Project Alpine Spirit

by Rebecca Coles in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

Project Alpine Spirit
We did it
On 3rd May 2019 we successfully raised £225 with 8 supporters in 56 days

Be the 1st Women's team to climb all Alpine 4000m peaks. To share stories of pioneering female Alpinists and inspire future generations.

by Rebecca Coles in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

We are three women: Mo, Lou and Becky.  We have one aim in 2019, to climb the all the 4000m peaks in the Alps.

This has never been completed by an all-women's team (or a in a single year by a woman or a Brit).

To us it's quite incredible that an all-women's team hasn't yet achieved this, with so many talented female alpinists and the relative accessibility of the Alps.

A big part of the project is not only to climb the peaks but to tell the stories of historical and modern female alpinists, raising awareness of their achievements and inspiring future generations.

The Team

We are a three friends who are based in North Wales (for much of the year) and work in Scotland throughout the winter. We all hold the Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC), the UK's highest climbing and mountaineering instructional qualification. Just 6% of MICs are women. 

Between us we have extensive experience climbing and ski mountaineering in the Alps.

Why historical female alpinists?

A big part of Project Alpine Spirit is to highlight the achievements of female alpinists, not only historical ones but those achieving great things today. In the past the achievements of female climbers have assigned to footnotes, if at all. Yet their achievements were phenomenal. 

Meta Brevoort was one of these women. She who climbed between 1865 - 1876 and pioneered the high alpine bivi and climbing in the Alps in winter. Despite her main climbing partner being her nephew, mountaineering historian and author W.A.B. Coolidge (it was improper for a woman to go into the mountains with only a guide and not caproned by a male relative), she was never mentioned in the volumes of his books. In 1871 after a particularly demanding ascent of the Bietschhorn (3,934 m), an aesthetic peak in the Bernese Alps,  W.A.B. Coolidge didn't have time to an article about the climb for the Alpine Club Journal. Women were not allowed to publish articles or be a member of the Alpine Club at the time and Meta Brevoort published the article under Coolidge's name.

These are some of the stories we want to tell.

Fortunately, things have changed now but women's stories can still be under-represented in the media and women are much more likely not to take part in a sport. We want to change this.

Which 4000m peaks?

It should be simple, getting a list of peaks in the Alps over 4000m. However, it isn't. This is not due to the height of the summits but the amount of separation of them. What is an independent peak and what is a subsidiary peak. Lists in the past have named 52 peaks, 75 and now the UIAA has come up with their definitive list of 82. We have chosen this list to follow. 

A significant amount of women have completed the list of 52 major summits, and last year Liv Sanoz became the first woman to complete the UIAA list of 82 peaks. Martin Moran and Simon Jenkins completed 75 peaks in a single push without motorised transport (with a support team) in 1993. The first person to complete the list of 82 summits 4000-meter in one year was Slovenian Miha Valic, climbing them in 102 days in 2007 (using motorised transport).


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£8 or more

A signed postcard from the Alps

You get a postcard from the Alps whilst we undertake Project Alpine Spirit with a personal message. You never know it could be worth something one day!

£2 or more

A big thank you

Thank you so much for your donation. All the pennies add up and you have help to spread the little known stories of amazing female alpinists.

£5 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Donate and get free entry to win a Hydrapak flask

Support us and go into a free prize draw to win 1 of 5 Hydrapak Stash 1l waterbottles worth £25 each. Thanks to Lyon Equipment.

£10 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Donate and get free entry to win Exped drybags

Keep your kit dry with a free entry to win a 4 pack of Exped dry bags worth £47. Thanks to Lyon Equipment.

£15 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Donate and get free entry for Julbo Camino Glasses

Donate and also get free entry into a draw to win these awesome Julbo Camino Glasses with spectron 4 lenses worth £60. Thanks to Lyon Equipment.

£20 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Donate and get free entry for learn to ice climb

Donate and also get free entry to a draw for a 'Learn to ice climb session' at Vertical chill in either Manchester or London. This includes tuition and equipment hire. Thanks to Ellis Brigham for the donation.

£25 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Donate and get free entry for Julbo sunglasses

Donate and also get free prize entry to a draw for a pair of Julbo Shield sunglasses with Reactiv cameleon lenses worth £155. Thanks to Lyon Equipment.

£300 or more

0 of 3 claimed

A day hillwalking with 1 of the Alpine Spirit Team

A day hillwalking in Snowdonia for upto a team of 8 people. Pick a mutually convenient date in 2020. Your day will be lead by one of the Alpine Spirit Team. Each of us is a fully insured mountaineering instructor, taking groups into the hills in Snowdonia is our day job and we know the best places to go intricately.

£350 or more

0 of 3 claimed

A day rock climbing with 1 of the Alpine Spirit

A day rock climbing in Snowdonia with one of the Alpine Spirit team. By choosing this reward you and a friend can pick a mutually convenient day in 2020 to go climbing with one of us. The day will be entirely tailored to you. No kit of previous experience required. As freelance mountaineering instructors each of us is fully qualified and insured to take people rock climbing

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Talk given by one of the Alpine Spirit Team

Let us come to you and give your organisation a talk on our experiences and what led us to Project Alpine Spirit. Experience giving talks from schools to corporations we tailor any talk to your organisation. 6% of Mountaineering Instructors (MIC) are women, this is the same number of female CEOs of FTSE 100 companies. Although our offices look different leadership, managing risk & teamwork are all parallels with our work.

£2,000 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Be a Primary Sponsor of Project Alpine Spirit

Thank you for considering supporting us. This is a chance to be a primary sponsor of Project Alpine Spirit this is limited to only 5 companies or individuals. Montane is already onboard. For your support your company will be featured on all media and social media the project generates. One of the team would also be available to give a talk or team day in the hills, whichever you prefer, at a mutually convenient date in 2020.

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