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Rachael Crewesmith - One of only 46 female Winter Mountaineering Instructors (ever!)

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Join us as we dive into the captivating story of Rachael Crewesmith, an extraordinary mountaineer, rock climber, hill walker, and mountain bike guide. Discover how Rachael fearlessly defies boundaries in a male-dominated industry, taking on epic challenges and inspiring others along the way.

Rachael in her own words:

“I’m a mountaineer, rock climber, hill walker, mountain biker and occasional paddler. I divide my time between the sprawling Scottish Highlands and the compact but wild mountains of Snowdonia where I work as a mountaineering instructor and mountain bike guide.

I have ridden my bike across Nepal, round and round the Strathpuffer 24 hr endurance course and down the twisty, rooty trails of the forests of the Highlands. I have climbed up 100 Munroes (and counting), El Capitan in Yosemite, to 6000m in the Himalaya and up the north face of Ben Nevis. My favourite day out ever was climbing The Original Route on The Old Man of Hoy, on Orkney.

I’ve also spent time just travelling for travelling sake, especially in Asia. I visited Burma (Myanmar) at the same time as President Obama and witnessed the carnival of the first US state visit ever. I have walked across the living root bridges of Cherrapungee in north-eastern India and ridden the Darjeeling steam train. I have had dinner with the Nepali Army in Bhojpur and breakfast with the monks of north-eastern Thailand. I love coming home to the UK and realising just how amazing our diverse country is. From laverbread in South Wales to fresh mussels cooked in a jetboil on a Hebridean island, I love our country and all it has to offer.”

Get ready for an exciting month of July on the Tough Girl Podcast, as we shine a spotlight on women working in the outdoors. Sponsored by Land & Wave - join us as we delve into their stories, gain insights, and discover valuable tips from their incredible experiences.

Don't miss out on these empowering episodes released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - hit the subscribe button and be part of the adventure!


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Show notes

  • Who is Rachael

  • Working as an outdoor professional

  • Living in Llanberis in North Wales

  • Where her love of the mountains comes from

  • Being obsessed with hockey from a young age

  • Being inspired by her mum - who has previously swum the English Channel!

  • Having a year out between school and university

  • Spending time in Nepal and going to Everest Base Camp at 18

  • Meeting a boy who was into climbing

  • Joining the mountaineering club at Nottingham University

  • Why climbing didn’t come naturally to her

  • Studying archeology at university

  • Working as a hockey coach

  • Leaving university and getting a job at a climbing wall

  • Not having a plan in her career

  • Not knowing what she wanted to do

  • Becoming a Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI)

  • Following up and doing her Mountaineering Climbing Instructor (MCI)

  • Becoming a Mountain Leader (ML) and doing 40 qualifying days

  • Loving the variety of what she can do with her qualifications

  • The challenges of working in the outdoor industry

  • Making the transition to becoming a freelancer

  • Why it’s important to build connections and networks

  • Getting work

  • The advantages of being a women in the outdoors

  • Elitism in the industry

  • Observing other women working in the industry

  • Working with certain choice companies and what she’s looking for

  • Pay in the industry as a mountaineering instructor and mountain leader

  • Asking for more money and being paid what your worth

  • Favourite type of work to get

  • Remaining positive when dealing with miserable weather while out working

  • Professional enthusiasm!

  • Winter Mountain Leader Qualification

  • 10% of Winter ML holders are female

  • Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI)

  • Women in Mountain Training Conference 2022

  • The importance of networking

  • Proximal Role Models - Rebecca Williams

  • Women’s Trad Festival

  • Irish Women’s Rock Festival

  • Advice for women who want to gain more qualifications

  • Dr. Will Hardy - completion rates of Mountain Leader Qualification

  • Bangor University and Mountain Training PhD - Developing excellence in outdoor provision: enhancing training pathways for outdoor qualifications.

  • Why you should practice with a variety of people

  • Tips for finding people to train with

  • Women in Mountain Training Facebook Page

  • Climbing the ‘Old Man of Hoy’ part of the Orkney archipelago off the north coast of Scotland.

  • What VS means in climbing - Very Severe

  • An explanation of traditional climbing grades

  • Balancing the job/work with your love/passion for the outdoors

  • Being able to pick and choose her work

  • Being a Trustee of Cam&Bear Fund for Adventure

  • How to connect with Rachael

  • Wanting to run the Welsh 3000ers in under 12 hrs

  • “Think big, start small, but do start”


Social Media


Instagram: @rachcrewe

Twitter: @rachcrewe


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