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The Accidental Adventurer: Memoir of the First Woman to Climb Mt. McKinley Paperback – May, 2001
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An outstanding account of fully realized feminism well before it became a movement.
Washburn's charming memoir The Accidental Adventurer is a delightful account of decades of expeditions... [Barbara] has led an extraordinary life and we only wish she had written more.
--The Explorers Journal
Washburn's charming memoir THE ACCIDENTAL ADVENTURER is a delightful account of decades of expeditions...[Barbara] has led an extraordinary life and we only wish she had written more. --The Explorers Journal
From the Back Cover
Barbara Washburn was the first woman to climb Alaska's Mount McKinley, at 20,320 feet the highest peak in North America. The ascent in 1947 was but a single feat of a woman who, by ordinary standards, has lived several lifetimes' worth of adventure. THE ACCIDENTAL ADVENTURER chronicles the life journey of a Massachusetts girl through college to a job at Harvard; her romance with a handsome, irrepressible young scientist and explorer named Bradford Washburn; and her emergence as an Alaskan mountaineering pioneer. Soon after she and Brad Washburn exchanged vows, she found herself a member of a climbing team led by her husband making an ascent of Alaska's Mount Bertha. A first ascent of Mount Hayes followed. Then came her historic climb of Mount McKinley (Danali). The decades that followed brought adventure in many forms as she raised three children, helped map the Grand Canyon, became an award-winning teacher, and traveled the world. In an era when a woman's place was in the home, she climbed - literally - beyond the limitations of her gender, becoming a role model for successive generations of young women who learned anything is possible. Barbara Washburn never set out to become a mountaineering pioneer, but she wasn't content to be a stay-at-home wife, either. In 1947, defying social convention, Washburn became the first woman to climb Alaska's Mt. McKinley. She accompanied her husband, Bradford Washburn, on other expeditions to Alaska, the Grand Canyon, and Mt. Everest, while raising three children at their home near Boston.