The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies

The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies

The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies

The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies

Synopsis

Since the Pikes Peak gold rush in the mid- nineteenth century, women have gone into the mountains of Colorado to hike, climb, ski, homestead, botanize, act as guides, practice medicine, and meet a variety of other challenges, whether for sport or for livelihood. Janet Robertson recounts their exploits in a lively, well-illustrated book that measures up to its title, The Magnificent Mountain Women. Arlene Blum provides a new introduction to this edition.

Excerpt

In The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies, Janet Robertson brings us the exciting history of the first women to climb and adventure in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

I wish I had known these stories when I began climbing in the 1960s. After growing up in an overprotective family in the Midwest, I was eager for adventure when I reached Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 1962. My handsome mountain-climbing, chemistry-lab partner invited me to climb Mt. Hood, hanging in the sky above Portland. Incredulous that human beings could actually set foot in these exalted realms, I agreed to try the climb. We began the ascent in the dark, and when the sun rose, illuminating a wonderland of blue and green ice towers and crevasses, I was overcome with the peace and beauty of the high alpine world. I had discovered my spiritual home above the clouds on the snowy Cascade volcanoes, and I returned again and again.

After several years of climbing with my Reed friends (mostly men), I wanted to try ascending more challenging peaks. I inquired about a guided trip to Denali, the highest peak in North America, but women were allowed to go only as far as base camp to help with the cooking. So I joined a guided trip to Mt. Waddington in British Columbia, where my guide said that anyone claiming to be a woman climber was either not a good climber or else not a real woman.

Realizing that as long as I climbed primarily with men my own contribution to expeditions would be doubted, I decided to organize an all-woman . . .

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