The Golden Age and The Fem­i­nine Mys­tique


The 1960s ush­ered in the Golden Age of Yosemite Val­ley. In 1967, Liz Rob­bins, along with her hus­band, Royal, ticked the

Reg­u­lar North­west Face of Half Dome, be­com­ing the first woman to climb a VI big wall ( photo be­low shows them on the sum­mit af­ter their climb). Liz also at­tempted the Nose in 1967 with Royal, but the pair rap­pelled af­ter 600 feet due to heat and in­suf­fi­cient wa­ter. In 1971, Jo­hanna Marte be­came the first woman to scale El Cap—as a non-lead­ing client of Royal Rob­bins. The 1960s also in­tro­duced Betty Friedan’s book The

Fem­i­nine Mys­tique, which in­spired thou­sands of women to find ful­fill­ment be­yond the role of house­wife. Un­til its re­lease, women spent 55 hours per week on chores and child-rear­ing, and less than 10 per­cent of all doc­tors, lawyers, and en­gi­neers were women. The women who pur­sued climb­ing were on the fringe of an al­ready-fringe so­ci­ety. They re­jected cul­tural norms, put off chil­dren, and pur­sued life with their own sense of pur­pose.

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