Meet the Texas Lady Crushers, Climbing’s Newest Women-Led Group

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.

Runtime: 8 minutes

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Jilli Cluff

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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