Mountainfilm

Arlene Blum

Arlene Blum

  • 2020 — Speaker

Mountaineer, writer and environmental health scientist, Arlene Blum is no stranger to adversity. She began her climbing career in college, but faced many hurdles as it was a male-dominated sport in the late-‘60s and early-‘70s. Blum was rejected from multiple expeditions due to the cog she might throw in the “easy male companionship” of those times. But she persisted. After earning a doctorate in biophysical chemistry, she embarked on what she deemed the “endless winter,” spending more than a year climbing peaks all over the world. Blum has since led the first American all-women’s ascent of Annapurna, completed a 2,000-mile journey from Bhutan to India and crossed the Alps from Yugoslavia to France while carrying her baby on her back. Fundraising efforts for these grand adventures included selling T-shirts with the unabashed slogan “A woman’s place is on top.” Her current work includes helping create safer standards and reducing the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products.