Arlene Blum was part of the first all-woman team to ascend Alaska's Mount Denali in 1970. She participated in a 1976 expedition up Mount Everest as part of the American Bicentennial Everest Expedition. In 1978, she organized a team of thirteen women to climb Annapurna in Nepal which, until then, had been climbed by only eight people (all men). It was called American Women's Himalayan Expeditions - Annapurna. They raised money for the trip by selling T-shirts with the slogan "A woman's place is on top". They sold shirts at 10K running races, fairs, talks that Arlene gave at venues such as REI, and through the Sierra Club. And in the end they banked the amazing sum of $80,000, which in those days paid for Sherpas, porters, food, equipment (some of which was donated) and other expenses required for launching a major climbing expedition. The first summit team, comprising Vera Komarkova and Irene Miller and Sherpas Mingma Tsering and Chewang Ringjing, reached the top at 3:30 p.m. on October 15, 1978. The second summit team, Alison Chadwick-Onyszkiewicz and Vera Watson, died during this climb. After the event, Blum wrote a book about her experience on Annapurna, called Annapurna: A Woman's Place. The opening line of Arlene Blum's book Annapurna: A Woman's Place reads "You never conquer a mountain. You stand on the summit a few moments, then the wind blows your footprints away."
It's a wonderful statement because it does not encompass gender or ability. There is nothing to be conquered, only moments to be experienced; it doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman.