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General Climbing Discussion

A funny thing happened at work today…
5:40:10 PM
I was talking to a visiting 80 year old Australian archaeologist Josephine Flood about helping her locate samples she had stored here at ANU. Originally from the UK it came up just casually in conversation that what brought her to Australia in the early 60’s in the first place was not archaeology….but climbing….what the?.. well knock me down with a feather….I immediately forced the conversation away from archaeology and off on this tangent to find out more…. and by the end was flabbergasted to find myself in conversation with the woman who had done, amongst many things.. the first female ascent of Cenotaph corner…

Scroll down to paragraph 28 about ¼ the way down, just after the blurb on Dot Butler (yes lots of other interesting reading here).

I can report that, although about to have her first knee reconstruction, Jo (as she calls herself) walks as if not needing one, is as fit as a fiddle and sharp as a tack.

I wish every work day was this inspiring..:)

7:28:12 AM
Pretty amazing story Dave.
Who would have thought that Josephine Flood had another life as a gun climber.
Do you know if she ever visited Booroomba or mt Coree?

8:04:32 AM
So very awesome. It's encounters like that - revelations, really - that'll keep you smiling for years to come.
8:32:38 AM
bill, I first encountered her when she was at ANU excavating the Birrigia Rock shelter at the foot of Gibraltar Peak. I had no idea of her back story then and think at that stage she no longer climbed. She told me she was introduced to climbing on gritstone while at Leeds University - unfortunately I blew my chance to respond with "Yeah yeah, fair enough, but what did you actually do on Grit?" - damn it :-),000-years/7288132
9:26:58 AM
On my first aid weekend we where working below one of the lookouts and an elderly lady with a walking stick asked why I had so much gear. I explained about aid climbing but was rushing to get back down to the action. Can't remember what she said but I knew she was a serious climber at some stage. Still wish I'd stopped to talk to her, recon there would have been a good story there.
6:43:30 PM
..also…and another thing...Josephine Flood told me I should read her book “Four Miles High”. I told her I’d only ever read two climbing books “Punk in the Gym”
and then “Punk in the Gym” a second time. She gave me a very grave look, gently patted my hand and told me I really needed to lift my game, that it was never too late, and that I should set my sights a lot higher than that Welsh whippersnapper Andy Pollitt. Shattered, but smitten by such wise counsel I asked her if she would adopt me, but she said no thanks she had her hands full with her daughter - “Nadine Flood faces an uphill battle…” (…if your mum was the first woman to climb Cenotaph’re probably up for it!)

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