#EngageYourSenses – Women’s Stories of Adventure. Episode 4. Georgia Pilkington
Danielle Sellwood // 5 March 2018
Georgia Pilkington began climbing at her local indoor wall aged 7, at 16 she won all three rounds of the BMC Para Climbing Series (Hearing Impaired category). Now she’s moved on to tackling epic challenges like the Old Man of Stoer and the Matterhorn and is keen for more; especially since she was recently diagnosed with Autism and climbing helps her overcome feelings of anxiety and makes her feel truly herself.
Georgia is the forth of five women sharing their experiences of sport and adventure through our #EngageYourSenses project with Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports. In their own words, the women describe what they feel, see, smell, taste and hear during their adventures and explain how these experiences enrich their lives.
“Being autistic, has impacted my life the most, in climbing and in my personal life. I used to compete a lot when I was younger in the British Youth Climbing Series and also the Blocfest series, but due to my anxiety increasing as I’ve got older, competing has become more and more difficult. I found I was unable to climb to the best of my ability and it did start to slowly destroy my love of climbing – I was forgetting why I climbed in the first place.”
Taking on climbing challenges rather than entering competitions has helped Georgia regain her love of climbing. Although she admits to still feeling moments of anxiety, the second she starts climbing all that disappears and she starts breathing well and focusing on the challenge ahead. Now her ambitions have changed,
“My main ambitions in climbing, are to get stronger and climb really hard outdoors in Sport Climbing and Bouldering, I’m also very keen to climb another mountain, Mont Blanc Perhaps?”
And in doing so Georgia hopes to raise awareness of Autism and the stigma that can be associated with it,
“If I can use my climbing to get rid of the stigma of what an autistic person should look like and how they should be, that would make me really proud of myself, because no one’s really set out to do that and I’d like to be the one to do so…”