This idea started with Theresa Silveyra’s fundraiser of 30 summits of Wy’East before she turned 30. I connected with her on social media when she invited women of color to reach out to her if they wanted to climb. I showed up, and we climbed Mt. Shuksan. It was my first time being on a mountaintop with a woman of color. I had never known what it felt like to really let my guard down and fully experience freedom on a mountain. That trip was physically tough, but I had never moved with so much freedom and ease. That was powerful.
Throughout the trip, we shared our struggles with building confidence in alpine climbing and dared to dream of what an inclusive outdoor industry would look like. We felt comfortable being ourselves, and safe being open and honest about our experiences. We didn’t have to waste energy on code switching, or being palatable, or likeable just to not lose climbing partners. That’s what it took for me to be able to fully focus on my objective. We felt accepted, seen, safe, and strong.
We brainstormed what it would take for us to create these experiences for other women. Leadership and courage. In contemplating what our roles would be in the movement to #diversifyoutdoors, we agreed to step into leadership roles, work on our technical skills, and support other women in building the courage to do the same. Theresa is working on becoming a mountain guide, and I am working on becoming an ice climbing instructor. That is what this project is about– women showing up to manifest their dreams of inclusivity, and making safe spaces for other women to do the same.
Inspired by Theresa’s 30 before 30 fundraiser, I decided on 30 different pitches of ice with underrepresented climbers to raise funds to make leadership roles more accessible. This fundraiser is personal because I didn’t feel like I had that support until I connected with leaders that encouraged me to step into bigger roles in the ice climbing community. I am also a graduate student with limited disposable income, and finances have also been a major obstacle in my development as a mountaineer. I want to push past my own barriers, and support other women trying to do the same.
Check her out on Instagram to see what she’s up to! @theresasilveyra