Climbers Like Me: Louise

Tell us about yourself, who are you and what do you love doing?

I’m Louise, on weekdays I’m a software engineer, on the weekends I’m normally found climbing on the grit, exploring the caves of the Peak District or diving a quarry somewhere in the UK.


I love exploring high places, the cliffs of North Wales, ice-covered mountains of Scotland or the potholes of the Yorkshire Dales. I make just about everything, from websites to diving gear or science equipment to crampon bags.

Give us 3 words that you identify with most?

Mountaineer, Caver, Maker.


What brings you the most joy outdoors?

I love exploration. It can be something as simple as walking a path I've never walked before or climbing a route I’ve never climbed. Other times exploration may be spending months drilling and bolting up a shear wall to reach a chamber no human has ever seen. There are always new places to explore and new things to find. Sometimes it's easy, and sometimes it takes effort - and a drill.


What has been your biggest challenge to date?

Realising I was trans and coming out as transgender. It has also been the best thing I’ve ever done. I had become quite secluded in the years before I came to the understanding something wasn't right.


10 years ago I could not have faced walking into a climbing club hut full of people I didn't know. Dealing with and moving past my own physical and mental health issues allowed me to return to the outdoors, somewhere I spent a lot of my childhood.


Now I’m a member of several clubs and have friends all over the country who are always eager to go climbing, caving or diving whenever I ring them. I could not have imagined all this would be possible 10 years ago.


If you could share a core value or abiding principle with others, what would it be?

Stop worrying about what other people think of you and live your life as authentically as you can.


Tell us one small change we can make as individuals to help our community?

Ask for and respect people's pronouns, whatever they may be.



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© Women's Trad Festival | All photos by Charlie Low & Jessie Leong

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