About Una Cameron(1904-1987)

Una Cameron was born in West Linton, Peebleshire, in 1904. Her father, Ewan Cameron, was a landowner and her mother, Jeanie Dewar, was a member of the Dewar whisky family.

While at art college in Rome, Una gained an interest climbing and her family's wealth allowed her to live abroad and cultivate this interest further.

During the 1930s, Una made many first ascents in the Alps and the Caucasus mountains, at the border of Europe and Asia.

Una described these climbs in her book 'A good line' which was published in 1932.

Intriguing figure

With her tall, androgynous appearance, wearing trousers when it wasn't common for women to do so, she was an intriguing figure wherever she went.

Fluent in both Italian and French, she had a villa built in Courmayeur, Italy, and was able to explore the south side of Mont Blanc at her leisure. Between 1933 and 1939 she traversed Mont Blanc in almost every way possible.

In 1935, alongside another female climber, Dora de Beer, they became the first British women to make a complete ascent of Peuterey Ridge, now known as the Peuterey Integral. It is the longest ridge in the Alps, with 4,500 metres of ascent and a climbing time of about two to three days.

In the Mont Blanc range Una also completed ascents of:

Outstanding climbing record

With such climbing credits to her name, Una could have had a much higher public profile, but she never chose to exploit her successes for publicity. She chose to climb simply as a means of personal fulfilment.

Una was a lifelong member of the Ladies' Alpine Club and, through her outstanding climbing record, was one of its most prominent contributors and editors of its journal. She was elected President of the club in 1957, its jubilee year.

Every 'Alpine Journal' volume from 1930-2014 is available online. You can find all the articles about Una Cameron on the 'Alpine Journal' site.


Una Cameron