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.
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).