The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies

By Janet Robertson | Go to book overview

2
Outdoor
Sportswomen,
1915–1935

Beginning in 1915, and for the next ten years or so, exploding numbers of Colorado female recreatíonists met the mountains far more on their own terms than their predecessors had. All were benefiting from a subde change in Americans’ attitudes toward outdoorswomen, exemplified by the founding of the Appalachian Mountain Club (the AMC). From its beginning in 1876, one of the AMC’S unstated aims was “the training of both men and women to climb and to walk easily distances of a considerable number of miles at a stretch—an accomplishment that the Americans, especially American women, rarely possess.”1

Although only 10 percent of the AMC’S founding members were women, for the next thirty years women joined the club in droves, comprising 30 to 40 percent of the annual new membership. The early AMC was for Bostonians, but it served as an example for everyone: the Sierra Club was formed in California in 1892, the Mazamas of Pordand, Oregon, in 1895, the Seattle Mountaineers in 1907, and the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) in 1912. All these organizations welcomed both sexes and surely exerted a definite, though immeasurable, influence on attitudes toward outdoor women. (Incidentally, author Francis Keenlyside speculates that the increased number of proficient female climbers in the Alps during the 1920s was due to the Groupe de Haute Montagne’s admittance of men and women equally on climbing qualifications.)

In addition, the mushrooming Colorado mountain towns, which often

-24-

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The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents xi
  • Maps and Illustrations xii
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Chronology of Colorado Mountain Women xxiii
  • 1 - The First Female Mountain Climbers, 1858—1906 1
  • 2 - Outdoor Sportswomen, 1915–1935 24
  • 3 - The Women’s Park- Virginia Donaghe McClurg and Lucy Peabody 61
  • 4 - The Mountains- A Refuge 73
  • 5 - The Gutsy Lady Botanists 100
  • 6 - The Modern Recreationists 143
  • Epilogue 179
  • Glossary 191
  • Sources and Notes 193
  • Index 209
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