Beautifully written article ‘Remembering Anna Smith’ by Derek Cheng via Terra Incognita.
There was the time when her offer to break trail through deep powder snow was dismissed, because she was “only a woman”. Or when she wasn’t offered a burn on a 5.10 sport climb because her male friend had tried it, and flailed, and the others had assumed that she, too, would flail. Or when she would bristle uncomfortably whenever anyone would refer to their new alpine route on Snowpatch, in the Bugaboos, as “Johnny’s route”, blithely disregarding her efforts altogether. Or when she was told to wear more clothes, to lose the tattoo, or to adjust her makeup.
ANNA CLARE SMITH had countless amazing qualities that have been warmly remembered since her untimely and tragic passing in the Indian Himalaya last September, at age 31. She had a radiant energy that exploded from her lungs in raucous laughter, echoing around the hallowed granite of Yosemite, the petrified ice lines of the Canadian Bow Valley, or the towering spires of Baffin Island. She inspired many with her willingness to jump on extraordinary lines that intimidated others into a fearful malaise; she didn’t care about sending, but chased the experience, the high and the wild, the remote and the majestic.
But her values, rooted in strong feminism, are perhaps not as widely known as her laughter or climbing exploits. Her petite frame and wispy blonde hair belied a fierce, articulate spirit that harbored a heavy loathing for the latent sexism that pervaded the climbing world. Anna would tell it as she saw it, without sugar-coating.
“Our bodies get critiqued like objects,” she wrote on her blog last year. “We have to present the right image in addition to being the right age. Too much makeup is a bad thing, but not enough clothes and a tattoo makes you a tramp. And we may even get judged for a silly thing we say on top of a mountain above 10,000ft.”
For the full article, please visit the Terra Incognita Website.