I love being out in the mountains

'I find a peace there that I don't find anywhere else,' says climbing adviser Alison

22 November 2021

We offer loads of adventurous activities for our members.

We’re supported by a national outdoor team who help volunteers feel confident to take members of their unit on new experiences. Alison Parker is our climbing specialist adviser and wants to get more young members reaching new heights.

Alison wants to help more volunteers get climbing qualifications with Girlguiding, especially because a lot of instructors in climbing are male.

I want to see Girlguiding leaders becoming climbing instructors so girls can have role models to inspire them so they can imagine that they too could lead their own adventures and become an instructor, leading an expedition or achieving their own challenge in the outdoors.

A lot of the work Alison has been doing behind the scenes has been removing barriers that stop volunteers doing the climbing scheme so that more women can get into the male-dominated area.

There are a lot of decisions to make for climbing instructors, from considering the weather forecast to understanding the level of experience climbers have. They also need to make sure everyone involved is safe and understands what they’re doing, whether they’re climbing in a natural environment or on a purpose-built structure.

As well as being a chance to learn lots of new skills, climbing is also a great way to look after your mental wellbeing. Alison says: ‘When you're having a bad day, it's a great release to focus for a while simply on how to move up a piece of rock, or the fantastic vista you've just climbed up to enjoy. Literal mountain-top moments.’