The Boston Marathon was held Monday and it was in miserable wet conditions. It was in similar conditions in 1967. During that era women were prohibited from entering officially. Yet Katherine Switzer sneaked into the race with a real bib number. The rainy conditions helped; she wouldn’t have worn heavy sweats effectively concealing her gender from the race officials at the starting line.
Later in the race Switzer was discovered. She was was even attacked by one of the race sponsors in a barbaric attempt to maintain the “integrity” of the race. Instead the race sponsor was shamed and Switzer changed the way we thought of women and running.
The boldest ascents in Alaska did not change the way the world thought of mountain climbers and mountains, but for those knowledgeable about mountaineering and these ascents, they did. In fact, each successive ascent pushed the next ascent passed previously perceived boundaries.
This post is a continuation of a series of posts about searching for the boldest ascent in Alaska. I am searching for what may be Alaska’s greatest climbs ever done.
However, naming an ascent the boldest isn’t my ultimate goal. Rather, I want to use this as an exercise to expand our knowledge about mountaineering history in Alaska and man and woman kinds’ capabilities and limits in the alpine.
I have published a few posts on the boldest ascents in Alaska sporadically these last few weeks but I haven’t felt the natural energy and momentum that I hoped it would have. I think this project needs some more “focus” and a little more input from you.
What Makes it the Boldest?
You already helped make a strong list of bold ascents. Now, I am interested in two more things: What are your top three to five picks for the greatest ascents per decade and/or all-time?
Then, I want to know whether the general criteria below calls out the right characteristics and factors to compare one ascent to another.
- Strength of the Climber(s)
- Route Conditions
- Technical Difficulty
- Mental Hurdle
Do these sound right and credible to you? Leave me a comment or send me a note and let me know. On Tuesday, I will publish the final criteria and start to roll out the top ascents the following week.
Here we go… [To read the next post in this series, click here.]