Give 'Em Enough Rope
April 6, 2019 1:09 PM   Subscribe

The Ladies' Scottish Climbing Club of 1908. No harnesses, crampons, or boots: "To be decent, they would start their climbs in their restrictive, long skirts. However, when no men were around they would often discard these to climb in knickerbockers: knee length trousers that could be hidden under dresses." (Via Feminist Friday)
posted by Gin and Broadband (9 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
This made my day! I think the worst thing about the gear or lack thereof might be the shoes, I really can't even imagine being on that rock face in basically dress shoes. I would not be able to be a member of this club, I'm not too good with heights even climbing with all the modern gear!
posted by lemonade at 2:16 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]


Also, thank you for introducing me to Feminist Friday, the archive looks fun, I signed up.
posted by lemonade at 2:38 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]


I really like this!

I know that I'm supposed to be mostly impressed by the attire, but I'm too busy being appalled by the safety equipment for anything else in the photo to register strongly.
posted by Metasyntactic at 3:33 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]


That's an awesome story but edinburghlive.co.uk can fuck right off with their hundreds of 3rd party cookies.
posted by glonous keming at 4:44 PM on April 6 [2 favorites]


As someone who likes climbing AND dresses, thank you.

True story: I once showed up at the climbing gym wearing a sundress and I'd forgotten to bring a pair of pants to change into. I asked the staff if I could dig through the Lost & Found for something to wear and found a pair of Eileen Fisher dress pants. Rocked it. Thank you, unknown gym-goer.
posted by invokeuse at 5:25 PM on April 6 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure about the intervening decades, but knickerbockers were definitely still a thing in the 1980s (as outerwear) both for adult women and for children, especially girls.

Yes, my mother bought me multiple pairs (in corduroy: tan, burgundy and navy). And no, I'm not sharing my awkward childhood photos.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 9:15 PM on April 6


Salisbury Crags- location shown - will be familiar to those living in Edinburgh. Despite being in a "park" this this is still a climb where people get injured if they are not careful. Even if the photograph was taken to give the impression that the women were higher up than they were - the height shown is absolutely sufficient for fatal fall - especially when the safety mechanism in place seems to be a rope precariously slung over a rock and simply linking the 2 climbers together in a manner which would cause them to both to fall if one did.
posted by rongorongo at 4:24 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]


I've been trying to figure that out with some friends. It doesn't look like they were tied to anything, the ledge the left lady is standing is really tiny and she'd get yanked off too even if she was stable, so ?????!!!??? Pitons were a thing back then so can we just not see them? The qualifications for the club imply they must have known what they were doing but I'm worried for them retroactively!
posted by lemonade at 7:46 AM on April 7


That must have been a posed photo. The camera person said "we need two climbing ladies, one in mid-move, and some rope."
posted by monotreme at 10:22 AM on April 7


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