CLIMBING – THERESE BERTHEAU:

 

Lets start at the beginning not with me
this time, but instead with one of the true pioneers within the field of rock
climbing. Since I am Norwegian, and find this woman fascinating I have chosen
to start with Therese Bertheau born on the 23 of November 1861, and later died
in March 1936. Therese was born in Østfold more to the point in Skjeberg. She
was the daughter of Hermann B, and Borghild B. When she was only three years
old her father died unexpectedly, and she continued to live with her mother and
two elder sisters on the first floor of a small apartment in Holbergs street.

Therese worked from 1880 at Nissens school
for girls as a language teacher in both Norwegian, English and French. She was
most likely a very strict teacher, but also fair, and continued working there
until 1916 when she decided to buy a house in Drøbak that she later shared with
three other unmarried women.

Therese was an active mountaineer
from 1884 – 1910 and climbed at least 30 peaks that we know of. She had many first
ascents, and was the first woman on top of Store Skagastølstind in Jotunheimen
(2405m)1894.

“Frk. Bertheau, the first lady who ascended Store Skagastølstind did much noble work by proving that
mountain climbing is a grand sport for women as well as for men”

Taken from:

Slingsbys article written for Norwegian mountaineering
in 1914

In 1900 Therese was once again on SS,
but this time she was accompanied by the English climber William Cecil Slingsby(1849 – 1929).

“I shall never as long as I live forget
my first view of SS the grandest European mountain north of the Alps. Our guide
told us that it was the highest mountain in Norway, that it had not yet been
ascended and that no doubt was impracticable”

Taken from:

Slingsby in Norway -The Northern Playground
(1904) – the first time he saw the top.

Back to Therese; In1902 she was elected
the first woman of the Norwegian Tourist Association Board, and in 1909 she was
an invited member of the Norwegian Alpine Club.

 

There is too much information for just
one post, and so I have decided to write another one.

SS: Store Skagastølstind