In 1981, Lynn Hill and Beth Bennett made the first all-female ascent of the classic Naked Edge in Colorado. Bob Carmichael was on hand to record the action and later made a film called First Ascent.
“Greg Lowe and I got together for another film based on my interest in creating a rock climbing film about women climbers,” said Carmichael. “At that point there were not a lot them. But certainly Lynn Hill from California and Beth Bennett from Boulder were two of the top women climbers of the era.
In 1976, Bennett, who learned to climb in North Carolina, became the first woman to free the first pitch of Naked Edge. She went on to climb it many more times, including with Hill in 1981.
View this post on Instagram
The Naked Edge is a cool free route now, but you don’t get to do this wild hanging belay they did when they aided it in the 60s. From that masterpiece of American climbing gothic, Chelton’s Climb! #eldoradocanyon #boulder #colorado #americangothic #americanalpineclub #nakededge #yosemite #tradclimbing #bigwall #aidclimbing #grippedmagazine #hangingbelay #alpineclubofcanada #banffmountainfilmfestival #arrampicata #klettern #grimpe #deutscheralpenverein #clubalpinoitaliano #squamish #rockies
In a book about the history of Colorado climbing, Bennett said, “My fingertips fit into those jams pretty well. Which is not to say that the moves weren’t strenuous for someone who could crank off a grand total of four pull-ups, but I pulled through.
“I remember latching onto the good face holds at the end standing there breathing rather loudly for a few minutes, to raucous cheering from the tag team on the belay ledge below.”