Advocate Spotlight: Lor Sabourin

Lor is a training leader with The Warrior’s Way, an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and Assistant Rock Guide, and a certified Wilderness First Responder and Rope Rescue Technician. Lor is also a passionate advocate in creating space for LGBTQIA+ folks to use climbing as a way to have a better dialog with their bodies, mentalities, and relationships. By being open with their own narratives, they and others are able to see how social and physical barriers in the outdoors are met, challenged, and overcome. The best advocates are folks who not only do good for the community but also do good for themselves. Lor teaches us that we are never static in this world and that the more we can deeply understand ourselves the better we’re able to help and support others in creating a sense of belonging in our community.

5 Questions for Lor

Photo courtesy of © Nikki Smith

What’s your favorite cause in climbing advocacy right now?
My favorite cause in climbing advocacy right now is creating safer, more inclusive spaces for folks in the climbing community who might have felt unwelcome in the past. Climbing has the potential to be such an engaging, positive force in people’s lives. I want everyone who gets the “climbing bug” to get the chance to pursue their passion without feeling afraid or wondering if there is space for them in the community. When people feel safe and included in a community, they are more likely to get involved in other areas of advocacy, like taking care of the places where they play.

What does it mean to you to be a climbing advocate?
Being a climbing advocate, for me, means finding a balance between constantly learning and absorbing new information and finding ways to give back and share everything I’ve learned. Being an advocate also means listening carefully to my community, so that I understand how I can contribute and what I still need to work on personally.

What’s your advice to new advocates?
My main piece of advice to new advocates is to enjoy the process. There’s a sense of urgency to advocacy work that can lend itself to a “get it over with” mentality. It’s important to have an inspiring goal, but it’s also important to enjoy the work we are doing right now. Take breaks, surround yourself with a supportive community, and don’t forget to smile.

What excited you the most about getting into the advocacy world?
I think what excites me most about advocacy work is how much it relates to the challenges I experience in my climbing. Climbing, in comparison to advocacy goals, has relatively low risk. It’s a perfect practice ground for feeling passionate about a goal and learning how to work hard for something that feels intimidating.

Who is another climbing advocate whose work is really inspiring you right now?
Monserrat Alvarez. Since she has started working for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), I’ve seen so many amazing policy changes that have created a more welcoming guiding culture. I’ve personally felt more comfortable and open in my profession, and I know that her work has opened up the narrative of who can be a leader in the climbing community.

Nominate an Advocate

Want to nominate someone for our advocate spotlight? Send us their story!