What is it?
The Women’s Trad Festival is a weekend in the Peak District where people can have a go at climbing outside or improve their trad skills, and as it’s not unusual to see the crags predominantly filled with men, it’s also a place where women can feel comfortable, supported, empowered and have fun.
What did I get out of it?
Much more than I thought I would have! My leader Tom took me up routes at Lawrence Field and Birchen Edge, giving me tips, encouragement and teaching my new skills as we went. Having only climbed outside a couple of times, it was awesome to spent two full days on the rock and whilst doing so I discovered a love for jams, cracks and especially chimneys.
Sunday was a particularly special day as we spent it at Birchen Edge and the crag was dotted with orange (our festival t-shirts) at every climb. Tom led me up some of the classic routes and there was always someone from the festival to give me tips on where to put my weight or point out holds I hadn’t seen, the perfect set up for a trad novice like me.
For the cherry on the cake I got to do my first lead climb. It was a real buzz to be the first up the rock and place my own gear. A feeling you can only really get from doing it yourself, which gave me a real appreciation for being part of the festival and having the opportunity to do so.
What did the festival achieve?
Overall the festival was awesome fun and a place where women could meet, learn and push themselves. Everyone I spoke to at the event had only good things to say and the organisation was spot on. The simple existence of a festival like this gives great exposure to women’s climbing and the community it creates is a lasting reminder of how positive it was. I can’t wait for next year.
For more of these awesome pics head to: Charlie Low Photography