When Emilie Hernandez started a small climbing meetup for women in central Texas, she had no grandiose ideas about what it would become.
For Hernandez, a meetup was just a simple way to meet other female climbers and get a guaranteed belay on the weekends.
But in the wake of a rapidly accelerating diversity, equity, and inclusion movement in the outdoors, the Texas Lady Crushers took on new meaning. Word spread, bringing in new members from other states, sponsorships, and media attention.
“Our mission has evolved: to provide Texas women and gender-nonconforming and trans individuals the education, community, and support to become self-sufficient rock climbers,” Hernandez said.
Today, the Texas Lady Crushers offer rock climbing clinics, retreats, and volunteer opportunities to women and nonbinary individuals.
Perhaps the broader lesson here is that everyone wants to feel and be seen. And the Texas Lady Crushers give traditionally underrepresented folks an empowering place at the table. Plus, they foster stewardship, acuity, and stoke within the sport.
And make no mistake — this group is no sewing circle.
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