Founders of Bouldering Dabrats, Annie and Di, recently donned our stuff whilst scaling some rather angular surfaces. We caught up with them to ask about their roots, and plans in the future...
How long have you guys been doing the channel and how did it start?
The channel began back in May 2018, and we filmed the first episode about three weeks after having met each other. It was pretty much love at first sight. We had been aware of each other due to our boyfriends being mates but it just panned out that it was nearly a year before we finally met, when we all went on a climbing trip together.
Over the course of that trip it became apparent that we both shared the dream of starting a YouTube channel that focused and featured female climbers. Our partners were both involved in their own channel, Bouldering Bobat, which we loved, but felt that the YouTube climbing scene was very male dominated and wished there was something just as fun, funny and entertaining for women as well. There is such power in seeing yourself represented. That feeling is hard to explain to someone who is always represented, but it boils down to “if she can, maybe I can too”.
Because there was no such thing as a women’s climbing channel, we decided we should make one. We picked a day in the calendar and made a video, and have been making them ever since!
What do you guys think of our items/WAWWA in general?
We love working with brands that produce their clothes ethically but also make clothes we want to wear. Climbing fashion is a real mix and there’s definitely not much out there that we would want to wear on a daily basis. The things we got from WAWWA have become favourites for both of us. We both absolutely LOVE our WAWWA beanies – Annie’s is bright orange and she literally wears it with everything. It’s also super easy to spot when outside so she’ll never be lost and never lose it! Di’s Rise Organic Tee is constantly being pilfered by her boyfriend or borrowed by friends. Once you’ve worn WAWWA you’ll never go back, it’s super soft and fits so nicely!
What is the scariest thing you’ve climbed?
Di – The scariest thing I’ve climbed wasn’t super high but mentally it just got to me. It’s a climb in Albarracin in Spain called La LáGrima. The start is hard and the feet are really polished. There aren’t many handholds either, just small pockets so the whole thing feels very precarious. The last move is a mini jump for me because I’m so short, though I’ve seen others just reach up and get it. I tried it over and over again until I just began to get a mental block and was unable to commit to that last move. The landing is a bit sketchy too so I still haven’t completed it, but I came really close.
Annie – The scariest one I’ve done was Crescent Arête in the Peak District. At the time it was at my outdoors grade limit and is 24ft high with a bad landing if you fall from the top. It’s a climb that even very experienced climbers will get a thrill on and is never a dead giveaway! I was climbing it as part of a film I was making which made the whole experience a lot more stressful as I wanted to do it for the camera! The climb is a slab which is not my style at all, and relies on the pressure of your feet and leaning your body to the side in order not to slip down. It’s a completely mental climb and only once you’re at the very very top are there good hand holds. I did it, but definitely don’t want to do it again for a while!
You can watch Di on La LáGrima on their channel under Outdoor Vids and Annie on Crescent Arête on BMC TV under WAF2020.
You’ve mentioned trips abroad – any coming up?
Unfortunately, Annie has been injured and off climbing for a couple of months due to a chronic back problem, so our usual pattern of trip planning and excitement has had to be put on hold for now. That being said, everyone needs a goal, and we have talked about trying to make it to Albarracin in September or October. Annie hasn’t been there yet, so that’s something to work towards, and of course Di has to go back and send her nemesis! We have yet to do a proper girls climbing trip and it’s definitely about time.
Do you find that nature has an influence on the stuff you do?
Climbing outdoors is magical because it’s outdoors. Being in nature and connected to it in a way that most people don’t experience feels particularly special. There’s something about spending time and creating a relationship with a rock that is just unique, though it sounds a little bit weird! Each climb has a history and has had climbers from all over the world pass over it, and for you to have your time on it and to figure it out or have to leave it un-sent and mysterious is just exciting and magical. There are rocks all over the world that we’ve climbed on that we can remember intricately even though it was years ago that we were with them.
The influence of nature on our climbing is intrinsic, climbing came from nature and wouldn’t exist without it. It is woven into all aspects of it, and we hope that every climber gets to experience going outdoors at least once.
Even though climbing outdoors is hard, cold, tiring, expensive, it gets under your skin and whatever else is going on we both can’t help but wonder, where next?