Happy International Women's Day: Women in The Mountains
Women have been on the slopes since the late 1800s when Lucy Walker and Meta Brevoort made the first female ascents of a number of iconic European peaks, including the Matterhorn, Weisshorn and the Dent Blanche. As a result the Ladies’ Alpine Club was founded in London, the first ever mountaineering club for women which was later merged, in 1975 with the Alpine Club when they ditched their skirts and donned Norwegian trousers (back then, this was an iconic move, as off the slopes it would still be outrageous for a woman to be seen in this attire). Today we would like to uplift, and celebrate some of the glorious women who have triumphed in the mountains. We highlight the stories of five extraordinary women who have made their marks on the mountains forever. From legendary sporting pioneers to community activists fighting to make a difference, each lady has her own unique rise to success.
Judith Kasiama: Founder of Colour the Trails
Judith Kasiama, also known as Juju Milay, is a skier, entrepreneur and advocate for diversity in outdoor spaces. Having grown up in The Democratic Republic of Congo, she now lives in Vancouver. Growing up as a woman of colour and refugee, she has devoted her time to creating a space for BIPOC in the outdoors. She founded Colour the Trails, a community-based organisation that coordinates events for people of colour to try outdoor sports including skiing, snowboarding and hiking. Check out her Instagram here, to read more about her amazing mission to diversify the world of mountain sports.
Chemmy Alcott: Olympian and British Sporting National Treasure
As a little girl, Chemmy Alcott was always keen to prove she could be doing whatever the boys were doing. Growing up with older brothers, and sporty parents, she propelled herself into the world of skiing and was natural from the start. Since then, Chemmy has competed in four Winter Olympic Games and seven FIS World Championships and has been overall Senior British National Champion 7 times. She won medals in all four of her Olympic races. She is passionate about ensuring there is accessibility in women’s ski racing. She works with ‘Woman Who Ski’ to run a skiing experience in St. Anton, Austria. Being a busy working mother herself, Chemmy is passionate about promoting skiing in early motherhood, and making sure skiing is accessible to women at any stage of their life. She has spoken out publicly about the gender gap in skiing and is a shining inspiration to any young girl with aspirations to make it as a professional ski racer. Read Chemmy’s fantastic article on the gender gap in skiing here.
Alice Robinson: Young Talent
Alice Robinson is a young skier from New Zealand, who’s talent on the slopes has shocked the ski racing world. In 2018, at just 16-years-old, she competed in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, making her New Zealand's youngest-ever Winter Olympian. In October 2019, Robinson won the FIS World Cup Giant Slalom race in Soelden, becoming the first skier born in this century to win an Alpine Ski World Cup race and New Zealand’s only Alpine World Cup gold medal since 1997. All of this whilst still in school, not bad eh? Alice Robinson is definitely one to watch so click here to check out her Instagram and keep up to date.
Meredith Erickson: Author of Alpine Cooking
Meredith Erickson is an award-winning food and travel writer. She wrote her first solo cookbook, ‘Alpine Cooking’ after travelling the Alps for over half a decade in search of the dreamiest mountain cuisine and craziest alpine experiences. Her book is an eclectic taste of Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France and everything in between. We love everything about the journey Meredith went on to create her first travelogue. She stands as a testament to what can come from following your own path and trusting your taste of adventure. Any budding female travel writers simply must check out ‘Alpine Cooking’ here.
Chloe Kim: Snowboard Queen