Libby Peter is one of those women who can seamlessly do it all; she’s a pioneer female mountain guide in the UK and a mother to two fearless daughters, all the while continuing to push her limits in the mountains. As a young girl, she truly believed she was scared of heights and wouldn’t be any good at climbing, even though she loved being in the hills. However, when she was selected to participate in a school expedition to Arctic Norway, she got a formal introduction to the sport and was hooked.
As a mother, she found time for climbing through the process of trial and error, whether it was grabbing a quick session on some roadside boulders while the girls napped, or calling on friends and family to sub in for babysitting. While it can take a village to raise a child, it certainly takes even more than that to raise a child AND keep up climbing! She offers some sage advice to mothers: “Work out your priorities – if you try to do it all (be a perfect mum, keep a tidy house, cook wholesome food for your little ones, train and climb as hard as you did, work as much as you used to…) you’ll end up doing none of them very well. Sure, you need to get good at juggling, but you need also to be able drop some of the balls from time to time. Learn to be a bit less self-critical, and a bit more selfish!”
These days, her goals are centered around her and her daughters’ winter training goals. She is actively inspiring more women to become mountaineering guides in the UK. With only 6% of the guides being women, she is currently piloting a mentoring program to improve confidence and address this imbalance. Speaking of the gender discrepancies in climbing, she is “convinced that in the future the picture will be much more balanced – you just have to look at youth climbing, where girls outnumber (and in many cases outclimb) boys – if we can help these strong, confident young girls to climb outside more they’ll be unstoppable!”