Women in Sports: Mountain Climbing

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
  • In 1906, at age 47, Fanny Bullock Workman set a world climbing record for women of 22,815 feet when she reached the top of Pinnacle Peak in Nun Kun Massif in Kashmir.
  • Annie Peck, an American schoolteacher, reached the 21,834-foot North Summit of Mt. Coropuna in Peru in 1911. The peak had never been scaled before. Peck was 58 years old at the time.
  • Barbara Washburn became the first woman to climb the United States' highest peak, Mt. McKinley, in 1947.
  • Junko Tabei of Japan was the first woman in the world to reach the top of Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain. On May 16, 1975, leading an all-female Japanese expedition, she reached the summit. Her plan is to reach the highest summits in each of the United Nations countries.
  • In 1989 Stacy Allison and Peggy Luce of Washington state became the first and second U.S. women to reach the top of Mt. Everest.
  • Kitty Calhoun Grissom is the world's most famous living alpine climber. She specializes in ice and snow climbing. She was the first U.S. woman to scale Dhaulagiri, a 26,795-foot Himalayan peak.
  • One of the most recognized American climbers is Lynn Hill, who won or placed in almost every climbing competition she entered throughout the 1980s. In 1979 she climbed Ophir Broke in Colorado, considered the most challenging climb ever completed by a woman at that time.
  • American Robyn Erbesfield won the World Cup climbing championship from 1992 through 1995.
  • Ragged Mountain Press released "Climbing: A Woman’s Guide" in 2000. The book gives advice for beginners to the intermediate level on equipment, safety, indoor climbing walls, outdoor rock faces, training, and more.
  • Kelly Perkins is the first heart transplant recipient to have climbed the Matterhorn, Mount Fuji, and Mount Kilimanjaro. She used ropes to climb El Capitan, a 3,000-foot-high rock formation in Yosemite National Park, in 2005. Two years later, she went to the Andes to climb an unexplored peak. Perkins used rope for safety, but otherwise free-climbed the rock face by using natural crevices for her hands and feet to hold onto.
  • In 2010, South Korea's Oh Eun-sun became the first woman to climb the world's 14 highest mountains. In response, South Korea named her a national hero.

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