The Chick History Thread


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Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jan 26, 2014 - 06:36pm PT
I love this thread, so "bump."
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:06pm PT
Another great women's climbing history thread keying off Rosie's article.

Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:17pm PT
Remember Wanda Rutkiewicz?

"Wanda Rutkiewicz (Polish), the third woman to reach the Summit of Everest, is regarded as the greatest woman climber ever. 8 Summits of the 14 8000 meter peaks. Wanda was born in 1943 in Plungiany (before World War II it was part of Poland, now it is Lithuania). After World War II, she lived in Poland.She had eight 8000 meter summits before she died on Kangchenjunga somewhere over 8000 meters while attempting via the southwest face route. Kangchenjunga would have been her ninth 8000 meter peak Summit.
Wanda’s Summits: Everest 10/16/78, The third woman ascent, the first European on the top; Nanga Parbat 7/15/85, with Krystyna Palmowska and Anna Czerwinska. They became the first women’s team who scaled this peak. (The first woman on Nanga Parbat was one year earlier – Liliane Barrard with her husband Maurice). K2 6/23/86, The first ever woman ascent to the top. She waited on the top for Michel Parmentier (France, died on Everest in 1988) and the couple: Maurice and Liliane Barrard (France, both died during descent from the top of K2). Shishapangma (the true Main Summit) 9/18/87 with Ryszard Warecki. Gasherbrum II 7/12/89 with Rhony Lampard from Great Britain. Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak) 7/16/90 with Ewa Panejko-Pankiewicz. Cho Oyu 9/26/91 solo. Annapurna 10/22/91 South Face, solo. Wanda Rutkiewicz died 5/12/92 or 5/13/92 on Kanchenjunga. She climbed with Carlos Carsolio. They started together at 3:30 am 5/12/92 from camp IV – 7950 meters. After about a dozen hours of climbing in a deep snow Carlos reached the top. He went down and met Wanda around 8200-8300 meters on the way down. She decided to stay there on a bivouac and started for the top the next day. She did not have food, anything for cooking, not equipment for bivouac. No one ever saw Wana again…"


Jan 26, 2014 - 07:19pm PT
She did not have food, anything for cooking, not equipment for bivouac. No one ever saw Wana again…"

She's around somewhere.

She was reborn 9 months later .....

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:27pm PT
^^^^^oh yes! She was a hero of mine. Same with Arlene Blum. Really really the best in my book.
This was a gift from Irene Beardsley, one of the Women on Annapurna. It's from Kathmandu.
Incredible legacy of these women.
From Irene Beardsley
From Irene Beardsley
Credit: SCseagoat

This is a relatively new book but I haven't read it.
Credit: Amazon website


Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 19, 2014 - 03:41pm PT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 19, 2014 - 04:31pm PT
Ed, you almost did it...filled the front page top to bottom!

Momma'd be proud!

Social climber
Feb 19, 2015 - 11:12am PT
hey there say, all... just adding this link, (thank you to jan for the idea to share it here) >:D<

did not want to rebump too much stuff, but WOW, i just
loved learning about this gal...

as we all know, times were different WAY back then...
but then, 'times be changing' as we all know, :)


SOMEONE always has to go before...
and someone always forges NEW paths... :)

Trad climber
Feb 5, 2016 - 04:56pm PT
Sharon Wood of Canmore managed to do in about a 6 year period in the 80's:
Cassin Ridge
Salathe and/or the Nose
Big N faces in Cdn Rockies
Most of the way up the W Buttress of Makalu
Big climbs in Peru
Much 5.11, difficult ice

She still climbs well at 58

Social climber
Feb 5, 2016 - 06:08pm PT
I learned how to climb from Hansi Marte. She was a great face climber. She and her husband climbed the Salathe with Royal Robbins. I believe it was a guided ascent but I think she was the first woman to climb El Cap. She was a great person.

Social climber
Feb 6, 2016 - 06:17am PT
Wow for Sharon Wood--'specially raising them kids!

Trad climber
crack addict
Feb 7, 2016 - 01:14pm PT
I was lucky enough to know many of these young women in my early days in The Trench. The 70’s was a very colorful time for the young men and the women who managed to live and climb there and there was NEVER a dull moment. We all thought this lifestyle could go on forever and rarely gave a thought about the reality of what was to come.

Most of these pictures have been posted before on this or other forums but it seems a shame to talk about them without images to back it up.

And BTW-I'd hesitate to call some of these women "chicks" to their face. My only hope at that point would be to out run them and that's not very damn likely.

Here’s little Annie Tarver. She was indeed a beer drinking, tobacco chewing little vixen. She’s a PhD professor living in Seattle now.

Anne Tarver in 1976

Anne Tarver 1980

Anne Tarver 1980

Julie Brugger has hardly changed in the 45 years I’ve known her. She climbed hard then, she climbs hard now. She’s very motivated and has a hard time finding partners that can keep up with her. She’s a sweetheart underneath her somewhat intimidating exterior.

Julie Brugger 1974?

Julie Brugger 1986?

Catherine Freer or Cathy Freer as she was known before she became more dignified, was a hard core, bad ass climber. As Mayfield mentioned upthread, she did the second ascent of Zenyatta Mondatta. I guarantee she did her fair share of the leading. Julie Brugger lost her very best friend when Catherine died. We all miss you, Catherine.

Catherine-Ahab 1972

Kathryn Besio or KB, was an absolute doll. She climbed hard and could keep with the boys. I wonder what she’s doing now. In this picture, she’s on the right with MS. Mastadon on the left at the top of Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne.

KB 1980

Mary Darbosek was another Valley Girl. She climbed fairly hard and was always game for new adventures. She put herself through nursing school and, the last I heard, she was a radiologist somewhere.

Mary Darbosek 1980

Stephanie Atwood was friends with Molly Higgins and Barb Eastman. She was Bruce Carson’s sweetie when he died.

Stephanie Atwood 1976

Sorry Jobee, had to throw this one in there. You must have been what, 17 in this picture?

Jo Whitford 1979

Carla Firey is mentioned above in this thread somewhere. She was a VERY good climber and good friend of many Washingtonians.

Carla Firey 2002

I remember some of the others mentioned. Diana Hunter was a skinny Colorado girl that rolled her own cigs and who could out-boulder most of the boys. She certainly put Pat Timson and I to shame one day behind Camp 4. I was sorry to hear about her death at a too early age.

Bev Johnson was pretty awesome. Don’t have to say any more there. Several of us shared a house with her briefly in Sun Valley in the 70’s. I don’t remember the circumstances of her being there at the time.

Jan, I keep in touch with Bruce Albert. Who’s initials were KLR on the biners that Dianne Westman gave to him??

Sport climber
Shetville , North of Los Angeles
Feb 7, 2016 - 05:24pm PT
Mastadon...I visited with Mary Droubesk this past summer...She's working in Carson City...rj

Ice climber
Feb 10, 2019 - 07:36pm PT
Missed the anniversary by a month bump

Who is in charge here?

Flip Flop

Earth Planet, Universe
Feb 10, 2019 - 07:38pm PT
Sweet thread
Jim Clipper

Feb 10, 2019 - 07:47pm PT
Great pics. Climbers getting after it. Best.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Feb 11, 2019 - 01:33am PT
oh no/? I forget what thread this was from? meant to take notes?
oh wait now I remember,I took A note,"After 1/2 Dome"
I don't know anything more, someone has to?
The ALWAYS Smilin'. Diana Dailey Credit: and partner,
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
Yo!! talkin' about crushing Cobra, Yosemite built and tuned Guns, A Well balanced Individual with early ~hard'as'it'gets~ climbing accomplishments, her legs were equally as impressive. Those pictures were perfectly exposed.
This one, was not & so has been treated to an upgrade.
(No, not, Yaniro's arm photoshopped,on, I think her's is biggererr)
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Feb 11, 2019 - 10:42am PT
I think I posted this elsewhere way back, but it seems appropriate here also:

Sometime between April of 1966, when we opened our first little 600 sq. ft. store on Pico Boulevard, and September of 1969 when we expanded into our new 25,000 sq. ft. store on Olympic Boulevard, somewhere in that brief period, something wonderful happened at West Ridge Mountaineering.

Those early days at West Ridge we opened the store at 5 PM because the owners worked in aerospace from 8 to 5. We also only hired climbers to work sales. On that particular wonderful evening,I happened to be the working owner. As I recall two young climbers(Hennek and McLean)were also working that evening when a stunningly attractive young woman wearing an exceptionally short mini skirt entered the store.

She announced that she was a student at USC and was interested in rock climbing. She had no experience - zilch. She was a student taking ballet and gymnastics. All the while, she is doing these incredible stretching exercises - one leg up on the waist-high sleeping bag table, her forehead pressed to her knee. These are very vivid memories.

She wanted someone to teach her rock climbing. My co-workers that evening were crawling all over each other trying to set up lessons.

As it worked out neither of these handsome young lads was to land the job. Instead, one of our newest employees, and one of our least experienced, a lad named Alan Roberts, happened to be working the weekend she walked in and set a date for Stoney Point. Alan Roberts was, at that time, sort of the Woody Allen of West Ridge - not considered by his peers as anybody that should be teaching others how to climb.

Ends up, he took her to Stoney twice and then to Tahquitz - where they failed miserably on the White Maiden – the classic Tahquitz 5.1 route.

Alan went on to become a highly respected rock climber and Tuolumne climbing guide. She went on to become Beverly Johnson.

Trad climber
crack addict
Feb 11, 2019 - 07:16pm PT
Gnome, that’s a great picture of Diana Dailey. She died several years ago from a brain tumor. Diana was an irrepressibly upbeat person and I miss her dearly.

Here’s a couple pictures I somehow ended up with. Neither are mine.

Carla Firey, must be around 1970 at Peshastin Pinnacles in Eastern Washington.
Carla Firey Peshastin Pinnacles 70’s
Carla Firey Peshastin Pinnacles 70’s
Credit: Bruce Albert

Catherine Cullinane and KB (not sure how to spell Catherine’s last name)
Catherine and KB
Catherine and KB
Credit: No Idea

Ice climber
Feb 11, 2019 - 07:18pm PT
[img] due to Jerry Roberts

Credit: Jerry Roberte
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