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The Petticoat Safari - Have you ever seen anything so wonderful?

News from a more enlightened era: Have you ever seen anything so wonderful?
This is what they are taking away.

The Petticoat Safari - Woman's Weekly Wed 23 Oct 1957
(Higher definition images available via the Link)

"Of course I climbed the Rock," said Mrs. Kelty, five times a grandmother. "That' what I came for. And I've taken a pebble back for each of the grandchildren."

First girl to climb the mountainside was Evelyn Camm, former dressmaker, now a Melbourne tram conductress, who said balancing on trams could have helped her balance on the Rock.
And first "safari" girls to write names on paper, enclosing them in jam-tins or bottles at the stone cairn, were Colleen Lewin, of Tasmania, and Victorians Esma Davis, Jean Mason, and Nancie Reed. Lying around, sucking mandarins and admiring the view and the soaring eagles above, we were all feeling pretty smug about our achievement, when over the rise came grandmother Mrs. Sarah Esnouf, of Melbourne, helped by Peter Watts and Ian Lovegrove. Mrs. Esnouf, one of the oldest in the party, joined us, crying, "How exhilarating. Have you ever seen anything so wonderful? And look at the beautiful wildflower I picked on the way."


"I'll always remember the view, the curve, and the distance looking down, and the most wonderful sight of all the boys bringing Sarah to the top."

 Courageous Grandmother Mrs Sarah Esnouf owning the climb is inspirational! It's particularly empowering as according to the "owners" the climb is supposed to be for males only. It also makes a joke of the over the top health and safety warnings that National Parks use to deter climbers these days. 


No chain ... no worries!


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Climber's Handbook: A guide to climbing Ayers Rock.

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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