Climb like it's 1949!

In 1949 climbing was still a sport dominated by men but women were beginning to make their mark. Women out on the hills were now a common sight following the growth in popularity of rambling in the 1930s, supported by increased leisure time for Britain's working population and cheap rural accommodation from the Youth Hostel Association. And by this point there were some impressive female role models to look to; from 19th century Alpinist Lucy Walker to the foundation of the Pinnacle Club for female climbers in 1921.

It was into this environment that Dorothy ('Doddy') Kellogg took her first steps into rock climbing and mountaineering. Her two illustrated photograph albums show trips to hills and crags and are immaculately, and often amusingly, annotated.

Her first album records a mountain course in Borrowdale, Cumberland (now Cumbria) in June 1949:

There are captioned illustrations from each of the days that Dorothy lists in the schedule, sometimes the illustrations are photographic:

Others are Dorothy's own hand-drawn illustrations, such as this one of Pillar Rock:

A later album also included some painted illustrations:

Dorothy Kellogg climbed for much of her life, later serving as a regional representative for East Anglia with the Mountaineering Association whose course she had taken. Apparently not one to take herself too seriously, Dorothy's albums are full of wry comments and gently amusing observations - her albums are a pleasure to read and an insight into climbing in the 1940s.

If you enjoyed this post, please support our 20th anniversary fundraiser and help us to keep preserving and sharing Britain's mountain and climbing heritage for the next 20 years and beyond. Thank you.

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