The North Face #SheMovesMountains Launch

Last night my fellow adventurer and all round awesome explorer buddy Sophie Everard (of Mad to Live blog and retreats) and I attended The North Face #SheMovesMountains launch party.

So What’s the Campaign All About?

The campaign #SheMovesMountains itself is targeted at raising the voices of women who are pushing boundaries in all areas of exploration. This is their very first all women campaign, with the likes of awe inspiring pin up adventure women like Margo Hayes, Hilaree Oneill, Ashima Shiraishi and Fernanda Maciel. Covering no small feat, these adventurers are most certainly in line with the North Face’s campaign of breaking boundaries: 

  • Fernanda Maciel is an ultra-distance runner and The North Face athlete, who has broken the record for the fastest female time up and down Mount Kilimanjaro. Fernanda ran the Tanzanian route from Umbwe Gate to the summit and then down to the Mweka Gate, in just 10 hours and 6 minutes, breaking the previous record of 12 hours and 58 minutes held by Anne-Marie Flammersfeld by nearly three hours.
  • Bonita Norris has climbed the world’s highest mountains, including being the youngest climber to climb Mt Everest. In 2016 she made an attempt on K2 in Pakistan and in 2017 published her first book The Girl Who Climbed Everest.
  • Ashima Shiraishi At the age of thirteen-year-old, Ashima Shiraishi is already one of the strongest climbers in the world. The New York Times has called her a “Bouldering Phenom” while Outside Magazine coined the “Young Crusher.” And rightfully so: no climber, male or female, has ever bouldered at such high level at such a young age.
  • Margo Hayes – Since she began climbing in 2008, she has quickly become a consistent podium finisher in sport and bouldering competitions around the world, first in the youth categories and now in the open age category. But not only is she the reigning national champion in women’s sport climbing, she is quickly proving she can keep up with the best in outdoor climbing as well. In February 2016, she entered the ranks of the world’s most elite climbers by sending La Rambla and 5.15a route in Siurana, Spain.

Absolutely stellar line up if you ask me! Be sure to check it out at where you can see the incredible campaign championing women who break boundaries and the push towards even more incredible female adventures and explorers worldwide.


The Campaign Launch Event

At last nights event I can honestly say I’ve never felt so empowered and more ready and raring to take on bigger and better challenges in my field. As an avid rock climber but fairly new to the field, I was completely starstruck to be within the presence of such mountaineering, trail running and climbing greatness as mega athletes Fernanda Maciel and Bonita Norris.

The event was pumped full of all the inspiration any pro adventure (and adventure newbie) could ask for. We heard the tales of great summits achieved by extraordinary women in adventure. Then we were lucky enough to have an hour long Q&A session with Fernanda Maciel, Bonita Norris, Farrah Storr (Editor of Cosmopoliton), Lou Boyd (Editor of Cooler magazine) and Carly Wilford (DJ, presenter and all round good time girl!).


Key take home points?

  • Once we see women in mountaineering and adventuring, you know you can do it. By seeing female role models in the field like in campaigns such as the North Face, women will be more likely to follow suit. Many current adventurers role models are male. This campaign is amazing for highlighting the women role models out there in the sport.
  • By showing representaion of women in the sport, the expectation of women will be allowed to be higher. By spreading the campaigns message and support for women in adventure, we can begin to believe and live by the fact that she absolutely does move mountains! 
  • The future is about moving mountains, going that extra mile, not just following the beaten track. The women on the Q&A panel each described the challenges they faced and the importance of those challenges for where they have got to today.
  • When asked about facing challenges Fernando Maciel simply put it that you have to “understand what fear is – it’s there to teach you and is usually temporary. See it as a positive and not negative. You’ll always be stronger from it. It doesn’t mean run away, it means face it head on. It teaches you something about yourself. Move through it, there’s always something great on the other side.”
  • Farrah Storr elaborated on this point further….”Feel the fear, do it anyway and learn from it”. She spoke about the importance of knowing where you want to go. Trying to make those 5,10,15 year plans. Once you know where you’re going, you’ll be less likely to veer off course, taking the path around a tricky obstacle. “If you know what is on the other side you will go through it. It’s all about not moving horizontally.”
  • When we spoke about obstacles in the way, Carly Wilford explained, what we go through is a transformation. It might feel irrelevant at the time but it’s actually part of the journey. Wilford’s infectious personality and down to earth manner is enough to motivate even the strongest pessimist. Put wonderfully bluntly she says it’s about being brave enough to say: “Fuck it I’m going my own way. Creating my own path. I’m going to do things differently. Connecting with myself. I’m here to do something different. That’s why I don’t fit in.” 
  • Lou Boyd echoes this saying you’re…“Doing something right if your legs are dangling off the edge a bit”
  • What if it fails? Again, solid advice from mega journalist mogul Storr: “never walk past a mistake, examine what went wrong and learn from it”.

Real World Implementation

Not only is the campaign incredible for women in the sport, The North Face also practice what they preach. Not only are they pushing this phemonemal campaign but they have also teamed up with The Outward Bound Trust (who do a number of incredible initiatives to introduce an entire generation of girls to the benefits of the outdoor exploration. With the support of The North Face’s NeverStop Community, together they lead over 1600 young women in the wild – from venturing out to a crag to learn the rock climbing basics, hiking on foot deep into the mountains, to kayaking amongst seals.

Now I don’t know about you but I’m ready to go on an absolutely move mountains. The force is absolutely female. Lets get adventuring and conquering the incredible feats of both men and women before us.

Find out more about the North Face campaign and the Outward Bound Trust here. 

Stay tuned on the blog for my introduction to rock climbing as well as exciting events in the pipeline. Can’t wait that long? Check out my interview with UK bouldering legend Shauna Coxsey here. Happy climbing team!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x


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