Condé Nast Traveler

What Rock Climbing Taught Me About Facing My Fears

What Rock Climbing Taught Me About Facing My Fears

Nikki Smith is a professional rock climber, boulderer, photographer, writer, and climbing guidebook publisher, with more than 150 first ascents under her belt. She also just happens to be transgender. An advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in the outdoors and an ally fighting for diversity and inclusion in climbing and beyond, she's taking a break from climbing during the pandemic, citing the risks to herself, her climbing partners, and potential rescuers. But that hasn't stopped her from finding refuge outside. This week, we chat with Nikki from her home in Utah about getting her start in climbing, how we can make the outdoor community more welcoming, and the women in the outdoors we all need to be following. (Plus, you can hear a few meows in the background of this episode from her adorable cats.)  Read a full transcription of the episode here: Follow Meredith: @ohheytheremere Follow Lale: @lalehannah Follow Women Who Travel: @womenwhotravel __________ Follow the women Nikki shouted out in the episode: Kareemah Batts, @herhopness Irene Yee, @ladylockoff Brittany Leavitt, @bleavitt8 Sam Ortiz, @samortizphoto Jaylyn Gough, @jaylyn.gough Piseth Sam, @mightymight88 Mélise Marie, @meliseymo __________ Note, this week's episode of Women Who Travel is not on a Wednesday just because of the long weekend. We are officially moving from our usual Tuesday morning drops and, starting this week, all new episodes of Women Who Travel will pop up in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts on Wednesday mornings instead. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Duration: 35 min

Release Date:

Share part or all of the audio of this episode