Lotta Hintsa Opens Up About Sexual Harassment in Mountain Climbing

The Finnish model and mountaineer told her story in the hopes of minimizing the dangers women face in the sport.
Lotta Hintsa was photographed by Yu Tsai in the Dominican Republic.
Lotta Hintsa was photographed by Yu Tsai in the Dominican Republic. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Lotta Hintsa, a 2022 Swim Search finalist, is a mountain climber and former beauty pageant winner. The 35-year-old released a Finnish-language memoir in December, documenting some of her impressive mountaineering feats. But, according toThe New York Times, it also vaguely detailed an instance of abuse by a famous male climber.

At the time, Hintsa didn’t disclose who she was referring to, nor did she go into depth about the incident or the extent of abuse in the sport. But when The New York Times approached her for a recent interview, she opened up about the perils that female climbers often face.

Hintsa detailed her story of sexual harassment and abuse, hoping that it might make the sport safer for women in the long run. “I hadn’t realized the scars that it had left,” she said in the interview. “It has made me realize that it’s not only the rock fall or the avalanches that are dangerous for a female climber.”

She’s not the only woman who is speaking up, either. Several other female climbers have attempted to bring abuse to light, including a group of women in 2019, who shared “about the ridiculous and inappropriate messages, photos, and solicitations we receive in our DMs” on a group Instagram account. The account has since been shut down.

Through their admirable honesty, Hintsa and these other mountaineering women are hoping to pave the way to a safer experience for female climbers.

Martha Zaytoun


Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.