Mountaintop

On August 10, 1890 Fay Fuller summitted Mt. Rainier, the first woman to accomplish the climb. Here’s a post I did a couple years ago on Fay over at Recaptured City with Andy Cox on the image mix.

This 1926 portrait could be a photo shoot for a Ralph Lauren ad instead of the YMCA Girls Outing Club gearing up for a trip to Paradise. Taken in front of the main YMCA Building on Market Street, completed in 1910, the young women in the photo echo the spirit of Fay Fuller, the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. Tacoma on August 10, 1890. Fay made her pioneering climb with her face unfashionably blackened with charcoal and wearing crystal goggles against a fierce summer sun glare. She wore heavy flannel underwear, a thick blue flannel bloomer suit and long skirt, woolen hose, calfskin boy’s boots with caulks, a straw hat and an alpenstock. Climbing with four others including Leonard Longmire, the party reached the summit at Columbia Crest late on the first day of climbing from Camp Muir at 10,000 feet. They spent the night in a sulfur vent ice cave where Faye remembered sleeping quite well except for the occasional roaring of avalanches. The next day they made the descent in gale force winds and then camped at Paradise for five days nursing sunburns and sore feet. Seven years later, when she was 28 years old, Faye made the climb a second time and then went on to a career as a journalist and writer. She was 89 when she died in 1958 after proving that determination is the essence of style.

Washington State Historical Society,Catalog ID Number: 1957.19.09.451

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