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Valerie Mendenhall Cohen presents Woman on the Rocks

Wed, 2013-10-16

Mountaineers Program October 16, 2013

Author Valerie Mendenhall Cohen will read from her book about her mother, Ruth Dyar Mendenhall – Woman on the Rocks:  The Mountaineering Letters of Ruth Dyar Mendenhall (book introduction by Royal Robbins: Spotted Dog Press, 2007).

Valerie Cohen, Desolation Canyon, Death Valley


Ruth Mendenhall (1912-1989) began rock climbing in Southern California, in the 1930s, in an era when women weren't supposed to do such things.  Climbing mostly with her husband, John Dale Mendenhall, she completed a number of First Ascents in the Sierra Nevada, including Mt. Sill's Swiss Arete, Mt. Whitney's 3rd Needle and Southeast Buttress, Temple Crag's North Peak, Lower Cathedral Spire in Yosemite, and the North Face of Mt. Williamson.  In the Canadian Rockies, they made major First Ascents of Confederation, Mt. Lowell's North Peak, Aiguille, Sunge, Midway, Palmer, Great Rock Tower, and Mt. Temple's North Ridge.  Ruth wrote lovely narratives of these expeditions, yet also described the difficulties of being both an ambitious mountaineer, and a dutiful housewife and mother. 


Valerie will accompany excerpts from her book with historical black and white slides from that period.  She will also talk about what it was like to grow up in that "climbing family,' and conclude her presentation with images of her own mountain landscapes.


We have confirmed that that the meeting will start at 7:00 PM at Fuller Lodge with trip reports, trip plans, etc., followed immediately thereafter by Cohen's talk.

Valerie Cohen is a nationally-known watercolor artist.

Trip Location: 
United States
52° 24' 12.654" N, 117° 34' 47.28" W

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