Photographs by Harry Whaite 1912 - 2011

 

 

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Dot Butler – Adventurer 1911 -

Dot was born in 1911 in Sydney. When only a teenager she joined an acrobatic group. She was also a regular "Bondi Iceberg" .

She joined The Sydney Bushwalkers at the age of twenty. In 1936 Dot, accompanied by Dr Eric Dark made the first ascent of Crater Bluff in the Warrumbungle Ranges. In 1937 she, accompanied by the "Tigers", walked over 70 miles and climbed 9000 feet in the Blue Mountains in a weekend.

In 1939 Dot joined the Alpine Club of New Zealand, climbing Mt Cook and many other major peaks and soon became a guide, a rare feat for a woman in those days.

Dot Married Ira Butler in 1943 and had four children who would all take after Dot as bushwalkers and mountaineers.

She has walked and climbed in many parts of the world including Peru, India, Mexico.

She has encouraged many Australians, who, without her leadership encouragement and sense of adventure, would never have ventured into the bush, to explore and climb. In 1988 Dot was awarded the Australian Geographic’s Award of Excellence.

The stories below appeared in The Sydney Bush Walker Annual and The Bushwalker Annual over a number of years. Her book "The Barefoot Bushwalker" should be read by all bushwalkers.

Belourgery Split Rock Free Gastronomicall Joys - 1934 A Glorious Failure The Rock Climbing Section of SBW
To The High Hills 1940 Good Climbing  - 1942 Mountain Memories - 1943 December in The Grampians - 1946
28 Degrees - 1947 Winter Holiday - 1961 Australian Geographic Article