Thursday, November 13, 2008


During some down time, which I don't have much of, I have started reading a pretty interesting book. It's called "Women on High- Pioneers of Mountaineering" by Rebecca Brown, and it's about the first women mountaineers.....

Nineteenth-century women took to the mountains for recreation, adventure, challenge, escape, or spiritual peace. The wealthy climbed with large entourages of porters; the less-well-off struggled with mutinous guides and men who balked at female leadership. Imagine the hardships mountaineers endured then with their heavy, low-tech equipment and clothing, but women also had to contend with corsets and voluminous skirts, not to mention societal restrictions. The book uses these women's own words to tell their fascinating stories. Mostly American and British, these women climbed in the Alps, Alaska, South America, and the Himalayas. Pretty good stuff!

Here's an excerpt about one of these women.....
July 21, 1871, Lucy Walker was the first woman to top Switzerland's Matterhorn

Luck Walker focused on her toes, making sure her boot tip was wedged in the fracture of a rock as firmly as it could be. She took a deep breath and lowered herself, probing with her other foot for a tiny ledge, a ripple-anything on which to get a purchase and continue climbing down. Below her heels stretched half a mile of thin, cold air. She forced herself to focus on the rock, on its texture beneath her callused fingers, on its solidity, and her ability to balance and shift her weight and move her feet instinctively where the next safe step would be.

The rope pulled tight around her waist as she went, and she was thankful for the sensation of security. She never doubted that she was in good hands. It was impossible for her not to think of the men who had died there 6 six years before. Maybe they'd clutched this same flake of granite-maybe their boots had scraped the same rock. She scolded herself. Never, ever think about falling-her father had told her that on her very first climb more than a decade before. "Think it, and you'll do it." he said.

***Highly recommended read ***

1 comment:

Laura said...

What a fun book! And beautiful pictures! I'll have to get to CO sometime in the summer for hiking. I've only ever been there to snow ski.