Women Inspiring: Taking the Lead

Women Inspiring: Taking the Lead

Accomplished climber, trail runner, and mountaineer Tate Lagasca talks about women that inspire him to reach for the stars:  

For decades, Yosemite Valley was the epicenter of rock climbing. Towering over the forest sits the massive 3,000 foot monolith, El Capitan. “The Valley” and “El Cap” have been the stage for many tales of high danger, hard partying, big adventure and difficult climbing, mostly led by mustached, muscular men. 


“El Cap” (El Capitan), Yosemite Valley - Gripped

Over the years these men picked through all the major challenges of Yosemite Valley, except one. By 1990, the Holy Grail of Yosemite Valley was to climb, without aid, a route in the direct center of El Cap: “The Nose.” Many of the men who had dominated The Valley scene had tried and failed.  

Then in 1993 a 5’ 2” skinny blonde woman strolled into camp with the now immortal words, “It goes boys”. After 4 years of trying, Lynn Hill had freed The Nose. In that moment Hill became arguably the best climber in the world, paving the way for more inclusivity in the world of climbing. 



Lynn Hill On The Nose - Lynn Hill Youtube Channel

Nearly 30 years later women have claimed a more central role in climbing and mountaineering. Women who grew up on the tales of Lynn Hill and others like her, now make up many of my climbing partners and my heroes. From Margo Hayes’ redpoints of 5.15 sport routes, to Chantel Astorga’s and Anne Gilbert-Chase’s ascent of the legendary Slovak-Direct on Denali, to my climbing partner onsighting her first 5.11, to my girlfriend climbing on her first glacier, I am motivated by women who push both themselves and me. 

I hope that not only in climbing but throughout mountain sports we [as men will] push for women to head the charge. If we do, we can achieve  things we did not know were possible both as a collective and as individuals.

 

About the Author:

Tate is an avid ice and rock climber, snowboarder, and runner living in Durango Colorado. Follow along on Instagram: @tate_nl