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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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17th death on the Rock

17th death on the Rock
ABC report that a 76 year old Japanese man collapsed on the steep part of the climb and despite first aid, was not able to be revived. The elderly Japanese man likely died as a result of heart complications, probably brought on by existing (perhaps unknown) medical conditions and over exerting himself. He appears to have died revelling in the opportunity life provides. RIP Brother of the Rock.  Our thoughts with his family and the first attenders who did their best to treat him. It's sad, but life goes on, and so should the climb.

His death marks the 17th death ON the Rock since 26 May 1962 when 16 year old school boy Brian Strieff, on a school excursion with Carey Grammar, wondered off the main path in heavy fog on the way down and fell to his death.

ABC's report indicate it is the 37th death, but these figures from Parks Australia have not been substantiated. It seems that many of the deaths Parks Australia claim to have occurred ON the Rock occurred in…

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…