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Climbing legends #1 First Woman to climb Ayers Rock

Climbing legends #1 Mrs Foy and Beryl Miles
Series of posts celebrating climbers of Ayers Rock.
Updated 27 Dec 2017
The list of names from the glass jar at the summit cairn records the name of Mrs Foy on the 28th of May 1936. Isabella Foy was the wife of Hugh Victor Foy who lead an expedition in search of Lasseter's Reef. It seems Mrs Foy is the first woman to record a climb of Ayers Rock. However it also seems the names on the Foy list were not written individually raising questions as to whether all on the list actually climbed. 

Foy Family 1938. Names of Mr Foy, Mrs Foy and Bill Foy are listed in the glass jar at the summit cairn.

Isabella Foy

Beryl Miles - second woman(?) to climb Ayers Rock.
Beryl Miles, from article in The Age 31/7/1954

The second woman to record a climb Ayers rock is Beryl Miles who entered her name into the glass jar at the summit cairn in mid 1951 during an epic outback expedition.  Details of her Australian adventure may be found in her book " The Stars my Blanket" (excerpts coming soon).

Of her Ayers Rock visit the Weekly Times (23 Jan 1952) reports the following:
The expedition went next to Ayers Rock - a mighty monolith of red rock rising 1100 feet sheer out of the mulga plain and one of the three tors in the area. Around the base are aboriginal paintings and on the top a cairn in which is hidden a glass jar containing the names of those who have climbed it. Miss Miles is, as far as she knows, the first women to have reached the top and says that it was worth the climb to know that her name was safely in the jar. "We climbed the rock in high wind", she said. "As well as being a very high rock it is quite smooth and there is nothing whatever to offer foot or hand hold. You must crawl up as best you can trying to ignore the 1100 feet drop yawning below".

Isabella Foy and Beryl Miles you are both absolute LEGENDS!


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

Coming soon... Climber's Handbook: A guide to climbing Ayers Rock.NOW AVAILABLE!
Everything you wanted to know about climbing the rock at the heart of Australia but were too afraid to ask...

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
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10 reasons why you should climb Ayers Rock

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