Tag Archives: female climbers

Battling Gender Stereotypes in Climbing

Elaine working the moves of Nose Candy (V6) at Rocktown, GA. Photo by Sarah Anne Perry.

Elaine working the moves of Nose Candy (V6) at Rocktown, GA. Photo by Sarah Anne Perry.

In today’s post, guest contributor Elaine Elliott talks openly and honestly about stereotypes of women climbers, including battling her own personal female climber stereotypes.

After watching #CoverTheAthlete’s video regarding male athletes being asked the same interview questions as females, I started to relate this setback to my own sport: rock climbing. The video was amusing, but it highlighted a glaring problem in media coverage of female athletes. The problem being that women want to be taken seriously in athletics, and these stereotypes are holding us back.

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Happy 1st Birthday Crux Crush!

cxc anniversary montage

A year of firsts!

From an email sent January 20th, 2013…
Mary: Cate, you may not have been serious, but I’m kind of into this climbing blog idea.

Cate: Oh girl – I am SO serious. And now I’m extra surrious because our husbands apparently have a bet that this will not happen, ergo, it WILL happen.

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Guide to Climbing Pregnant


Climbing at 6 months pregnant, sporting the Mountain Mama harness and maternity wear.

Climbing has become such an integral part of my life that it is difficult to imagine life without it. It is my main form of exercise and stress relief, a measurement of progress, a vehicle for pushing through challenges, as well as the outlet through which I’ve made some of my closest friends and continue to test and strengthen my relationship with my husband (and belay partner). For me, the thought of giving up climbing for the duration of my pregnancy was unfathomable*. Sure, I’ve gotten some raised eyebrows and comments while climbing pregnant; I’ve been thankful for the support and shrugged off the judgment (which strangely came mostly from men). But here’s my philosophy on climbing while pregnant: at the end of nine months, I will ask my body to do one of the most physically demanding actions I will ever ask it to do. So why would I spend the months leading up to that moment letting my fitness and strength decline? Admittedly, I have not tested this philosophy, am not a doctor, and am no pro (this will be my first baby), but today I offer a few things I’ve learned climbing pregnant, as well as some awesome climbing gear from Mad Rock and Mountain Mama that makes it possible.

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Have you ever caught yourself gushing to your friend about Sasha’s latest send, only to have your friend reply, “Who’s Sasha and what did she send you?” Yep, that happened.

While I can’t believe I’m admitting this publicly, one of my secret indulgences is US Weekly. Last week while indulging on vacation, I came across my favorite section of US Weekly: “Stars – They’re Just Like US!” (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see here.) And I got thinking, what if climbers actually were famous?

stars_like_us-01 best

Climb on! ~Cate

Photo credits from top left to bottom right: Matilda Soderlund’s blog, Enterprise Climbing Walls, Beth Rodden’s blog, Petzl Sports’ PhotoStream.

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