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Photographic postcard of four women at the summit of Bald Mountain, 1909, from The Community Library Center for Regional History Miriam Breckenridge Collection, Benoit/Allen Scrapbook.

As winter fades into spring, hikers tend to replace skiers on Bald Mountain. This popular activity has been enjoyed by generations of Wood River Valley residents and visitors, including the four women featured in this 1909 photograph. These women would have had to navigate the steep slopes of the mountain in their long skirts without modern hiking supplies or tools. This was also decades before Sun Valley Resort started using Baldy as its primary ski mountain, so whatever trails these women used were certainly not as sophisticated as the ones used today. All we see on their persons are walking sticks and canteens—meager supplies for the climb. While we don’t know much about them, their adventurous spirits are encapsulated in this image.

It is particularly fitting to celebrate their mountaineering achievements this month, since March is Women’s History Month. Central Idaho has attracted trailblazing women for centuries and many of these women reached great heights, including the “Summit of Baldy 9300 ft.”

The Community Library Center for Regional History photograph collections contain thousands of photographs highlighting the achievements of women of the Wood River Valley. View them by either visiting The Betty Olsen Carr Reading Room at The Community Library or The Community Library’s website, www.comlib.org, and let these images and the stories they contain inspire you during Women’s History Month.

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