get outside? Most climbing gyms have message boards where you can look for partners. Don’t be afraid to use this resource.
Meeting new people, learning from them and going on adventures together can be great, but sometimes you want a more formal guide to (literally) show you the ropes. In recent years, there’s been an increasing number of women-run guiding companies. Some of our favorites of these fantastic companies include:
She Moves Mountains
If your desired version of mountain climbing involves scaling rocky cliffs, look no further than She Moves Mountains. This women-run guiding company organizes retreats, climbing clinics, and courses for women (cis and trans) and gender minorities. You can find courses for first-time climbers, trainings for specific skills such as climbing cracks in the rock or rappelling, as well as introductions to other outdoor activities such as backpacking.
Want to climb the highest mountains on the continent? If high-altitude expeditions are your jam, check out AwExpeditions. AWE’s mission is to decrease barriers to entry for women in high altitude mountaineering by providing trainings and support for women of all walks of life. Run by Fastest Known Time record holder Sunny Stroer, AWE offers basecamp training clinics on peaks like Mount Baker, as well as all-women multi-week expeditions on climbs like Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro. AWE also offers a Summit Scholarship that provides full scholarships for select climbs. Our co-founder Charlotte Massey did the 360 Route on Aconcagua with Sunny and loved the quality of the expedition planning as well as the emphasis on skill building and teamwork throughout the climb.
Based in Washington State in the Central Cascades, Northwest Mountain School offers everything from rock climbing day trips to Denali expeditions. The owners, wife and husband John and Olivia Race, guide many of the trips themselves, and Olivia is now offering several women-specific trips. A highly trained IFMGA guide with a team of fantastic women guides, Olivia focuses on teaching skills and encouraging a learning environment that allows everyone to learn the basics.
Looking for an outdoor adventure on the east coast? The Adirondack Mountain Club works to protect New York’s wildlands and promote responsible outdoor recreation. The organization has been operating since 1922 and has grown to include 27 chapters across the state, inspiring adventurers like you to get outside. Through the Adirondack Mountain Club, you can find guided hikes, paddle outings, winter trips, and more.
We love everything we recommend but we are always looking to expand our network and prioritize inclusivity of all kinds. If you have a recommendation of an online group, outdoor club, or guiding company we missed, please send it our way.