Wow! I've been laboring over a history of women who pioneered as climbers (Elizabeth Le Blond, Annie Peck, Fanny Bullock Workman, Nea Morin and Miriam Underhill, and Claude Kogan) for years. Your write-up and history such a great contribution, especially because it includes French, Italian, and German sources. FYI, that's Frederick Burlingham.

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Feb 19, 2022Liked by John Middendorf

John, these are brilliant well researched articles which help place techniques and gear into a better understood social and historic context as well as moving our understanding from a ‘western European/ American perspective for the development of gear and techniques to a more Eastern German orientation. The article on the role women played in the pioneering exploration of the Eastern Alps is fascinating but could be expanded more, within the constraints of available material.

One comment is that unless people are familiar with the routes that you highlight and list as examples, their difficulty is hard to gauge without a grade. The importance of women in developing climbing can be measured by what levels the top women were climbing at by looking at the grades they were doing, either as first ascents (v impressive) or as repeats (still impressive).

It is sad that after such an egalitarian and acceptance as equals in the pre WW2 era that women were pushed back by men for the next 40odd years, and only now are getting the recognition they fully deserve. Though it is often a battle in a male dominated world I.e Hazel Findlay and Magic Crack and it’s subsequent reporting and activities

I write this to encourage the people coming into climbing that women were and are again at the top of the pile and should be supported in their activities

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Dec 5, 2021Liked by John Middendorf

Well done, John, and work that is vitally important for moving society toward everyone being treated equitably. Eye-opening reading, for me as a white male! Thank you. Keep up the good work. I appreciate your thorough, detailed research and clear, thoughtful presentation.

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Dec 2, 2021Liked by John Middendorf

Filling in that blank: Oscar Cook. Apparently he and Mildred Jentsch had been steady climbing partners before Cook's death.

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