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    Jim Fairey

    With the Christmas festivities fast approaching, I thought I would let you all have the details for the final three very different talks in the current Lakes lecture season.

    On 11th January, John Porter returns to talk about The Beauty of Risk. The BMC clause which we sign when joining climbing clubs and walls states that: “climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks…”. Risk is such a familiar and accepted part of climbing and mountaineering yet one we rarely discuss. John’s thoughts on the subject promise to be an interesting and thought-provoking evening.

    On 1st February, Simon Yates joins us to talk about his expedition with Mick Fowler to Tajikistan last summer. Attempting to make the first ascent of a new route on the North face of Patkhor, 6,083m, bad weather, food poisoning and a failed abseil anchor resulted in a retreat, which included six days without food and an extremely painful three day walk-out for Simon. A mountaineering epic.

    Finally for this season, on 7th March, Catherine Moorehead will be talking about Doug Scott and what she describes as his ‘seven lives’. Catherine’s biography of Doug, ‘Mountain Guru’ is a fascinating read and signed copies will be available to buy. As I’m sure everyone knows, Doug was a mountaineering legend. As a northern Lakes member, Doug was known personally to many AC members and local climbers, and there will be an extended time for Q&A and reflections at the end of Catherine’s talk.

    Full details below. Any queries, do get in touch.

    Best wishes for Christmas & the New Year.


    Anna Lawford
    AC Lakes Organiser

    Thursday 11th January 2024: John Porter – The Beauty of Risk

    What is risk? Is it a daily reality to avoid, or can we manage it by embracing it? With particular relevance to climbers and mountaineers, John’s talk explores the nature of adventure, challenging man’s perception of what is real and what is delusional. The talk is illustrated with stunning photos drawn from sixty years of climbing and exploring the world, revisiting the nature of beauty and truth through startling juxtapositions of ideas and images. John discusses whether success and failure are equally important to gain understanding of our roles in a universe with no interest in us. He goes into and far beyond George Mallory’s famous justification for climbing Everest; ‘Because it’s there’.

    Thursday 1st February 2024: Simon Yates: Patkhor – Pleasure and Pain

    In July 2023, Mick Fowler and Simon travelled to Tajikistan’s Rushan Pamir – an area to the east of the main Pamir range, rarely visited by climbers. Their objective was a new route on the north face of Patkhor 6083m, followed by a north to south traverse of the peak. All went well until food poisoning from some freeze dried meals at the first camp on the mountain, started a chain of events that led to a mountaineering epic culminating in an abseiling accident that Simon was lucky to survive.

    Thursday 7th March 2024: Catherine Moorehead: ‘The Seven Lives of Doug Scott’

    Catherine describes the life and character of one of our greatest climbers and humanitarians, based on her recent biography of Doug, ‘Mountain Guru’. She traces his early influences from his upbringing in Nottingham through apprentice climbs in the UK, Alps, Africa, Turkey and Afghanistan, through his ‘big wall’ climbs and his new routes on major peaks, to his expeditions in lesser-known areas. She describes Doug’s 30 year involvement with Community Action Nepal and assesses his legacy following his death in 2020.

    Signed copies of the book will be available (£20 AC members, £25 non-members, please bring cash if you’d like to purchase a copy), and there will be a Community Action Nepal stall selling some Nepalese items and hoping for your support!

    Venue: The Greta Suite of the Skiddaw Hotel, Main Street, Keswick, CA12 5BL

    Doors Open: 7pm. Lectures Start: 7.30pm.

    The lectures are free to AC Members. Non-members are welcome to attend for a suggested donation of £3-£5 to the Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund.

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