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Dorothy Butler – the Barefoot Bushwalker

Date Posted: 8 August 2011

Dorothy (Dot) Butler was an extraordinary athlete and, in particular, a gifted climber –always barefoot.  In 1936, with Dr Eric Dark, she made the first ascent of Crater Bluff in the Warrumbungle National Park.  During World War 2, after accepting a proposal from fellow bushwalker Ira Butler, Dorothy was unable to get a seat on an interstate train from Melbourne to Sydney for the wedding.  So she cycled all the way.

Dorothy climbed in the Himalayas and the Alps, canoed 640 km down the Yukon River in Canada, and cycled through  Ireland, Spain and Cambodia.  She climbed over the arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge – as a member of the ‘Night Climbers of Sydney’.

This indomitable woman founded a number of climbing organisations including the Australian branch of the New Zealand Alpine Club.  In 1969, Dot organized the Australian Andean Expedition to Peru and in 1970 she started a fund for victims of the Peruvian earthquake. It ran for 20 years.

In 1988 Dot was awarded Australian Geographic Society’s Gold Medallion for ‘Adventurer of the Year’.

Read more at Jane Elix’s website.