Alumni Series: Molly Taylor

In this blog series, you can expect to learn about some of our Alumni, about their time with Backcountry Squatters, and maybe even pick up some sage advice. Molly Taylor spends her post-grad days ice climbing in Missoula, MT. Molly’s first foray into the niche sport of ice climbing was at the Backcountry Squatters female Ice Climbing clinic. To this day, Molly remembers how safe and positive this space felt.

When Molly Taylor hits the ice, she stands out from the other climbers. She’s a natural at it. Ice climbing is a dance where your precise movements culminate in your ascent. The way that you move your hips or extend your arms makes all the difference. When other ice climbers compliment Molly on her technique at the crag, she always credits her prowess to her initiation into ice climbing through the Backcountry Squatters female Ice Climbing clinic. Learning this niche sport, which is notoriously hard to break into, in a women-led environment has transformed Molly into a capable and comfortable climber. To this day, Molly remembers how safe and positive this space felt. On the day before the course, during the classroom session, clinic leaders asked every participant, ‘ What is something you’re afraid of?’

Nearly every participant said that they were afraid of being cold.

This ice-breaker (no pun intended) created a culture of vulnerability and openness within the group that has stuck with Molly ever since.

Four years later, Molly remarks on how rare it is for her to even climb with men at all. This experience, learning to climb surrounded by other beginner female climbers, has forever impacted who Molly is as a climber, as well as a person.

Molly Taylor, A.K.A Bozeman Molly was born in (you guessed it) Bozeman, Montana, where she grew up enjoying all the outdoor delights that Gallatin County has to offer. Molly has the unique and fulfilling experience of attending college at Montana State University in her hometown. Looking to branch out during her freshman year of college, an injured Molly Taylor browsed MSU’s club lists, looking for a club that would provide entertainment and community through the winter. There, in the club lists on MSU’s website, Molly found Backcountry Squatters. Though recovering from a gnarly ACL tear, she was able to attend a famous MSU Squatters knitting night, where she fell in love with the community and the mission. For the next two years, Molly spent more time with Squatters, eventually becoming a “stokebuilder” for the club and helping to revive MSU Squatters WFR courses and Ice Climbing Clinic. An enthusiastic and experienced outdoorsperson, Molly brought a spark to the “stokebuilder” position and the board throughout the pandemic. By the time Molly graduated, she had served on MSU’s board as a co-president for a year and a half, despite the ongoing pandemic. Though her Squatters experience was somewhat impacted by the pandemic, Molly credits much of her professional growth and development to her time with Squatters. Molly graduated from MSU this past spring with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering.

Bozeman Molly is now Missoula Molly, living in Missoula, Montana, and working for the Forest Service as an Engineer. Being a Forest Service Engineer and working in contracted administration affords Molly a dream career of spending most of her time outdoors. In this position, Molly gets to flex the leadership and public speaking skills she honed during her time as MSU Co-President, strengthening her confidence and ease in being alone in rugged outdoor environments. Since graduating and moving out to Missoula, Molly has met an incredible group of friends, including some Squatters alumni from other clubs in the Rocky Mountain Region. These days, Molly lives with five human roommates and one four-legged one and spends her free time playing outside. Though working through another injury, you can typically find Molly at the crag or touring the town hill after work. Molly continues to purport the tradition of women supporting women in the outdoors with her rad girl gang, which was imparted to her at the MSU Squatters ice clinic.

If you swing through Missoula, be sure to say hi to Bozeman – excuse me, Missoula Molly.

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