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Gear

Gear Resources
Gear manufacturers have realised that lots of women like the outdoors and they're different shapes from men. Here's what's out there, and where you can buy it.

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Travel

Travel Resources
A selection of travel resources especially for women who love to travel. Includes a list of online communities if you do it yourself, or companies if you need a little help.

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Surfing

Surfing Resources
Listed here are some links to resources from all over the world that cater to women who love surfing.

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Hiking/Tramping

Hiking Resources
Extended walks are great for the mind and spirit and lots of women love to take part in them. Check out these resources and get inspired to go on a walking adventure.

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Snow Sports

Snow Sports Resources
Skiing, snowboarding, backcountry, polar expeditions - all done in the snow and all done by lots of amazing women.  Check out these resources to find out more...

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Kayaking/Canoeing

Kayaking Resources
White water, surfing, sea kayaking, sprint racing, marathon racing, multisport, fishing...is there anything you can't do from a kayak? Explore these resources!

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Cycling

Cycling Resources
A list of resources for all sorts of cycling - mountain biking, road biking, touring, racing, recreation and commuting - all specific to women.

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Climbing

Climbing Resources
Women can (and have) achieved incredible things in climbing. Listed in this section are a collection of climbing and moutaineering resources that are useful and inspiring for all climbers.

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Organisations

Organisations
A list of organisations that cater exclusively to women, or run trips exclusively for women. A great way to find a women-specific adventure in your area.

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Outdoor Industry

Outdoor Industry Resources
Looking for resources to help you plan programs, companies and organisations that cater for women or organisations you can join? Look no further...

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First Climb

First Climb of the SeasonThe weekend

We're heading away for the weekend up the East Coast.  It’s the first time they’ve forecast the days to break 18 degrees since about March (or so it feels like), and it’s supposed to be 20 on Saturday.  We’re going away with some friends, non-climbers, to do some training for an upcoming race.  My partner Dave, who’s not a really keen climber but will give it a go, says “should we put in the climbing gear?”  Sounds like a good idea to me… 

We ride, paddle and chill out.  Lots of food, many cups of tea and a few glasses of red wine are consumed.  On Sunday afternoon we have a couple of hours so we decide to go for a quick climb.  The others come along to watch, take photos and hang out at the cliff.

Internal Monologue #1 - the drive


I haven’t climbed in ages.  When was the last time?  February?  March?
I’m not climbing fit.  What if I’m not strong enough?
Why did I pick a trad climb?  What if my gear’s not right?  What if I fall, zipper all the gear out and smash into Dave at the bottom?
This is stupid.  This is a stupid sport.  Why do I like this sport?
Get it together Marj, you’ve done this climb a million times before.  
It’s a piece of cake, you could climb it with your bloody eyes closed.
But what if I fall off?  The others don’t know what to do.  I learned all about harness hang injuries the other week, they can be really bad.
Geez my stomach feels funny.  I need to pee.
If I fall off and hurt myself then Dave can hold the rope and the others can run up and get my phone and call for help.  Better tell them where it is.
I’m not feeling good about this.  Maybe we shouldn’t go?
We’ve done a big bike ride already today, I’m kind of tired and so is Dave.  Not sure he really wants to be here.
Maybe we should pull out?  Should I pull out?  Am I up to this?  It’s been so long since I climbed.
Come on Marj, this climb is easy.  You know it’s easy.  You know your gear placement is ok.  And there’s a million places for gear, if you feel scared you can just put more gear in.
But I’ve only got a small rack.  And one rope.  And not a very good selection of cams.
Come on Marj, it’s fine.  You know your rack gets up this climb easily.  And your rope.  You’ve got heaps of cams.
Well, if I don’t like it I can always make the call to turn around and go home.  Embarrassing but who cares.
I’ll make the decision at the bottom of the cliff.  I can decide better there.  
Remember you really like this sport, it’s just been a while.
Sorting out a birdsnestI really need to pee.

The cliff

We arrive.  I rack up.  “You’re quiet, Marj!”  “Mmmmm.  Bit nervous.  My phone’s here in the car.”  We scramble to the base of the cliff and dodge a few errant waves that threaten to get the rope salty wet.  The rope has tied itself in a big birdnest knot over the winter months.  We untangle.  Tie in.  Shit.  Here goes.

Internal Monologue #2 - the climb

Check yourself, check Dave, check the rope, check calls, check route.
First steps.  Get up to that ledge and put a cam in to stop a zipper.
Feet on the ledge.  Get a good hold.  Cam in.  Draw on.  Clip rope.  Good one.  
Ok breathe now.  You’re doing good, girl.
Next steps.  Bit awkward.  Odd crack.  Shit.
You’ve done this before, Marj, you know it’s easy.  Just a bit awkward to start.
Put in a nut if you’re nervous.  Look, there’s a good spot.  
Try to get up.  You’ll need feet on that ledge.  No good?  Ok, go back.  Look for something else.  Try again.  You can get through this.  
Still no good?  Chuck in another nut.  You’ve got lots.  Good spot there.  Bomber placement.
Come on, girl.  Stop being so pathetic.  This is easy.  Think.  Steady.  Come on, it’s easy easy easy.  You need your feet on that ledge, then you can get more gear in.
Foot there, foot there, hang on there, step up there, new hand hold there.  Go!  Go!  Go!!!  Yes!!  Get your feet right.  Now gear.  Add the draw, clip the rope.  Safe now.  Yessss!
Up again!  Here we go!  Hey, now I remember why this is fun.  Whoo hooo!!  Check out the view!  

Placing gearAfterwards

Exhilaration… “Hey Dave, Dave, did you have fun?  Don’t you love that climb?  It’s so cool.  Don’t you love that section where you look between your legs and see the waves crashing in?!  Did I tell you about the time a whale swam by when I was on this wall?  It was so cool.  And dolphins too, I’ve seen lots of dolphins!  This is like totally one of my favourite climbs in the whole world, Dave.  Isn’t the rock great?  And the scenery?  So awesome.  Great time of day for it.  Not too hot or cold.  Did you like it?  Dave?  Dave?!”  

He smiles at me.  “I loved it.  We’ll go again soon, ok?”

I grin back.  “Ok!”

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