Memoir of the First Woman to Climb Mt. McKinley
Barbara Washburn never set out to become a mountaineering pioneer, but she wasn't content to be a stay-at-home wife, either.
In 1947, defying social convention, Washburn became the first woman to climb Alaska's Mt. McKinley. She accompanied her husband, Bradford Washburn, on other expeditions to Alaska, the Grand Canyon, and Mt. Everest, while raising three children at their home near Boston.
EXCERPT: "Reaching the summit had been an emotional experience, and as we were about to begin our descent a funny thing happened. One of the boys announced he had to relieve himself. That gave me courage to confess that I did too. We were all young and modest, and there were no trees to hide behind. Brad responded, 'No problem, we have plenty of rope.' He tied the rope around my waist and lowered me down one side of the summit. As I relieved myself, looking over the magnificent scenery, I began to laugh uncontrollably. What would my friends at home think of me now?"
"Barbara Washburn's life story is an outstanding account of fully-realized feminism well before it became a movement."
"Washburn's charming memoir THE ACCIDENTAL ADVENTURER is a delightful account of decades of expeditions...[Barbara] has led an extraordinary life and we only wish she had written more."
--The Explorers Journal
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Washburn was born in 1914. A graduate of Smith College, she married mountaineer-explorer-mapmaker Bradford Washburn in 1940.
Six years later, climbing with her husband, she became the first woman to reach the summit of 20,320-foot Mount McKinley, North America's highest peak.
The mother of three, she also became one of the nation's earliest remedial reading teachers, and received awards in several fields of endeavour.