We'd like to say a big Happy Mother's Day to all the Mega Mums out there. Here's a massive dose of inspiration for everyone with this collection of films and stories from amazing adventurous mothers.
Mountain guide, author, and one of the UK's most respected climbers, Libby Peter has years of experience from her life of adventure. Libby's astounding career has seen her instruct, coach, and guide, all over the globe whilst raising her daughters Ruby and Zoe amid the beautiful scenery, and climbing, of North Wales, UK.
In the film 'Devotion', Libby eloquently and honestly reflects on how climbing shaped her life, albeit quite unintentionally. She reminds us that we should embrace the inevitable changes life throws at us, and how accepting the unexpected is all part of the journey. Anyone who spends time in the outdoors will be able to relate to this film.
WATCH: Devotion on BMC TV
In the second film featuring Libby, she takes her children on the classic slate climb Equinox (VS 4c) at Bus Stop Quarry in North Wales. Packed full of info on the route, and with great tips on introducing smaller people to climbing, this movie 'First climbs: Libby Peter' is a must-watch for all mums looking to take their kids on adventures.
WATCH: First climbs: Libby Peter on BMC TV
Wild swimmer and mum of two, Natasha Brooks likes to merge her love of art with the water in the wilderness. Her talent as an artist and photographer inspired her to make a short film 'Blue Hue' and enter it into the first BMC Women in Adventure Film Competition, back in 2015.
Her film won first prize and the people's choice award in the competition and, since then, has been nominated for and won numerous awards, as well as being selected for film festivals all around the world.
This beautiful movie showcases how adventures can be had almost anywhere, it's the spirit of the feeling created.
“From above they [the lakes] often look uninviting and in the winter it is somewhat of mental challenge to get in. But once you’ve seen what lies beneath the surface you end up returning again and again,” said Natasha in an interview with Wales Online.
“The sensation of that cold on every part of your body eclipses all thoughts. You leave everything behind, and it offers you the space to truly appreciate the moment.”
WATCH: Blue Hue on BMC TV
Caroline digs deep on the classic Avalanche Wall (HVS 5a) at Curbar. Photo: Ian Couldwell
Caroline started climbing in her 30s after having a baby. She wrote the article ‘Superwoman: becoming a mother and a climber’ after having been incredibly motivated and inspired by the This Girl Can campaign.
“I'd love to say that I saw rock and had an epiphany, but it was more of a slow build. Climbing was something my husband loved, and I knew that coming along would give us time together,” said Caroline.
“Leading my first 6a made me feel like Superwoman and I walked taller than in any high-heeled shoe. I’ll never be the best climber, but I'm the best climber I can be and that's enough. I’m no longer disconnected from the body I live in, because when I'm climbing a route I’m in charge of every inch of it. I am strong, powerful and I am slowly becoming a vertical dancer.
“When I first had a baby, my life changed. But now I know exactly who I am: I'm a mother, I'm a wife, I'm a nurse. And I'm a climber.”
Natalie Feather and Katherine Schirrmacher
It’s the great unknown: how will having kids affect your hobbies, your life, and your time for yourself? Two climbing mums, Natalie Feather and Katherine Schirrmacher, talk about how they've both carried on climbing after having children, in this great short film by Jen Randall.
WATCH: Two climbing mums on BMC TV
Natalie also stars in 'Three Women and the Three Old Men', the winner of this year's BMC Women in Adventure Film Competition. This movie is a story of three women's journey to climb three of Scotland's remote sea stacks in just three days, a task that is exhausting both physically and logistically, to raise money for a local charity who provide opportunities for disadvantaged youths in climbing.
WATCH: Three Women and the Three Old Men on BMC TV
On a training expedition with the team. Photo: Misba Khan Collection
From the North West to the North Pole, the story of Misba is truly inspirational. Never having the opportunity until now, she has gone from rambling groups to arctic expeditions in a very short space of time. Having recently been chosen to join a group of 12 women looking to ski 100km to the North Pole in 2018.
Misba says: “When my children were younger, I would be packing their DofE stuff up, I always found it really exciting. I never had the opportunity to explore the outdoors when l was young. I used to go to the gym and I started to feel like I wanted to do something else. I wanted to be outdoors. It was great, I loved getting outdoors; I went to places I hadn’t been before. I started to enjoy the rugged mountainsides, high summits, the open ridges and lakeside walks.
“So far I have been to the Atlas Mountains, Kilimanjaro, and Mt Damavand. I have to work and save up money and annual leave to go on trips abroad, so it’s a slow process, but I love visiting new countries and undertaking new challenges. I came across an online advert looking for women from across Europe and the Middle East to form an international team and ski the last 100km to the North Pole in 2018. An expedition like this was not to be missed!”
Misba’s advice to everyone is: “Don’t put age as a barrier, at 48 I’m the oldest on the expedition. Stretch out your abilities only then can you reach your full potential, you never know where it might take you. Get outdoors as a family or find yourself a local group and get outdoors with them.”
In this film about getting back into climbing after pregnancy, Katie gives an honest account of how having a baby affected her passion for bouldering.
“You're going to have up days and down days,” Katie says in the film. “You might be absolute fine straight away. Some women come out of pregnancy like a phoenix from the ashes ... but I didn't, it took me a while due to a few complications and a huge baby!”
WATCH: Bolder on BMC TV
Lisa just hanging around on the This Girl Can photoshoot. Photo: Jessie Leong
We met Lisa when she signed up to join the This Girl Can photoshoot at Manchester Climbing Centre. After hearing how she started climbing as a family activity, and how she still climbs with her son Oliver, we wanted to find out more. Here she tells us a little about her introduction and subsequent passion for climbing.
“About five years ago, my husband John booked us and our two sons, Oliver and Harvey, on a family induction at Wolf Mountain climbing centre in Wolverhampton. We had a great experience! We refined our newly found skills and Oliver was keen to continue, so we put his name on a waiting list for Cubs courses, which he started a few months later. Since then, Oliver's ability has flourished and he's now competing in the MYCS and the Youth Climbing Series run by the BMC. He has enjoyed many successes and as his parents we are very proud.
“We have met so many great people through the competitions; we all meet up regularly to climb together, both parents and kids. It’s amazing to be able to share something you enjoy so much with your children, and with other families – climbing is a perfect activity for everyone to participate in together. I feel so lucky that I can climb with my son, so I get to keep fit and socialise without the trouble of fitting it around family life.
“I also started attending free coaching sessions around three years ago with a great bunch of likeminded ladies of all ages and abilities. I've made even more friends since attending these sessions and learnt so much – I'm still learning everytime I go!
“Although I mainly climb indoors, Oliver and I have climbed bouldered and top-roped outside on occasion, although no where near as much as I would like! But when I have, even though I've been a little scared, I've thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Climbing is such a fantastic sport. We've met so many great people, learnt an amazing amount, and I've become strong and toned! If I could, I'd love to climb all the time.
“This Girl Can! And, thanks to the BMC, I'm proud to say I did.”
With 25 years of backcountry skiing experience, qualifications as a ski instructor, master yachtsman, and a lead guide at Great Northern Powdercats in Montana – not to mention skills as a Cordon Bleu chef! – Martha is one heck of an adventurer.
It's not often that mums get to show up their children, but in the film 'Shifting Ice + Changing Tides' she's called upon for her adventuring skills by her daughter, Pip, to join their expedition. This film about six women sailing from Iceland to Greenland to explore the remote west coast, pioneer new ski descents, and collect scientific data, features a new mother of triplets as well as the mother-daughter duo.
Check out this short clip from the film and then watch the whole 30 minute feature below.
WATCH: Pip talk about her mum, Martha
WATCH: The full film: Shifting Ice + Changing Tides
This Girl Can
Get the adrenaline buzz of reaching the top. Keep fit without feeling like you're doing exercise. Socialise and build strong friendships. Tempted to give climbing a go? Find out more about This Girl Can Climb.
WATCH: This Girl Can Climb on BMC TV
WATCH: Shauna Coxsey in This Girl Can Win on BMC TV
WHAT'S NEXT? Get the psyche!
Boost your confidence by familiarising yourself with some of the basics skills and knowledge you'll be learning. Read our special edition magazine for new climbers Get into Climbing. Buy your copy from the BMC shop for just £5 (£3 for BMC members).