Thursday, December 3, 2015

Fanny Bullock Workman Climbs the Himalayas

Thursday, December 3, 2015
Loretta reports:

[Note: Due to my brain's temporary—I hope— malfunction, this post accidentally ran in Monday's email. I do beg your pardon for the seeming repeat, but I did mean it for today.]

During my Halloween visit to Worcester’s Rural Cemetery, I happened upon this unusual gravestone. And so of course I took a closer look, and boy, was I surprised.

As you might expect, the gravestone was only the tip of the iceberg (sorry). A search took me to an extensive Wikipedia biography of Fanny Workman Bullock.
She turns out to be the famous one, appearing in at least a dozen books, along with having written several of her own, with her husband. He, by the way, doesn’t even get a Wikipedia page.

I am not going to attempt to condense the extensive story because I wouldn’t know what to leave out.  In a nutshell, along with being a mountaineer who climbed the Himalayas in the early 1900s, she was a Suffragist and a New Woman.

I’ll excerpt one little bit:
 Fanny led them across the Sia La pass (18,700 feet or 5,700 metres) near the head of the Siachen Glacier and through a previously unexplored region to the Kaberi Glacier. This exploration and the resulting book were among her greatest accomplishments. As she wrote in her book about the trip, Two Summers in the Ice-Wilds of Eastern Karakoram, she organized and led this expedition: "Dr. Hunter Workman accompanied me, this time, in charge with me of commissariat and as photographer and glacialist, but I was the responsible leader of this expedition, and on my efforts, in a large measure, must depend the success or failure of it". At one 21,000-foot (6,400 m) plateau, Fanny unfurled a "Votes for Women" newspaper and her husband snapped an iconic picture.
Fanny Workman & Tent
Fanny at 21,000 feet

Fanny & William Workman

Photos of Workman gravestone by Walter M. Henritze III.

Fanny & Tent and Fanny & William, both from The Call of the Snowy Hispar 1911.  On Silver Throne plateau at nearly 21,000 feet, courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Aallotar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aallotar said...

Truly interesting story :) Would love to read more about actual people of the past like in this post. Greets from Finland.

The Greenockian said...

Quite a woman!

Anonymous said...

AND she still wore a skirt -at 21,000 ft!

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