#GiveBIG for the Future with Lynn Hill

Lynn Hill spoke at The Mountaineers annual fundraiser, where she was inspired by our dedicated community committed to the idea of giving back. In this post, Lynn shares why she's giving big for #GiveBIG to support the future of The Mountaineers.
Lynn Hill Lynn Hill
Professional Rock Climber
May 09, 2018

I’m often asked to speak about my experience as a climber in a traditionally male-dominated sport. When The Mountaineers approached me about speaking at their annual fundraiser, I did not hesitate. Teaching women to see themselves as climbers is a driving force behind my achievements and the mentorship I provide to the next generation of climbers today.

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I began climbing in Southern California at the age of 14. Before I knew it, I became the face of women’s participation in the sport, through the mentorship of legacy climbers like John Long and Mari Gingery, who have been good friends and climbing partners since 1978. Not only did I want to challenge myself, but once I realized that I was in the position to be a role-model for other women, I took that role seriously. I wanted to show them what is possible and that they are just as capable, if not more, to take on difficult climbs.

As a leader in climbing education, The Mountaineers has played a transformative role in the culture and development of climbing. One of the first books about climbing and the various techniques, was Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills. I was happy to be part of a recent Mountaineers Books publication by Topher Donahue called Advanced Rock Climbing in which I was profiled alongside other strong female climbers like Beth Rodden and Steph Davis.

The Mountaineers, like the broader outdoor industry, struggles to recruit and maintain women and people of color in leadership roles. This year I was delighted to see a more diverse Board of Directors and a woman president for the first time in 20 years. These leadership roles are key for ensuring The Mountaineers can better serve the community into the future. The organization is placing intention behind becoming more diverse and inclusive, and will be conducting a diversity audit and building bias training and equity seminars for their volunteer leaders this year. These steps make it possible to provide more welcoming member experiences and fulfilling leadership opportunities for all across every outdoor activity.    

Over its 112 year legacy, The Mountaineers has inspired countless individuals to challenge themselves in ways they never thought possible. While there’s always more to do, The Mountaineers is investing in creating equitable experiences and opportunities for all to engage in the outdoors. To help them continue this incredibly important work, I invite you to join me in donating during GiveBIG.

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