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Sudden realisation

Sasha DiGiulian in TSasha DiGiulian in Tuolumne #Yosemite

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sasha digiulian. Lovsasha digiulian. Love her

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Sasha DiGiulian. TrSasha DiGiulian. "Triple Crown"

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Sean Jones on PersepSean Jones on Persephone Butterfly (5.11d) Ribbon Falls-- Scroll thru Pinterest, find your bf.. kinda weird :)

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Shauna Coxsey and CoShauna Coxsey and Colorado slopers

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Sudden realisation:Sudden realisation: I should be in Rocklands right now...

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The route DelicatessThe route Delicatessen (5.13d), on the island of Corsica

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The stunning view frThe stunning view from the Dolonas Cave, island of Kalymnos, Greece. Photo by Nicolas Smalios

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This is a guest post from Dirtbag Darling contributor of Amanda Ciesielczyk.

The other weekend, 18-year-old Margo Hayes earned herself a place in the “boys’ club” as the first woman to climb the route called “Bad Girls Club” [5.14d] in Rifle, Colorado.

During this summer’s Olympic Games, Michelle Carter became the first U.S. woman to score gold in shot put. Her winning throw came in at 20.63 meters.

And with just a few days left in Rio, the U.S. women had won 41 medals and 17 gold medals, as many as any other country’s entire delegation (LA Times, Aug 16, 2016).

It feels like women have never been more driven and I’m thrilled to be a part of the Girls’ Club.

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With a truly new view on “girl power” on the rise across the country, and for good reason, I was eager to fuel the conversation. So I started the Wild Women’s Project, a weekend leadership camp, women’s retreat and outdoorist’s paradise at an alpine hut not far from my home in Colorado’s San Juan mountains.

The goal was simple: Bring 16 brilliant, beautiful minds together for a weekend of true connection, focusing on creativity, community and conservation in the outdoors. Tagged the “beta” weekend, 16 women in the outdoor industry said “yes” and joined the trip. A weekend filled with endless laughter, profound heart-to-hearts, and exhausting hikes shaped me more than I could have ever imagined.

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But it’s also brought some big questions to my attention. Like, even though we had industry diversity in our group, why did our group lack ethnic diversity? My good friend an an attendee of our beta trip posed the question: “Why is it a story when a group of just women are doing something rad? Why can’t we just get recognition for what we’re doing, not that we’re women and doing it?”

I love what Hilary Oliver recently said about her film, Being Here: “When we see a film made by a man, we don’t call it a ‘men’s adventure film.’ We just call it an adventure film. I hope to make something that is a ‘people movie,’ not a women’s one.”

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All of this got me thinking: Is the idea of strong, innovative and thought-leading women a trend in the outdoor industry? In American culture today? It sure has earned its share of publicity lately.

I don’t believe so. I think instead it is a signal that people are finally listening—society is ready to put women and all minorities on an equal playing field and, as women, it is our responsibility to lead the conversation. It’s our duty to make sure people are focusing on the amazing things that women are doing, and not just the fact that there are women doing them. It’s our role to direct the dialogue to why women and minorities and help break this mold. As women ourselves, we are in the most influential of positions to truly change the message.

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So let’s go. Let’s be leaders together. Tell your mom you know she can run that 5K this Thanksgiving and sign up with her. Conquer your first multi-pitch climb with the raddest crew you know, whether it’s made up of men or women, and enjoy the moment and the view. Speak up for those who may be apprehensive and inspire respect, resilience and revolution in the outdoor communities we cherish so dearly.

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Pitch that epic fall mountain biking trip to the publication of your dreams and don’t dwell on the fact that it’s an epic all-women-crew, but celebrate the ride, the story and the accomplishments your team is making together.

Channel your inner “girl power,” sure, but lead the conversation in any and every way that fits you. Let’s cultivate a community of the most incredible and dedicated outdoor spirits, regardless of gender, race, economic background or athletic ability. Because at the end of the day, we all go back to nature to nurture the soul and be a bit smaller in a part of something really big.

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Amanda Ciesielczyk is the co-founder of BoldBrew, an outdoor creative shop, and the founder of the Wild Women’s Project. She lives in the San Juan mountains and values her time out in the mountains as a catalyst for all things that lead to her mindset of happiness: solid relationships, solo reflection and creative inspiration. Outside, she’ll go anywhere and try anything, as long as her one-year-old Blue Heeler pup, Reins, can come along for the ride.

The post The Wild Women’s Project appeared first on Dirtbag Darling.

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