Department or Program

Environmental Studies


This thesis examines the gender dynamics of the alpine guiding industry, a profession that is overwhelmingly male. According to a 2018 survey, the AMGA was composed of only 11% women. Beginning with a history of modern mountaineering and how gender dynamics determined the landscape of the sport and the guides who led it, summaries of interviews conducted with four current female guides are presented. These interviews examine how gender has impacted the careers of guides in varying stages of their careers, from initial entry into the field to relations with clients and institutions such as the AMGA. Barriers present include an increased burden of proof for female guides, sexist treatment from clients, and lack of established mentorship programs, all overshadowed by the masculine image of the prototypical mountaineer. Based on trends present throughout the interviews, solutions are proposed to help remove barriers to entry and retention for female alpine guides. These include establishment of sexual harassment and bystander intervention training, increased opportunities for scholarship and mentorship, and expansion of both co-edand women’s only mountaineering courses.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Jane Costlow

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.