Arlene Blum has played a groundbreaking role in women’s mountaineering. Best known for leading the first American—and all-women’s—ascent of Annapurna I, considered one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult mountains, Blum also led the first women’s team up Mt. McKinley; was the first American woman to attempt Mt. Everest; and has played a leading role in more than 20 mountain expeditions worldwide. She made the first traverse of the Great Himalaya Range of Bhutan, Nepal and India and hiked the length of the European Alps with her baby daughter on her back.
Annapurna: A Woman’s Place, written by Blum, has inspired tens of thousands of readers over the past 25 years. Fortune magazine selected it as one of “75 books that teach you everything you really need to know about business” and National Geographic Adventure magazine included it in list of the “hundred best adventure books of all time.”
Her new book, Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life, is an unforgettable account of the trails Blum pioneered, not only in mountaineering, but in science.
Arlene Blum’s awards include a Gold Medal from the Society of Women Geographers, an honor previously given to only eight other women including Amelia Earhart, Margaret Mead, and Mary Leakey. She is the founder of the annual Berkeley Himalayan Fair and her articles and photographs have appeared in many publications including National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Science magazines.
Blum currently designs and presents informative and inspiring keynote lectures, leadership workshops, and cross-cultural seminars. She has given highly acclaimed classes in Mongolia, Uganda, Nepal and India, as well as across the U.S.
Blum holds a doctorate in biophysical chemistry, and has taught at Stanford University, Wellesley College, and U. C. Berkeley, where her research was instrumental in banning tris and Fyrol, two cancer-causing chemical that were used as a flame retardant on children’s sleepwear as well as the pesticide DBCP. Blum plans to continue this research to facilitate the regulation of similar chemicals and help protect our health and environment. She is the executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute, which “…provides unbiased scientific data to government, industry, and non-governmental organizations to facilitate more informed decision-making about chemicals used in consumer products.” [http://greensciencepolicy.org/]