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    Jim Fairey

    The Alpine Club’s Lakes lectures are re-starting in October for the 2023/24 season and three great speakers are lined up for the autumn.

    Beginning on Thursday 5th October, with Brian Hall speaking about his Boardman Tasker award winning book, High Risk – Climbing to Extinction. Brian’s book has been described as ‘Dazzling adventures recalled with wisdom and affection’.

    In his talk, Brian recalls the golden age of Himalayan mountaineering, from the mid 1970s to the ’80s, which brought forth a generation of radical young climbers. With tiny budgets and high ambitions they pioneered small scale, Alpine-style expeditions on mountains such as Jannu, Nuptse, Everest, and K2. Brian recalls the outrageous adventures of eleven of his climbing friends who risked, and too often lost, their lives to stand on some of the world’s highest peaks at a turning point in mountaineering history.

    On Thursday 9th November, Stephen Venables will be speaking on Everest – East Side Story. Stephen intertwines his own personal Everest journey summiting Everest alone and spending a night above 8,000m in the ‘death zone’, with the wider story of the world’s highest mountain.

    On Thursday, 30th November, Lina Arthur will share how she wrote her excellent UK winter guidebook Snow & Ice, giving us an informative and entertaining insight into the life of a guidebook author.

    Full details below.

    Kind regards


    Anna Lawford
    AC Lakes Lecture Organiser

    Thursday 5th October. Brian Hall: High Risk – Climbing to Extinction

    Brian tells the story of climbing through the 1970’s and 80’s, looking particularly at his memories of eleven friends with whom he climbed: Alan Rouse, Paul Nunn, Joe Tasker, Pete Thexton, Georges Bettembourg, Mike Geddes, Alex MacIntyre, John Whittle, John Syrett, Sam Cochrane and Roger Baxter-Jones.

    Starting with rock climbing at Leeds University and progressing to the hard game of mountaineering in Scotland and the Alps in winter, Patagonia and the Andes. He then went to Nepal on expeditions to Jannu, Nuptse, Everest in winter, Ogre 2 and K2.

    Brian asks why they took such risks and remembers these friends with fondness, celebrating their achievements and looking back at a very different world than today. An epoch that marked the change from heavyweight expeditions to fast and light alpine style. They thought it was a safer way to climb but in the end the statistics show otherwise.

    Brian’s book of the same name won the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature in 2022.

    218 Whittle travesing steep snow on Standhardt with Fitz Roy behind.jpg

    John Whittle traversing steep snow on Cerro Standhardt, Patagonia
    © Brian Hall

    Thursday 9th November. Stephen Venables: Everest – East Side Story

    To mark a hundred years after the first British Everest expeditions of the 1920s, and 70 years after the first ascent in May 1953, Stephen intertwines his own personal Everest journey with the wider story of the world’s highest mountain.

    As the first Briton to climb Everest by a new route on the Kangshung Face in 1988, summiting alone without the use of supplementary oxygen, and as a mountaineering writer, broadcaster and historian, Stephen is uniquely placed to reflect on the climbing world’s relationship with the mountain after 100 years of exploration on its slopes.

    Packed with personal anecdotes and insight, historical curiosities and fantastic photography, the lecture promises to be an informative and highly entertaining evening celebrating the mountaineers’ Everest.


    Thursday 30th November. Lina Arthur: Snow & Ice – The Writing of a Winter Mountaineering Guidebook

    Pinning down how guidebooks are written can be as elusive as UK winter conditions; many people erroneously think guidebook writers spend all their time climbing!

    Lina Arthur’s book, ‘Snow & Ice’, highlights 100 winter mountaineering routes across the UK, providing clear photo topos, accurate maps and inspiring action shots, but writing it didn’t always go exactly to plan. In this talk, Lina shares the highs and lows of winter guidebook writing and invites us to look behind the printed page into how guidebooks are made.

    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.

    I am sending you these monthly emails with details of Lakes lectures since you have previously expressed an interest in them. If you would prefer not to receive them, please let me know.

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