For The Girls: Climbing Mount Baker

This climb was NOT for the US border security guard who said, “I’ll hear about you girls on search and rescue.”

Nor was this climb for the dudes who snickered at our all-female rope team.

This climb was definitely not for the boys who felt the need to say, “Your all-day pace is kind of slow.” … (Despite that 1. We were the third team on the summit 2. We leapfrogged them twice and 3. This was in no way a race.)

This climb was most definitely NOT for the part of me that let those voices in.

Nor was it for the part of me that felt insecure, despite my diligent preparation.

Or the voice that told me to be fearful of the world.

No. This climb was not for you.

There will be mountains that make you feel small. And there will be people who make you feel even smaller.

So know this.

Girl power is not just “girls doing rad shit.” Girl power is FEELING unworthy, afraid, weak, and less than, but BELIEVING the opposite.

Girl power is seeing the doubt but doing it anyway.

This climb was for the group of men who called us animals as we passed them in the dark. 💪

This climb was for the team who asked for beta and believed us.

This climb was for my support system. Like my Josh, who countered my feelings when I could not. Who listened to my reasoning as I constructed crevasse rescue systems in our living room. Who watched the mountain from our home as I came down.

This climb was for the three strong, leading women my life was tethered to. Who shared their incredible knowledge freely, and answered questions without judgment. Who led and followed and collaborated with compassion and patience. Who blue bagged like the absolute babes they are.

This climb was for the part of my brain that challenges itself. That believes, yes, I do have the skills because, yes, I have done the work.

Feel me.

This climb was #forthegirls.

Mount Baker Summit – 10,718 ft



The approach.
Our objective.
2am alpine start.





Post-summit, post-beer, post-nap, post-food sunset.
Back safely to the car.


Mount Baker in all her glory.

2 thoughts on “For The Girls: Climbing Mount Baker

  1. Hi Lena, this is such a great post (I am a young female engineer and often have to fight these self-deprecating thoughts in the male dominated industry!) I would love to share this post on – a new platform for people to read and share their true life experiences. Your story is super inspirational – it must be shared! Please drop me an email at if you are happy for me to share this blog post 😊

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