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Equipment Clothing The People Chronology of Climbs

Evelyn Fay Fuller was born October 10, 1869 in New Jersey. In 1882 Fay's father, Edward N. Fuller, brought his family to Tacoma, then a growing town with a population of 6,000. Fay was twelve years old, overflowing with energy, and drawn to exploring the western wilderness.

In 1885, at the end of Fay's sophomore year, her high school was closed. She continued her education on her own while teaching children at Tacoma's Longfellow Elementary; then she accepted teaching positions at Rosedale and at Yelm.

Philemon Beecher Van Trump, storekeeper and later postmaster at Yelm, and his friend General Hazard Stevens, had been the first to make a verifiable ascent to the highest point on the mountain in 1870. Van Trump also climbed Mount Rainier in 1883, with George B. Bayley of California and James Longmire. It was on the 1883 climb that Longmire, another Yelm resident, discovered mineral springs in a meadow, later named Longmire's Springs. He claimed the property and developed a summer tourist business there.

Fay first visited Paradise in the summer of 1887. She hiked up the snowfield past Panorama Point to an elevation of about 8,700'. From that point she was able to see a flag that had been left by surveyors at Anvil Rock, elevation 9,584'. Fay was delighted by a full view of the mountain and made it her goal to someday "climb to the summit of the great peak."

In August 1890 Fay Fuller was invited to join the Van Trump family on an outing to Paradise. Their group, plus two parties that arrived later in the day, raised the temporary population of Paradise to a total of twenty-six people.

Philemon Van Trump gave Fay permission to join a Seattle climbing party, headed by Reverend Ernest C. Smith, for an attempt at the summit. On Saturday, August 9, 1890, the Smith party climbed to Camp Muir, where they were joined by Leonard Longmire.

At 4:30 Sunday morning five climbers, consisting of Fay, W. O. Amsden, Leonard Longmire, Robert R. Parrish, and Rev. E. C. Smith, were awake and ready for their ascent.

Fay blackened her face with charcoal and wore goggles to modify the sun's glare. Her climbing outfit included heavy flannel underwear, a thick blue flannel bloomer suit, woolen hose, heavy calfskin boy's shoes with caulks, and a small straw hat. She later commented that her costume was assembled "at the time when bloomers were unknown and it was considered quite immodest."

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