Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Blac Chyna Steps Out for the First Time Following Pregnancy Reveal at Burger King
- Read the Cover Story: Prince Harry: Finding My Purpose
- WATCH: Renée Elise Goldsberry on Parenthood: 'My Greatest Wish for My Children Is That They Fulfill Their Purpose'
- All About Angelina Jolie Pitt's New Partnership
- Victoria Beckham Says Her Microphone Was Intentionally Turned Off During Spice Girls Shows
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- June 29, 1981
- Vol. 15
- No. 25
Wilderness Taboo Buster China Galland Wants Women to Keep on Trekking
Confronting fear is all part of Galland's mission: to demolish what she calls the "wilderness taboo" against women striking out into the wilds without male guides. In 1975 she founded Women in the Wilderness Inc., a 1,000-member San Francisco-based organization aimed at encouraging women to strap on boots and backpacks and head out on their own. Galland, 37, stresses that her Wilderness Women are "not a bunch of hard-boiled feminists. We encourage men to participate on most of our trips. Our only requirement is that a woman always lead." In 1978 Galland helped guide the first all-woman raft expedition through the Grand Canyon, and the next year she took seven females kayaking down Mexico's Baja coast.
By far her most ambitious project was last October's journey with 16 fellow trekkers—both men and women—to a region of Nepal where, appropriately enough, a female Buddha called Tara is worshiped. At one point, China (her real name is the more mundane Ruth Ann) stumbled on a washout and slipped off a mountain trail, shattering her left ankle. "A few more inches and I would have tumbled into the river gorge 60 feet below," she says. Sherpa guides carried her piggyback to the next village, and from there she continued the climb by pony for a day before the severity of the break forced her to return to Katmandu. Galland claims her fall "wasn't the disaster it seemed. Coping with a medical emergency 10,000 miles from home created new confidence in myself."
Confidence, in fact, is something she has never seemed to lack. The eldest child of a Dallas housewife and a mechanical engineer, China was in the process of earning the first of two English literature degrees from the University of Dallas when she married at 19. "I was asleep when I did it," she says, "like most women of my generation." While her husband worked toward a Ph.D. in engineering at MIT, she took a job as a research assistant at Harvard. After divorcing in 1966, China went back to Texas to earn a master's degree before returning north to teach English at Boston College. Three years later she married Dick Galland, who taught kayaking and mountaineering at Colorado's Outward Bound School in Denver. In 1974 she organized the first Adult Women's Outward Bound course, a trip down the lower canyons of the Rio Grande.
Since her second divorce five years ago, China has lived in a redwood-and-glass hillside aerie north of San Francisco with her two youngsters by her first husband—Matthew, 16, and Madelon, 15—and one by Galland—Ben, 10. She published her first book, Women in the Wilderness (Harper & Row, $7.95), last November, describing the adventures of 19th-century women explorers as well as her own experiences in the wild.
Galland encourages parents to take their kids along on forays into the unknown. "Exploring heightens my feelings for my family," explains China, who plans an expedition back to Nepal next year. "Hiking in the woods and floating down rivers helped me realize that each of us—city folks included—lives in our personal wilderness. There are no maps; you create your own as you go along."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!