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It's International Women's Day: Celebrate Women Outdoors

It's the 100th International Women's Day. Celebrate the amazing outdoor women and girls you know or the one you already are (44 percent of outdoor participants are female according to a 2010 OIA participation report).

You also can introduce more women and girls to the outdoors on a hike, snowshoe, ski, or climb. Join a women's climb or outdoor skills class. Invite a girl on a hike. Introduce someone to the Trailspace community.


My grandmother hiking in New Hampshire's White Mountains around 1930.

For inspiration, here are a few books that celebrate women outdoors:

  • Women on High: Pioneers of Mountaineering by Rebecca A Brown
    This is a great historical read on women in mountaineering, starting in the Alps in the Victorian era. Learn about Lucy Walker, who became the first woman to climb the Matterhorn in 1871, and many others. (Her rival Meta Brevoort arrived at the summit days later.) Not just for women.
  • The Accidental Adventurer: Memoirs of the First Woman to Climb Mount McKinley by Barbara Washburn with Lew Freedman
    Barbara Washburn, wife to famed Brad, was an interesting explorer and person in her own right. She helped map the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest, and didn't know she was the first woman to summit McKinley till after the climb.
  • Leading Out: Mountaineering Stories of Adventurous Women edited by Rachel Da Silva
    First published in 1998, it's a selection of stories by and about women climbers, such as Gwen Moffatt, one of the world's first professional female guides.
  • Annapurna: A Woman's Place by Arlene Blum
    Blum led an all-woman ascent of Annapurna in 1978, a dangerous climb that was also the first successful American ascent. You can still buy copies of the "a woman's place is on top" Annapurna T-shirts that raised $80,000 for the climb.

What outdoor women inspire you? Celebrate the ones you know or admire (even yourself) below. One needn't be the first, or the fastest, to have an inspiring attitude.

Above I shared a picture of my grandmother hiking in New Hampshire's White Mountains. She hiked, climbed, and skied many a New England peak with her father and brothers, though long before I had the chance to join her.


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Comments

whomeworry
87 reviewer rep
2,224 forum posts
March 9, 2011 at 1:23 p.m. (EST)

The Accidental Adventurer is a fitting title for this book.  Barbara was not a mountaineer.  A more apt description at that time was she is the wife of a mountaineer who somehow coaxed his spouse to accompany him on this very physical adventure.  It speaks volume of her love for her husband, as well as her sheer moxie. 

This book is good read because of the story; but also because of the wonderful chemistry between Barbara and her husband Bradford permeates the prose.  Published in 2001, it is still available. 

Ed 

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
471 reviewer rep
2,916 forum posts
March 9, 2011 at 8:43 p.m. (EST)

The Accidental Adventurer is a fitting title for this book.  Barbara was not a mountaineer.  A more apt description at that time was she is the wife of a mountaineer who somehow coaxed his spouse to accompany him on this very physical adventure.  It speaks volume of her love for her husband, as well as her sheer moxie. 

This book is good read because of the story; but also because of the wonderful chemistry between Barbara and her husband Bradford permeates the prose.  Published in 2001, it is still available. 

Ed 

I agree. I got this book as a gift several years ago, and while I knew a lot about Bradford Washburn I knew next to nothing about his wife before reading her memoir.

It's a really enjoyable read. I liked her for her spirit and for her and her husband's relationship.

Erich
REVIEW CORPS
405 reviewer rep
821 forum posts
March 11, 2011 at 1:21 a.m. (EST)

Love the photo of your grandmother, especially the Brownie camera near her. History is filled with remarkable women. Mina Hubbard completed her husband's expedition in Labrador in the early 20th century, Beryl Markham is always an inspiration. So many more.

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
471 reviewer rep
2,916 forum posts
March 12, 2011 at 6:49 p.m. (EST)

Love the photo of your grandmother, especially the Brownie camera near her. History is filled with remarkable women. Mina Hubbard completed her husband's expedition in Labrador in the early 20th century, Beryl Markham is always an inspiration. So many more.

Thanks, Erich. That photo is a favorite of mine too.

I've had West with the Night by Beryl Markham on my to-read list forever.

Mina Hubbard sounds interesting. I'll have to learn more about her.

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