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Summit photos #1 Kathy Ferguson May 1964

Summit Photos: celebrating some great photos taken at the summit of Ayers Rock

#1 Kathy Ferguson May 1964
This nice black and white portrait of Kathy Ferguson taken in May 1964 shows the summit cairn prior to the construction of the current directional plinth. The summit was established as a trigonometric point in 1958. The current directional table was built in 1970.


 Caption reads: Miss Kathy Ferguson of Jersey in the Channel Islands, an early climber at the cairn on top of The Rock; she was one of a small group of five on an Ansett-Pioneer tour who reached the summit in May 1964. (Photo from P.88 of Storm over Uluru: The greatest Hoax of all by Peter B. English).

The first woman to climb the rock was Isabella Foy who ascended with her husband and son on the on the 28th of May 1936. The second  woman to have climbed the rock and left her name in the small tin on the cairn was Englishwoman, Beryl Miles, Authoress of The Stars My Blanket, who made the ascent in mid 1951.




What the cairn looked like in September 1970 prior to being replaced with the current directional table (Photo credit Laurie McLean)

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Indicative Contents History of discovery and climbing Facts and figures Geology and Geomorphology Route Maps Reasons to climb Climbing stories Chronicles of the fallen  Preparations Best time to climb What to wear How to climb What you can see from the summit Things to do at the summit Climbing Trivia Selected climbs and hikes in central Australia
Hoping to hit the internet book shelves in time for Christmas 2018.  In the meantime wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I just want one thing in my Christmas stocking: a ban of the ban!



A pictorial response to arguments against climbing Ayers Rock

A pictorial response to arguments against climbing Ayers RockIt's too dangerous Group of women aged 19-70 climb Ayers Rock as part of the 1957 Petticoat Safari. This was prior to the chains being installed. Since the 1950s over 6,000,000 people of all ages have climbed the rock. In that time there have been a reported 36 deaths mainly heart attacks to older men, not acclimatised to the heat of central Australia. If you are fit and healthy and stick to the marked path climbing Ayers Rock is an exhilarating adventure but a decidedly low risk activity.

Here's Arthur Groom's take on the climbing options: extract from I saw a strange land
Various writers have described Ayers Rock as difficult of ascent, when in reality it is a trained mountaineer's job on the east-south-east corner, a rough and steep scramble up at least two places on its southern side, and nothing else but a strenuous and spectacular uphill walk on its western side It’s a Sacred Site, climbing is disrespect…

The Ban on Climbing Ayers Rock is Immoral and Illegal

The Ban on Climbing Ayers Rock is Immoral and IllegalQuadrant Magazine have placed my recent article online outlining reasons the ban on climbing Ayers Rock is immoral and illegal.

Claims that Aborigines never ascend the monolith are false and the highly sacred nature of the route a recent invention. The cultural-heritage significance of the climb to both Anangu and millions of non-Aboriginal visitors is something that should be celebrated and maintained, not discouraged and condemned.

Read the Article at Quadrant.
“In the realm of ideas there has been no better publication in Australia over the last fifty years than Quadrant magazine.”
— Former Prime Minister John Howard