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Climbers Like Me: Tselane

Updated: May 10, 2021

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

My name is Tselane. I love mountains, preferably with snow on them. My first experience of big mountains was 5 years ago.

I was living in Berlin during my quarter-life crisis. I realised one day that my hedonistic, party lifestyle there was not serving me. I quickly left Berlin and took a job in a small ski village in the Swiss Alps. I was instantly struck by the sheer majesty of the mountains. I have wanted to be part of them ever since.

My life has changed drastically in the last 5 years. I have built a life around what I truly love - learnt to ski and became an instructor, an alpinist and a climber.

Give us 3 words that you identify with most?

Kind, outgoing, adaptable.

What brings you the most joy outdoors?

Being humbled by big landscapes. Early alpine starts for big mountain days. Sharing adventures with friends. Fresh powder days!

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

Overcoming my chronic imposter syndrome! Whether it was my first time climbing 5 years ago, figuring out how to tie an 8-knot; or now, when out backcountry skiing and crossing a glacier using all the knowledge I’ve gained… I still sometimes find myself doubting my capabilities, mixed up amongst feelings that maybe I don’t belong in this environment, that maybe I’m not good enough to be here.

We don’t live in a particularly diverse world when it comes to alpine sports. It’s more of a man’s world and certainly not one overflowing with women of colour. I’ve found the feeling of not belonging in this field of sports is a recurrent stumbling block over the years.

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

Love your neighbour as you love yourself. And be kind.

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

Everyone deserves a chance to get into the outdoors, the healing power of our natural world is incredible; it can be life-changing.

We can help each other out by making small changes: smile; encourage each other; offer someone a lift; share your skills; invite friends out with you who don't get out much; give back what you have been given- and some!

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