Onward And Upward

On December 22, 1857, a group of British gentlemen/mountaineers gathered together at the Ashley Hotel in London to form the Alpine Club. They concluded that to join as a full member, you would need to climb twenty ‘respectable alpine routes and peaks’ or places equal to these.

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Women were naturally excluded from membership but it didn’t stop them from climbing and later forming…

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…the Ladies’ Alpine Club in 1907. These early mountaineer women considered themselves to be first and foremost ‘ladies’, so they continued to wear their full skirts even while hiking.

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However they quickly learned the importance and necessity of good gear-  warm pants, coats, alpine boots and…

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… walking sticks. Newspapers were amused and paid more attention to their attire than to their climbing achievements. But no matter. These energetic women would not be deterred.

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It was sixty-seven years later in 1974 that the Ladies’ Alpine Club finally merged with the men’s.

(Top photo- Royal Geographical Society)

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