Whether you're a lifelong boulderer or too scared of heights to set foot in a rock gym, it's hard not to get chills when you see a female climber complete a challenging route. Despite your goosebumps, you wonder — could I ever do something like that? A quick scroll through said female climber's Instagram will quickly inform you that you very well could — if you're ready to commit to the training and lifestyle that goes hand in hand with climbing.
And, even if hitting up your local crag isn't on your bucket list, this is a very exciting time to start following female climbers.
In addition to the recent uptick in women's interest in the sport, the climbing community has been in an era of "female firsts" for a while now. New records are still being set by women in the sport: from Angy Eiter being the first woman to send (successfully climb) a 5.15b-graded route to Ashima Shiraishi being the first to boulder a V15-graded climb (in both of these cases, the grades reflect difficulty level and 15 is, well, it's up there).
In rock climbing, strength, flexibility, and nerves of steel are needed in equal measure — and more women than ever are proving that they're triple threats. Ahead, meet some of the women who inspire us to grab our shoes, chalk up, and send our projects. If you want even more, give female-focused climbing groups like Brown Girls Climb, Women's Climbing Collective, and Flash Foxy a follow, too.
We're celebrating women in sports and fitness, and showcasing all of their awesome accomplishments, so that we can all be inspired to be the best versions of ourselves, both on and off the field. Check out On Her Turf on Instagram, powered by Refinery29 and NBC Sports.