|The largest to climb Crookneck in The Glass House Mountains on 'Salmon's Leap', 1933 (Cliff and Lexie Wilson collection).|
|Queensland climber Muriel Patten becomes the first women to climb the First Sister, Katoomba, 1934. Bert Salmon is above her as both solo the climb (A. A. Salmon collection).|
|Jean Easton (above) and Muriel Patten on the east face of Tibrogargan in The Glass Houses in 1934 |
(Cliff and Lexie Wilson collection).
It is an attitude by women towards climbing that had its genesis more than a century ago in the European Alps—and clearly it persists today. And perhaps Bernice Noonan’s words best sum up what it’s all about—for women, at least. ‘I just felt we were all on the same level,’ she says. ‘We were all experiencing a good sport and we all enjoyed it and unless we all pulled together we weren’t going to get there.’ It seems abundantly clear that women have well and truly reclaimed their place in the Australian climbing scene.
(First published in the Australasian Climbing Journal, Crux Number 3)