Meet pioneering women in climbing – 09/03/2023 – É Logo Ali

Ah, but are you going to publish a text about powerful women after Women’s Day is over?

Well then: I will. And do you know why? Because every day should be about thinking of ourselves as women and empowered as such, to begin with. And I’m not talking here about those who wait for a withered rosebud on the firm’s table, or who won a candy wrapped in pink paper with some sweetened message. But the women who fight every day and occupy all spaces, even if it’s elbowing and purging in the Campari of clueless males. I’m going to talk about us, the nosy, daring women who own our noses, destinations and, why not, backpacks. And follow the thread!

I will pay homage to women who decided to face the tasks hitherto exclusive to men, the eternal warriors of narratives, and who made history even before gaining the right to vote. Women like Marie Paradis, a maid from the French city of Chamonix, who in July 1808 was the pioneer to reach 4,808 meters of Mont Blanc, in the Alps, earning the nickname “Marie de Mont Blanc”. Although she was actually the first to put her boots on the summit, legend has it that she was practically carried up by the group of men who accompanied her, after she felt sick shortly before reaching the top, and was even blinded by the snow. .

So, the first woman who actually climbed Mont Blanc with her own legs, and using an outfit that weighed 7 kilos created by herself for the occasion, was Henriette D’Angeville, in 1838.

The feat, which currently seems banal to any minimally experienced mountaineer, was achieved despite not only the unwillingness of the men who bet how long it would take to give up, but mainly due to the detail that, in a Victorian world, women did not wear pants. . Can you imagine what it’s like to climb icy rocks wearing a skirt to your ankles, sweeping the stones along the way, wearing corsets to remove the already thin air from the ascents and balancing bonnets on your head, wrapping yourself only around the waist in the ropes? Oh, of course, because they weren’t allowed to use a harness, the little chair that connects the ropes to the climber’s body, and which is worn between the legs. Decent women would never allow themselves to wear such a thing!

The first woman to climb wearing pants would end up being the American Annie Smith Peck, in 1890. Think of a scandal? The repercussion was such that his male colleagues even proposed banning the sport for women. Not that it worked very well, of course. Until then, there was only a middle ground, created with the founding of the first exclusively female climbing clubs, such as the Ladies’ Scottish Climbing Club, from 1808, which recommended that its members begin the climb with modest skirts, taking them off As they began to get in the way and wearing pants below the knees, but well away from male gazes.

the climbing cholitas

One gets hives just thinking about those jaded Victorian ladies up in the mountains, a no less peculiar team made the news just three years ago, when the group known as “As cholitas climbers” decided to climb Mount Aconcagua (6,962 meters high), the highest mountain of the Americas, wearing the traditional clothes of their people —the draped and colorful skirts they are seen in throughout the Andean highlands. With prayers to the greatest deity Pachamama, or Mother Earth in Aymara, they decided to show the world that they were able to climb the summits, like their husbands, guides who accompanied the tourists. Until then, they were only allowed to carry luggage up to part of the climbs, obviously earning less, and the summit was only for male guides, even if the groups included non-local women.

The leader of the group, teacher Ana Lía Gonzales, known as Lilita, spoke to Folha shortly after the feat and summed up her achievement this way, echoing her colleagues: “For me, it’s important because it reminds me of my grandmother. The skirt is a symbol of struggle, of mothers, because women here are very strong, they find money wherever they need to support their children. And, sometimes, they are a little rebellious”.

Because the wheel of empowerment moves through rebellion, and it does not limit its cycles to any calendar. So, every time you meet another woman on the trails and mountains of life, remember to honor these pioneers who made our paths possible, agreed?

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