First All-Female Ascent of El Cap
Riding the wave of nonconformity that began in the 1960s, Beverly Johnson ( below, at Camp VI) and Sibylle Hechtel made the first all- female ascent of El Cap via the
Triple Direct (VI 5.9 C2-), in 1973. After seven days of learning how to haul bags that weighed more than both of them, throwing themselves into a sea of granite, and mustering every ounce of grit they had, the two topped out the 2,900-foot behemoth. While the women were on the wall, Valley climbers wagered for and against them. Their ascent marked a turning point for female climbers. Around this time, in 1972, Title IX became law, making sports equal opportunity for men and women. Prior to its passing, only 294,015 girls nationwide participated in sports. According to the 2015–2016 survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations, that number has grown 1,030 percent to 3,324,326 female participants.