An opportunity to share news with members and site visitors. If you have an interesting news item please mail it to the Hon. Editor at the e-mail address on the home page.

June 2022


The lectures will be at the Civil Service Club in London and via Zoom.

The dates for the autumn talks are Tuesdays 4th October, 1st November and 6th December.

Tuesday 4 October:‘TH Somervell - Mountaineer, Surgeon, Artist’ - David Seddon (ABMSAC)
David Seddon has had an interest in the life and work of TH Somervell for almost 20 years. He will talk briefly about his work as a surgeon, his mountaineering achievements, and his art. The talk will be illustrated by images of almost 70 of his pictures and a few photographs.

We expect to present it from the Civil Service Club in London, but it will also be on zoom.

We are still looking for speakers for November and December talks.

April 2022

Reports and photos of the April day walks are now posted.

The 100% Women Peak Challenge - Last year, the Swiss Tourist Board, in partnership with the Swiss Mountain Guide Association, Mammut and the Swiss Alpine Club, launched a campaign to encourage more women into the mountains. The “100% Women Peak Challenge” was set up to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lucy Walkers, a trailblazing Victorian female alpinist, greatest achievement – becoming the first woman to reach the summit of the mighty Matterhorn.
The aim was to get all-female teams on top of all of Switzerland’s 48 4,000m peaks in 2021. The campaign kicked off on International Women’s Day, March 8th and was completed by 8th October - a remarkable achievement during a year considering COVID-19 restrictions.
A member of one of the all lady teams in the challenge, Justine Gosling, presents her story on an ascent of the Allalinhorn from the Britannia Hut last march. An interesting story.

Setting out to Helvellyn on Friday

Over 40 members and guests attended the AGM and Annual Dinner over the last weekend in January. The event was held at the Inn on the Lake in Glenridding. Our guest was Steve Jackson.

Despite some very windy weather there were many trips out on the fells.

Report and photos for the weekend now available.

Andy with Steve Jackson

Repurposing old gear - As spring starts to appear you take a look at your outdoor kit and decide to replace some clothing and/or equipment. What do you do with your ‘old’ kit? Put at the back of the cupboard, in the attic or garage ‘just in case’ it comes in or throw it out with the rubbish. If you don’t already you can recycle or repurpose it.
A couple of members have had these thoughts and wondered how they can recycle or repurpose old kit.
With this in mind, did you see the article in the latest BMC Newsletter? The BMC have pulled together a list of retailers and organisations who can help you re-use, repair or recycle your old or unwanted clothing and outdoor kit.
As the BMC say the most sustainable product is the product you already own. This means keeping it out of landfill and using it for as long as possible before recycling it or donating it to someone who will continue to use it.
If you ask your local youth groups such as the Scouts, Guides and DofE they may be able to re-use your kit. When I ran the local Scout Troop I had donations of old kit that I passed on to young Scouts – things such as old fleeces, rucksacks and boots, which were all gratefully received. In addition, groups like Kitsquad, who assist low-income people with getting out into the great outdoors, welcome all types of old clothing and kit.
Let’s see if we can put any of our old gear to good use. Editor

January 2022

The next "London" Lecture is on 1st February via Zoom. The lecture, entitled Iceland - September 2021, will be given by Jack Whitaker.

Jack originally planned to spend a few days in Iceland before joining a cruise to the Arctic. The cruise was cancelled due to the pandemic, so he converted the few days into a 12 day tour around all of Iceland, giving him an experience he would not want to have missed.

Report and photos for the South day walk in January.

The next day walk is on Tuesday 8 February. To attend contact Paul (South) or Andy (North).

Report and photos for the Twixmas Meet

We have recieved some sad news. Cdr Derwent Turnbull passed away on Monday 27 December 2021. He was a member of the SAC Geneva Section since 1965 and was a lover of the Swiss Alps. We send our condolences to his family.
A full obituary will be in the Journal.

December 2021

The North/South day walks on 14 December were blessed with reasonable weather. The North group enjoyed a walk in the Cromford area in the Peak District and the South group ventured into the Surrey Hills for a walk around the Hindhead Common/Devils Punchbowl area.
Walk maps - 'Recent Meet walks'

Report and photos for the North walk

Report and photos for the South walk

November 2021

The November day walk reports and photos.

Report and photos for the Monsal Trail walk.

Report and photos for the Uffington White Horse walk.

Maps of two walks are available under 'Recent Meet walks'

The London Lecture Programme started on Tuesday 5th October back at the Civil Service Club in London and via Zoom. The next Lecture is on Tuesday 11 December (London/Zoom). Many thanks to all those involved in setting up the events.
Forthcoming lectures are booked for 11 January, 1 February and 1 March.

Report and photos for the New Members Meet in August now available.

Ed Bramley has added a video of the 2011 trek to the Freedom Trail to our digital archive.
For a more cinematic viewing you can connect to YouTube on any smart TV and type ABMSAC into the search and the treks from 2001 to 2011 will come up.
In the coming months more treks will be added to the Treks page.

October 2021

Twelve members braved the elements and enjoyed the delights of Andy Hs cooking in late October on the Presidents Meet at the George Starkey Hut.

Maps of two walks are available under 'Recent Walks to follow'

Eleven members enjoyed a good weekend of walking in the Brecon Beacons, based around the New Inn at Bwlch. Walks included completing the Horseshoe, going up Fan Fawr, a trek from Storey Arms to Bwlch and a trip up to Llangatwg Escarpment.

Maps of the walks are available under Meet Maps

Marian has given a summary of what was done over the Hut Maintenance weekend. A big thank you to all who helped out.

Up to 10 members and friends enjoyed the summer meet in the Lakes

Maps of the walks are available under 'Recent Walks to follow'.

See report and photos.

Up to 10 members and friends enjoyed an autumn trip to the South coast at Swanage'

Maps of the walks are available under 'Recent Walks to follow'.

See report and photos.

September 2021

Twelve members enjoyed the August day walks.

Maps of the walks are under 'recent walks to follow' in the left column.

See the Northern report and photos.

See the Southern report and photos.

Twelve members enjoyed the July day walks.
Map of the Southern walk is under 'recent walks to follow' in the left column.

See the report and photos.

The two one day meets in the Cotswold were on 26 and 27 June.
Up to 16 attendees enjoyed a sample of Cotswold walking.
Maps of the walks are under 'recent walks to follow' in the left column.

See the report and photos.

Our first weekend meet in over a year was to Derbyshire on 4 - 6 June.
Up to 11 attendees enjoyed a camping weekend at the popular Royal Oak site. Maps of the walks are under 'recent walks to follow' in the left column.

See the report and photos.

Pamela Harris has written an article on Stevenson and Edinburgh, published by Cicerone Press. An interesting read.

If you are missing your annual trip to the Alps then you can relive some old trips by delving into the new Cicerone book on 50 best walking routes in the Zermatt and Saas Fee area.
The link also has a short YouTube video. Enjoy.

July 2021


The lectures will be at the Civil Service Club in London and via Zoom.

Tuesday 5 October: The Seven Volcanic Summits – David Hamilton (and on Zoom)
Climbing the highest peak of volcanic origin on each of the seven continents is a unique travel and cultural adventure. Only about 20 people have completed this little-known mountaineering challenge. This talk features ascents of: Ojos del Salado (6893m) in Chile, Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Tanzania, Damavand (5671m) in Iran, Elbrus (5642m) in Russia, Pico de Orizaba (5610m) in Mexico, Giluwe (4368m) in Papua New Guinea, and Mount Sidley (4285m) in Antarctica.

Tuesday 2 November: Climbing and mountaineering in the Écrins NP - Eric Pouget (and on Zoom if possible)
With the second highest mountain range in France, the Massif des Écrins, at its core, the Écrins National Park in the Dauphiné Alps offers 10 pitch granite slabs, ridges, snowy peaks and glaciers in a sunny setting, where the likes of Coolidge and Whymper once climbed. Eric will share his experience of hiking and climbing in this beautiful part of SE France.

Tuesday 7 December: The highs and lows of climbing the 7 summits - Jo Bradshaw (on Zoom)

With ‘just’ Puncak Jaya, 4884m in Papua on the Indonesian island of New Guinea, to climb, Jo has nearly completed the ‘Messner list’ of the highest peak on each of the seven continents. Jo will walk us through the unique differences between the 7 mountains, which pose their own particular demands, from perceived over-crowding, earthquakes, challenging locations and threats from climate change.

Tuesday 11 January : Mountaineering and climbing in Kenya – Richard Nadin and Nicholas Hurndall Smith (on Zoom if possible)

The joys, challenges and contrasts of an expedition close to the equator in February 2019. In addition to their 9day trip to Mount Kenya, Richard and Nick will talk about climbing with members of the Masai and Samburu tribes in Hell’s Gate and Ololokwe.

Tuesday 1 February: Iceland, September 2021 – Jack Whitaker (on Zoom)

Jack originally planned to spend a few days in Iceland before joining a cruise to the Arctic. The cruise was cancelled due to the pandemic, so he converted the few days into a 12day tour around all of Iceland, giving him an experience he would not want to have missed.

Tuesday 1st March: Seven Summits on Seven Islands- Nigel Vardy

Nigel began the challenge of climbing the tallest peaks on seven of the World's largest islands after recovering from severe frostbite in Alaska in 1999. Starting on Baffin Island, he completed the challenge in 2007. It included glaciated peaks, volcanoes and jungle trips, many through remote terrain across the world.

We expect to present it from the Civil Service Club in London, but it will also be on zoom.

June 2021

Everest in the 20s - 2021 marks the centenary of the first British expedition to Everest.
To commemorate the occasion The Alpine Club is hosting an exhibition 'Everest by those who were there' at its London premises.
The exhibition uses the words of expedition members from 1921, 1922 and 1924 - the last including the fated Mallory and Irvine attempt on the summit. Irvine's ice axe, retrieved a few years later, is one of the exhibits. As well as diary entries and hand-written notes, visitors can explore the art works and photography produced on the expeditions, as well as clothing and equipment used on the mountain.
The exhibition opens to the public on the 21st June and can be visited on Tuesdays and Wednesday between the hours of 12:00 and 17:30 until October 17 (closed during August). Viewings can be made at other times and days by prior arrangement. The AC recommends that whenever you plan to attend, you contact in advance.

May 2021

The 2021 Journal has now been published and sent to members.

The BMC are organising a ‘Million Mile Mountain Clean’. Andy has asked if members could help in their local area.

A life member of the Association, Timothy Smith, passed away in July 2020. He was a member of the SAC (Monte Rosa, Sion Section) since 1956. His exploits included many alpine ascents from the 1950s through to visits to Tibet, Lhasa and the Himalayas through to the 1990s.
He painted many watercolours, from his photographs, of mountains that he visited over the years. His wife has given permission for some of Timothy’s paintings to be on the website for members to enjoy.
April 2021

The Annual General Meeting was attended by around 30 members on Saturday evening, 6 February, via Zoom.
Andy Burton was elected President for the next three years, with Ed Bramley becoming Treasurer and Julie Freemantle the Membership Secretary. We wish them all success in their new roles.
The Treasurer reported that the finances were in good shape. The proposed amendments to the Rules of Association were passed.
James Baldwin, as Director of GSHL, gave an update on the Hut agreement and the maintenance work currently being carried out. In addition, Heather Eddowes has agreed to be Chair of the Hut Management Committee. 
James was thanked for his last three years as President. Both James and Belinda have a long relationship with the ABM, going back to the 1960s, between them they have served 29 years on the Committee and organised meets. A big thank you to you both.
The minutes of the AGM were circulated to members in the latest Newsletter.

Pamela has sent me details of a new guidebook of the Lake District from Lesley Williams, co owner of Cicerone and a guest at our annual dinner in 2019. Lesley gives an insight in preparing a guidebook for publication and a short video promotes the new book, out in April.

July to November 2020


The “London Talks” shown below, are organised by the ABMSAC and the Austrian Alpine Club (AAC) and would normally take place at the Civil Service Club in London, but this is impossible at present because of the Covid-19 restrictions. As a result the talks will be held via Zoom and we are giving all ABMSAC members the opportunity to watch the presentation.

Because there is a limit to the number of people at the Zoom meeting on our system, we need to know in advance if you want to be included (registered). Details of how to register for the each talk will be emailed to members approximately two weeks before the talk and registration is on a “first come first served” basis as the number registering is limited, after which members will be put on a waiting list.

Details of the lectures

Tuesday 1 December - Winter Ski traverse of the Pyrenees 2020 by Steve Kentish. On 15th January Steve set off on foot with David Hamilton to walk or ski from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic coast. On 17 March they reached the Chalets of Iraty just as France went into lockdown, aiming to be the first British continuous winter crossing of the Pyrenees, but Covid-19 prevented them reaching the Atlantic coast.

Tuesday 5 January - Cauterets to Bagnères-de-Luchon, Hautes-Pyrénées by Andy Smith. When planning this trek Andy had no idea that a global pandemic was just round the corner! An insight into the delights of the Pyrenees and the challenges of organising a July 2020 group trip.

Tuesday 2 February - Jordan: Wadi Rum and Petra by Don Hodge and Judy Renshaw. Don and Judy recall a 2013 trek in Jordan with KE, from Wadi Rum and on to Petra. They then stayed in Petra exploring independently using maps and guidebooks. Later they visited the Dead Sea, and swam in the very salty water, and the Roman town of Jerash in Northern Jordan.

Tuesday 2 March - Desert Island Climbs by Martin Whitaker Martin re-visits some of his favourite climbs from a mountaineering and climbing career that spans 50 years and 11,000 different routes. The plan is to keep the selection to 8, but this may get stretched, as choosing only 8 from 11,000 is going to be tough. Varied venues, including Africa, Europe, USA and even the UK.


Pamela Harris has recently received an appeal from the Himalayan Trust and wanted a wider audience for the appeal.

There is a short film about the work of the Trust.

Pandemic on top of poverty means that for families in the remote mountain villages of Nepal, where you have supported our work in the past, will be an uphill struggle to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 – but the Himalayan Trust UK is committed to being there for the families and communities in Taplejung on their journey.
It hasn’t been an easy year for any of us, and for many in the UK there are still worries and challenges ahead. We hope that you and your family are safe and well at this time, and finding ways to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on your own lives.
If you can, please do consider making a donation for families in the mountain villages of Nepal this Giving Tuesday. And if you are unable to at this time, perhaps you would kindly share this film with others and help spread the word. If you follow us on social media, a ‘like’ and a ‘share’ would be hugely appreciated.

The North and South Day Meet took place on 26 September, as planned. A report and photos of the walk from Corfe Castle and a report and photos of the walk from the Peak District are now available.

Pamela Harris has written an article for Cicerone Press about her travels to the Cevennes.

Pamela Harris visited Zermatt in October and has written about the trip in Autumn in Zermatt.

The Membership Secretary has added "How to" guides for accessing the Current Members Database. Thanks Ed for these guides.

Ed has written a short account of a day visit to the George Starkey Hut in September.

Judy has written a short account of her visit to the George Starkey Hut in August.

There is a light hearted gallery of photos of members using their buffs around the world, which has been updated. If you have any photos please send them to the Editor.

The 2020 Journal has now been published and sent to members.

The Committee has reluctantly agreed to postpone the The Annual Dinner Meet at Glenridding in February 2021. Under current Covid19 guidelines large indoor gatherings are not possible and there has been no indication that this will change anytime in the foreseeable future.
However the Annual General Meeting will still go ahead on the Saturday evening via a Zoom meeting. The Agenda and full details of how to access the meeting will be sent out to all members in the November Newsletter. 

Pamela and Alan visited St Luc for a short break over the period that the Alpine Meet was scheduled. Pam has written a report with photos of the unofficial ABM Meet.
She hopes that it will be of interest to those who signed up for this year’s St Luc meet, and for those on the 2007 Valais Trek.

The Picos de Europa Meet has been cancelled. As of July 26 the UK government has imposed quarantine procedures on people travelling from Spain and on July 29 the flights to Bilboa were cancelled. We hope to reschedule it for next September.

The August Bank Holiday Meet at the George Starkey Hut has been cancelled.

The rescheduled July Bunkhouse/Camping Meet to Derbyshire has been rebooked for May 2021.

The June trip to Snowdonia has been rescheduled to 11 - 12 June 2021.

The fourth and last monthly donation to the Patterdale Community Fund was sent in July.

The final batch of Journals, the 1960s are now available. They show several far reaching changes to the Association. Membership was at a high with over 700 members annually. Many members were now from outside London and wanted more than the London centric activities that the Association provided. Weekend meets in huts were started and organised outside the usual venues. In the mid 60s the Journal was totally revamped.
The Journals from the 1950s include insights into the pound devaluation leading to the currency crisis in the mid fifties, curtailing trips to the Alps to the Jubilee Celebrations in 1959.
The Journals from the 1940s include insights into the drastic reduction in membership during the war with a great recovery afterwards and the setting up of the summer Alpine Meet from 1947.
The Journals from the 1930s include insights into the effect of the financial crash on the Association and the expansion of activities in the UK.
I hope that you enjoy dipping into them.

Membership renewals - Over the past few months, the club has been migrating its membership database to a proprietary system (MemberMojo), both to provide increased functionality, and to improve the resilience of that function into the future.

BMC Membership update - How members receive their membership cards for 2020 and the process for members receiving Summit magazine are both different in this year due to the challenges the BMC is facing during the coronavirus crisis.
Members will be emailed with details about how to access their digital membership card later this month.
The next issue of the Summit magazine will be a digital-only edition, and BMC club members will be emailed directly during June with access details.

George Starkey Hut

Members can now apply to use the George Starkey Hut again! Please see the Hut website for full details of reopening.

The relevant Risk Assessment has been completed, and much effort has gone into cleaning and tidying the Hut, including packing excess items away and including closing off the book cases and blanket boxes. Advance Booking is absolutely essential. The full booking details are now available.

April 2020

In Switzerland: At its press conference on April 29, the Swiss Federal Council decided to relax from May 11, various measures relating to the state of "extraordinary situation". SAC are delighted because it means that the practice of mountain sports will again be possible under certain conditions.
Here is what it means for the different sectors:
SAC Huts: From May 11, mountain huts can open and resume operations. However, they must have a protocol indicating how they intend to comply with the current directives of the Federal Council. All the provisions decreed by the authorities must continue to be respected (in particular the rules of hygiene and distance, protective measures for hosts and collaborators, etc.). To find out which cabins are open please consult the website of the cabin concerned.

March 2020

We have a report on the first virtual meet in the clubs 111 year history. Mary has produced a great report, with photos of the New Members Virtual Meet that took place at the end of March.

In addition, two keen members managed to get on to training courses in January and March before the Coronavirus changed everything that we do. The report on the training completed by members has been updated with write ups from Julie Jones and Rick Snell.

The Annual Dinner was held at the Glenridding Hotel over the weekend 1-2 Febraury.
This year the weather was not kind, with high winds on the tops and squally heavy showers and variable visibility lower down! Nonetheless between 40 and 50 members and guests toughed it out and enjoyed a great weekend.
We were delighted to have David Johnson as our guest and in the cosiness of the Hotel Library heard about his Arctic expeditions.

Meet report and photos of the dinner are now available

Membership renewals - Over the past few months, the club has been migrating its membership database to a proprietary system (MemberMojo), both to provide increased functionality, and to improve the resilience of that function into the future. See further details in the club section in the left column.

Late in 2019 the Committee agreed to complete the digitising of the Journals from the founding year, 1909, to 1974. This work was completed in February 2020.
The Journals of the early years incorporating the founding of the Association to the end of the 1930s are now available. This series of Journals gives an interesting insight into a bygone age. I hope that you enjoy dipping into them.

St Patrick’s church in Patterdale (the one opposite the hut) have set up a foodbank and a Community Fund for the village to help people in the parish who have suddenly, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, found themselves in a financially difficult position through no fault of their own. See 'Publicity for Patterdale Community Fund’ for more details.

The Committee agreed that we would support the Community Fund to the value of £1000, and to allocate £250 each month for 4 months. This will spread cash over the period and it was felt this would be a better approach than a single sum.
James contacted the Morris, the priest in charge, and received this response today (2 April 2020).

Dear James Wow! Thank you very much for this act of generosity which is very much appreciated!
Please pass on our sincere thanks to the ABMSAC committee!
As you say, the loss of revenue in a village like this will have severe impacts on people, especially in the coming winter with no tourist trade in the spring/summer. The government grants will help some but not all here.
I am copying Rob, Lynn and our Treasurer into this response, as well as Mike and Marian.
Once again, our grateful thanks
All the best, Morris, Priest-in-Charge, St Patrick’s, Patterdale

Thanks to 'locals' Mike and Marian for bringing this to the clubs attention.

January 2020

In February 2019 the Committee introduced a Development and Training package to encourage members to develop their skills. We have received a report from Celine, who took part in a Plas Y Brenin five day Mountain Skills training in May and a summary of a navigation course undertaken by Howard.

In June the President, James, was invited to the SAC General Assembly meeting in Lugano. His report is attached.

A brief update on the Britannia Hut from the July edition of the Geneva Section monthly Bulletin. Many thanks to Pamela Harris-Andrews for the update.

September 2019


The Meets start at 7.30pm and are held in the Civil Service Club, Great Scotland Yard, SW1A 2HJ. Meals and drinks are available in the Club at reasonable prices. The first social meet of the series is on Tuesday 1st October 2019.

Please NOTE: There will still be free entry to all members of the ABMSAC, AAC(UK), FRCC and Rucksack Club, but such members will be required to show their Club membership card at the door of the room where the meeting is to be held, to demonstrate their entitlement.

Guests and anyone not carrying their card will be required to pay £3.

Details of the lectures

Tuesday 1 October - There is a change to the original lecture. The lecture will now be Ski Touring in Norway by Ewan Whitmey. This is an account of an 8 day ski tour crossing of Norway’s Hardangervidda National Park during the Beast-from-the-East winter of 2018, plus information on the skiing and winter climbing opportunities in various other Norwegian national parks.

Monday 4 November - Insights from my half century gear design and innovation career by Mike Parsons. Working with the all time greats of the climbing world; from Brown, Whillans and Haston, to Bonington, McIntyre, Littlejohn, Brailsford, Meare and more his story recalls memorable moments and the well known equipment that evolved from this collaboration. Mike was formerly owner/CEO and chief innovator at Karrimor until '96 and latterly founder of lightweight gear company OMM.

Monday 2 December - AV2² or Alta Via 2 times 2! by David Beer.
An illustrated talk describing 2 high-level, hut-to-hut traverses through the Italian Alps. The first Alta Via 2 is a 160km north to south route through the spectacular Dolomites including some technical protected sections. The second AV2 is a 140km east to west traverse through the snowier and less frequented Gran Paradiso National Park finishing in Courmayeur.

Tuesday 7 January - Exploration of Unclimbed Peaks in Kyrgyzstan by Jon Burgess.
In 2018, Jon travelled with Rob Reynolds to the Kuiluu range, part of the Tien Shan in South Eastern Kyrgyzstan. It was their first mountaineering expedition to the greater ranges. Jon will talk about their experience exploring the Oroy valley and their journey through this amazing country.

Tuesday 4th Feb - Trekking in Tajikistan by Judy Renshaw.
A trek in the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan. The first part of the route went through a remote area where the only people seen were nomadic shepherds and their families. Later it went into Tajikistan’s ‘lake district’ and higher mountain areas including an ascent of the Mazalat pass (about 4200m).

Tuesday 3rd March - A voyage to the Antarctic by John Dempster and Dinah Nichols.
John will provide some context about Antarctica and his interest in the British Antarctic Survey. Dinah will describe the voyage and the many and varied landings on the snow and ice, starting from Ushuaia in Argentina, across the Drake Passage, down the East side of the Antarctic Peninsula, South to cross the Antarctic Circle, and back via Cape Horn.

June 2019

The Journal has been sent to members at the end of June.

In the May edition of Les Alpes statistics have been presented for the 2018 overnights in SAC huts. The Britannia Hut came out top again, with a total of 7565 overnights (3153 winter and 4412 summer). The next highest was the Lämmeren Hut with 7138 overnights (2727 winter, 4411 summer), then the Konkordia 6688 (2969, 3719), Blümlisalp 6567 (112, 6435), and only two more over 6000, Terri 6038 and Kesch 6021, both in Graubunden. Thanks to Pamela for sending this in.

At this years AGM in February Andy Burton was elected Treasurer and Paul Stock was elected Meet Secretary. This election has meant that James is able to stand down as Treasurer after 16 years to concentrate on his role as President and Andy has now passed on the Meet Secreatary role after six years. A big thank you to both James and Andy. We welcome Paul to the Committee.
In addition,the committee proposed the introduction of a Development and Training package to encourage those who wish to develop their skills. The aim is to increase skills, promote the ABMSAC and increase membership. Details of the package have been finalised by Paul Stock and the committee and are in the financial assistance process document. The committee have now recieved applications from members.

The Annual Dinner was held at the Inn on the Lake at Glenridding over the weekend 1-3 Febraury. Snow fell on the Tuesday before and we were rewarded with fine clear days, but with patches of deep soft snow. The weather broke on the Sunday. Many members took advantage of the good weather and arrived earlier in the week. The hut was almost full!

On the Sunday morning of the Annual Dinner weekend a group of us met at the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Centre and handed over a donation cheque for £450. The Mountain Rescue Team had already decided to buy a specialist new lightweight 'Cas Bag'. The 'Cas Bag' will be used on rescues during the Spring and summer months.

Cicerone Press, the UK's leading outdoor activity guidebook publisher, will be 50 years old in March. They are planning celebrations through the year, and have already begun with the publication of a commemorative book, Fifty Years of Adventure, adding to their range of around 400 titles. The book has a range of over 50 interesting articles from guidebook writers accompanied with great photos.

A reminder: We have been invited to join in on the series of lectures organised by AC/SMC/JMCS in Edinburgh and Hathersage, Derbyshire by the AC this autumn/winter. Hopefully members who live in the area will be able to make use of this new venture.

October 2018


The Meets start at 7.30pm and are held in the Civil Service Club, Great Scotland Yard, SW1A 2HJ. Meals and drinks are available in the Club at reasonable prices. Lectures will be on Tuesday 2 October, Monday 5 November and Monday 3 December in 2018. In 2019 the lectures will be on Tuesday 8 January, Tuesday 5 February and Tuesday 5 March. Please make a note of the dates in your diary.

There is a slight change to the attendance of the meets. There will still be free entry to all members of the ABMSAC, AAC(UK), FRCC and Rucksack Club, but such members will be required to show their Club membership card at the door of the room where the meeting is to be held, to demonstrate their entitlement. Guests and anyone not carrying their card will be required to pay £3.

At the reception, members and guests alike will still be required to add their names and Clubs, in capitals, to the list that is kept on the front desk. Should anyone have any concerns or queries, please contact Maureen Stiller.

Details of lectures:

Tuesday 2 October, Keeping dry, staying warm – Mike Parsons. Mike’s talk, based on his book written with co-author Mary Rose, will give a brief history of outdoor clothing, the basic science, core technologies and modern practices, then look to the future with an explanation of emerging technologies, what to watch and wait for, what to be cautious about.

Monday 5 November, Exploration and First Ascents in the East Karakoram – Derek Buckle. In September 2016 Derek led an expedition to the Nubra Valley of Ladakh which explored the lower region of the Rassa Glacier, an area that had been visited only once previously by an Indian team. After establishing a high camp at 5675m, members of the party successfully made the first ascents of two attractive 6000m peaks that we subsequently called Lak Kangi and Thrung-ma Kangri.

Monday 3 December, A Remote Trek in Uttarkhand, India – Chris Loy and Andy Fisher. Chris and Andy will talk about their trek in May 2018 to the Kuari Pass. They will also cover some of the geographical and historical background, including Shipton and Tilman’s journey along this route in 1936 prior to their ascent of Nanda Devi.

Tuesday 8 January, Nature Protection in the Alpenverein - Tony Cooper' Liliana Dagostin, head of Land Planning and Nature Protection at the ÖAV, had planned to give this presentation on their work at the AAC(UK) 2018 AGM. It covers issues such as the huge pressure for development in the High Alps, making mountaineering greener, and coordinating the sections' volunteer Nature Protection Officers.

Tuesday 5 February, A Lake called Wanda and the John Muir Trail - Alan Schofield' Alan walked this long-distance footpath along the backbone of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California in 1992. 35mm slides have been scanned and include the flora and fauna of the region as well as ascents of Half Dome and Mt Whitney.

Tuesday 5 March, A trek in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania, Romania - Judy Renshaw. This trek included traverse routes across the Bucegi Plateau and along the Fagaras Ridge, including the summit of Moldoveanu, the highest point in Romania. In addition, Judy could not miss out Bran Castle, the legendary home of Count Dracula, the capital city Bucharest and the spectacular Danube Delta, which is one of the largest in the world and famous for its wildlife.

August 2018

The eagerly awaited Journal has been posted to members on 31 August. Editor.


We have been invited to join in on the series of lectures organised by AC/SMC/JMCS this autumn/winter. The lectures will be held on October 9, November 13, December 11, January 8, February 12 and March 12. The lectures will be held at 2 Quaker Meeting Rooms, 7 Victoria Street, Edinburgh EH1 2JL, start time 19:30.

Lectures in 2018
9 October, John Porter - A Brief Gold Light. The season begins with a talk by John Porter, current President of the Alpine Club. The ascent of the SW of Everest in 1975 occurred at the end of one era in British mountaineering - that of large, extravagant, national expeditions. In many ways these were an extension of the Great Game, and it was a national triumph. It proved that just about any expedition with enough money, oxygen, Sherpas and skilled manpower could succeed.
In the same year, the East Ridge of Dunagiri was climbed by Joe Tasker and Dick Renshaw. The ingredients for that remarkable 2 man unsupported 11 day up and down ascent were primarily determination and luck. While the national press revelled in the Everest ascent and the fact that we had once again beaten a load of other nations to the prize, the inheritors of the legacy of Tillman and Shipton went 'wow' on the Tasker Renshaw climb. It fired up a generation that nearly climbed itself into extinction.
A Brief Gold Light is the story of that generation covering the years from 1976-1986 from the Boardman/Tasker ascent of the West Face of Changabang to the disastrous evets on K2 when 13 climbers lost their lives including Alan Rouse and Julie Tullis. John Porter was both an observer and a participant in this story. His biography of Alex MacIntyre who dies on Annapurna in 1982 is part of this wider story.
13 November, Douglas Anderson - will describe the Anderson Family's East Greenland Voyages - the First 40 Years. Included in the packed programme will be mountain exploration, first ascents, glacier travel, polar bear encounters, toddling to summits with toddlers, pack ice navigation, owning your own home in Greenland etc etc. Surely one talk not to miss!
11 December, Murdoch Jamieson on Scottish Rock. Though climbing to a high standard in both summer and winter, in this talk he will be focusing on summer climbing on the Scottish crags and you can take it he will have some impressive photos to show us.

Lectures in 2019
8 January, Petticoats and Pinnacles - an illustrated talk by NLS curator Paula Williams who will delve into the National Library's collections, from manuscripts to film, to show how Scottish women have picked up their skirts and scaled the heights!
12 February, Derek Buckle - has organised numerous exploratory mountaineering expeditions to the Indian Himalaya where he and team members successfully climbed many major peaks for the first time. In 2016 and 2017 he eventually managed to secure climbing permits for the East Karakoram, a sensitive area for which access was severel restricted for non-Indian nationals until relatively recently. In this talk he will describe highlights from his two exploratory expeditions to the Nubra Valley region of Ladakh which resulted in the first ascents of several hitherto unclimbed 6,000 m peaks.
12 March, Members' Slides.

Contact or to confirm attendance.

In addition, there are a series of lectures at the Outside Cafe in Hathersage. Dates are as follows:
12 December, Mick Fowler - "No Easy Way - The challenging life of the climbing taxman"
10 January, Film - Mountains of Storm
13 February, Adele Long - "One Woman's Journey - Zanskar"
13 March, - TBA

Contact to confirm attendance.

A brief update on the Britannia Hut, from the July edition of the Geneva Section monthly Bulletin

“Christiane Ody, previously responsible for the Britannia Hut, is now President of the Geneva Section Huts Committee (responsible for all seven of their huts); Jacques Bondallaz and Marc Renaud are responsible for the Britannia Hut; Dario Andenmatten is BH guardian, having taken over from his mother Thérèse Andenmatten.

The Britannia Hut continues to be extremely successful: in 2017 there were 8149 overnights, equally divided between summer and winter, the highest number of overnights for any SAC hut. This is the first time since 2011 that any hut has had more than 8000 overnights.

During last year quite a lot of maintenance and improvement work took place. This included the modernisation of dormitories, replacement of entrance doors, roof insulation, and 12 more solar panels to replace those of 1996 on the south side.”

June 2018

I have been given some sad news. On Sunday 3 June Marion Armstrong died. Marion used to do a lot for the club including running the buffet meets at the hut, and was well-known to many club members.(I well remember the buffet meets at the hut, Editor).

Pamela Harris has sent in this article, Smuggling in the Haute Savoie,which links to the new guidebook Walking in the Haute Savoie North.

May 2018

A new guide book - The Mountain Hut book by Kev Reynolds has been published by Cicerone in April.

book This entertaining and informative book is a celebration of mountain huts. It explores their development from primitive and often squalid beginnings to a valuable network for people who venture into the mountains. It will appeal both to those new to the experience of staying in huts as well as old hands.

There are profiles of the author's 10 favourite huts in the Alps and Pyrenees, giving the best approach routes and suggestions for ascents and outings from them. 10 hut-to-hut walking tours of between 3 and 13 days duration are also outlined, including the Tour of Mont Blanc, Tour of the Bernina and the Alta Via 2.
What's inside? • directory of Alpine huts • profiles of top ten huts • outlines of hut-to-hut tours

The book is available from Cicerone Press for £14.95, ISBN: 9781852849283

February 2018

ABMSAC members Pamela Harris-Andrews and Alan Norton have been updating the walks for the new edition of WALKING in the DORDOGNE, just published by Cicerone Press.

The Dordogne is one of the most beautiful areas of France, named after the river that flows through its heart. With its mild climate and low rainfall it can be visited throughout the year, an extra bonus being the delicious food and wine. Walking here is very different from the Alps, for there are no high mountains or steep ascents, but it is no less interesting, with picturesque medieval towns to explore, spectacularly sited cliff-top castles, and some of the oldest prehistoric cave paintings in Europe.

The book describes 35 circular day walks, located in the four areas of Bergerac, Lalinde, Sarlat and Souillac. Each walk is accompanied by a detailed new sketch map and a profile plot, and there are many new photos.

The book is available from Cicerone Press for £14.95.


Further to the advance notice in April the next winter season social meets have been organised. The Meets start at 7.30pm and are held in the Civil Service Club, Great Scotland Yard, SW1A 2HJ. Meals and drinks are available in the Club at reasonable prices. Lectures will be on Tuesday 3 October, Monday 6 November and Monday 4 December in 2017. In 2018 the meets will be on Tuesday 2 January, Tuesday 6 February and Tuesday 6 March. Please make a note of the dates in your diary.

There is a slight change to the attendance of the meets. There will still be free entry to all members of the ABMSAC, AAC(UK), FRCC and Rucksack Club, but such members will be required to show their Club membership card at the door of the room where the meeting is to be held, to demonstrate their entitlement. Guests and anyone not carrying their card will be required to pay £3.

At the reception, members and guests alike will still be required to add their names and Clubs, in capitals, to the list that is kept on the front desk. Should anyone have any concerns or queries, please contact Maureen Stiller.

Details of lectures:
Tuesday 3 October: Snowcaps on the equator by Peter Payne: Africa’s three glaciated mountain areas and the world’s second biggest river and second largest tropical rainforest all lie within a few degrees of latitude of the equator. An account of climbs on Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya and the Mountains of the Moon from the 1990’s, before ‘climate change’, and of a journey ‘east along the equator’ up the Congo River, with some current updates.
Monday 6 November: TransAlp Ski III, 2017 by David Hamilton: David will talk about the third leg of his project to make a winter ski crossing of the Alps from the Mediterranean to Vienna. His route crossed the Engadin, Silvretta, Ötztal, Stubai, Zillertal, Hohe and Niedere Tauern ranges: 746km with 39,800m of ascent over 49 days with less than average snow cover.
Monday 4 December: Still Unexplored Vishnugarh Darh by Susan Jensen: The Vishnu’s Fortress is a ridge of mostly un-climbed peaks under 6000m lining the south of the Panpatia Glacier in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India, a reasonably accessible part of the Himalaya. Susan will give an account of potential climbing objectives from an expedition cut short by the illness of her companion.
Monday 8 January: Travels in the Mountains of Northern Nigeria by Stuart Beare (ABMSAC): Stuart will speak about his travels in the Northern Cameroons Trust Territory when he was a Plebiscite Supervisory Officer in 1960-61. Following the plebiscite, the Trust Territory became a province of the Northern Region of Nigeria.
Tuesday 6 February: The Cross – Swiss Walk by Ken Baldry (ABMSAC): Ken will talk about his journey from Austria to France entirely on foot.
Tuesday 6 March: Everest and Beyond: the changing face of adventure by Matt Dickinson: Matt is an award-winning film maker and writer who has worked extensively for Discovery Channel, National Geographic TV and the BBC. Using dramatic video clips and slides he looks back at adventures on Everest, in Antarctica and the Sahara Desert and examines the ways that adventure has changed in the last twenty years.

December 2017

A new edition of WALKING in the HAUTE SAVOIE: NORTH, revised and updated by ABMSAC members Alan Norton and Pamela Harris, has just been published by Cicerone Press. The book is available from Cicerone Press for £14.95, with a 25% discount until 19 December.
The companion guide Walking in the Haute Savoie: South has been similarly revised and was published in June.

The Haute Savoie, located south of Lake Geneva between Annecy and Chamonix, is an area of immense natural beauty and a walker’s paradise, criss-crossed by well-marked trails which are easy to follow. Walking in the Haute Savoie: North covers the Salève, Vallée Verte, Abondance, Morzine, and Bellevaux, and Walking in the Haute Savoie: South covers the area around Samoëns, Lake Annecy and the Chaîne des Aravis.
There are 30 circular day walks in each book, graded from easy to difficult. Many are suitable for walkers of all abilities, although some of the longer walks are more challenging, with a height gain of over 1000m and some exposed sections requiring a head for heights.
Each walk is accompanied by a detailed new sketch map and a profile plot, and there are many new photos, including some of ABMSAC members.

August 2017

The eagerly awaited Journal has been posted to members. Editor.

A new edition of WALKING in the HAUTE SAVOIE: SOUTH, revised and updated by ABMSAC members Alan Norton and Pamela Harris, has just been published by Cicerone Press. The book is available from Cicerone Press for £14.95, with a 25% discount until 30 June.
The companion guide Walking in the Haute Savoie: North has been similarly revised and will be published on 15th November.


New guide book "A Week in the Parc Ela" has been published by member Geoffrey Pocock.
It describes a week in the largest Swiss park: two day walks from Bivio, the pearl of the Graubunden, and a five day tour of the Park making use of hotels and huts. This is a region largely unspoilt by winter sports with a profusion of flowers and a wide variety of fauna. It is a walker's paradise.
This booklet has a concise description of all seven days' walking with 10 maps and 10 illustrations.
It is available from Amazon for £5.22 plus P&P.

We are very pleased to announce the latest updates to the George Starkey hut.

Six new windows have been fitted to the east side ( facing Side Farm) and the south side (adjoining the Old School House). See the Link which shows the pictures of both the old windows and the new ones fitted. The south end domed window looks so good it's a pity it's not more visible. This same window was leaking and causing damage to plaster on the end wall below it and this will be made good as part of the job.

In addition, the exterior of the hut and downstairs lounge area will be painted. Also the existing lighting will be replaced with long life lighting which is very easy to access and replace (which the existing light bulbs are often not)
Total project cost c£9,000.

This decorating work to be completed before the maintenance meet, in early September. This means that the jobs for the maintenance weekend will be smaller and all doable within the weekend.

April 2017

LONDON JOINT CLUBS SOCIAL MEETS 2017/18 - advance notice

The next winter season social meets to be held in the Civil Service Club, Great Scotland Yard, SW1A 2HJ will be on Tuesday 3 October, Monday 6 November and Monday 4 December in 2017. In 2018 the meets will be on Tuesday 2 January, Tuesday 6 February and Tuesday 6 March.

The Meets start at 7.30 pm and meals and drinks are available in the Club at reasonable prices.

Please make a note of the dates in your diary.

There is a slight change to the attendance of the meets. There will still be free entry to all members of the ABMSAC, AAC(UK), FRCC and Rucksack Club, but such members will be required to show their Club membership card at the door of the room where the meeting is to be held, to demonstrate their entitlement. Guests and anyone not carrying their card will be required to pay £3.

At the reception, members and guests alike will still be required to add their names and Clubs, in capitals, to the list that is kept on the front desk. Should anyone have any concerns or queries, please contact Maureen Stiller.

All members are asked to consider giving an illustrated talk, wherever their mountaineering adventures take them, whatever the activity, whatever the time of year. Attendees have a wide interest! If you would like to do so, please contact Michael Murray (

January 2017

On Saturday 14th January, Keswick Museum opened their new exhibition to the public. The exhibition includes new photographs by Henry Iddon featuring black and white images of contemporary rock climbing, landscapes and portraits. They were taken with an ultra large format antique Underwood ’Instanto’ camera previously owned and used in the early 1900’s by the pioneers of British mountain landscape and climbing photography George and Ashley Abraham. The new work is accompanied by original work by the Abraham brothers, along with equipment and items that reflect the technological changes in action sports and landscape photography.
The exhibition will be open until 12 May and the Museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm. Cost is £4.
Further details are at the George Fisher website.

George Starkey Hut in the SAC monthly journal! Each month the Swiss Alpine Club Journal LES ALPES includes an article entitled ‘An Historic Milestone’, featuring an event which happened the same month in the past. For October 2016 the article features the George Starkey Hut, as it was inaugurated in the month of October.
Written by SAC historian Daniel Anker and translated by Pamela Harris, the article also has a link to the ABMSAC website and is accompanied by a photo of Marian Parsons, the ‘hut warden’, opening the door of the hut.

December 2016


The winter lecture series will be held at the Civil Service Club, 13-15 Great Scotland Yard, London, SW1A 2HJ. The club has a bar with bar-meals. There is also a restaurant - 2-course meal is £13.00, 3-course meal is £16.00. Talks start at 7:30 p.m. Attendance is free to both members and guests.

The lectures will be:

Monday December 5 Cathy O'Dowd of the AAC. Cathy will be telling the story of the May 2016 AAC/ESC expedition to Mount Logan. The team did a successful ski ascent via the Kings Trench. At 5959m Logan is the highest peak in Canada and the second highest in North America. Situated on the Yukon/Alaska border, it is notorious for bad weather and sees relatively few ascents.

Tuesday January 3 Dominic Oughton of the RC : Route 66 - A climbing road trip across the Southern USA. Some highlights from a 2-month, 10,000 mile road trip across the southern US, featuring climbing in some of America's most famous crags including New River Gorge, Red River Gorge, and Hueco. Tanks and less well known spots along this iconic route.

Tuesday February 7 Rose Pearson of the AAC The West Ridge of Taulliraju, Peru. First Ascent by a team of New Zealand Climbers.

Tuesday March 7 Judy Renshaw of the TCC: Trekking in Peru plus a few extras.

June 2016

At the end of June Mike Parsons took several photos of the Hut after completion of 'Phase 1' of the renewals/upgrade.

journal The Journal was sent to members end of June, Editor.

A new walk has been set up to encourage visitors to the Ullswater area - the Ullswater Way. The walk makes use of the lake steamer for shorter walks or you can try the full 20 walk. Details are on

The BMC were looking for members to raise £100,000 for environmental projects on some of Britain's most iconic peaks with their new campaign Mend our mountains.
The ABMSAC donated £1000 towards the appeal. You will be pleased to know that over £100,000 has been donated/pledged to the BMC. For more information go to

You might be interested to read the article Pam Harris wrote on Bhutan, entitled 'Bhutan Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon', that has been recently published on the Blog site of Cicerone Press.

March 2016

Mend our mountains BMC campaign

In the recent BMC magazine, Summit Issue 81, there is an article 'Mend Our Mountains'. Please take time to read it.

The BMC are looking for members to raise money for environmental projects on some of Britain's most iconic peaks.
If you wish to help the BMC raise at least £100,000 then go to

February 2016

George Starkey Hut
We are pleased to report no damage to the hut at all from the recent storms and maybe it was fortunate that all roof light windows had just been replaced.

Phase 1 of the Hut upgrade continues.
A new front door and lock was fitted in early December. Plus we have a new feature, an outdoor key safe, which is positioned to the right of the lock and holds a key accessed by a code. Replacement keys will be supplied FOC to those members (including TCC) who originally paid for an old one - but you need to apply to Don Hodge please, it’s not automatic.
The outdoor key safe is primarily to help hut users without a key who expect to arrive after the White Lion closes. The safe is opened by a 4 digit code which will be given out by the Hut warden to hut party leaders and on request to members.
A new multi fuel burner has been fitted in the lounge area. It was fitted in time for the Annual Dinner weekend and was put to good use!

BMC multiple membership refund form

If you are a paid up member of more than one BMC affiliated organisation, you can reclaim the additional membership payments you have made. To claim a refund, please complete the form and return it to the BMC.
To qualify for a refund the BMC must receive your claim by the 30 June 2016.

Please note: if you have claimed back your multiple fees previously, there is no need to make a new claim. The BMC will check your data and provided all your organisations have paid your subscription to the BMC for the current year, the BMC will send you an automatic refund after 30 June 2016.

September 2015


The autumn and winter lecture series will be held at the Civil Service Club, 13-15 Great Scotland Yard, London, SW1A 2HJ. The club has a bar with bar-meals. There is also a restaurant - 2-course meal is £13.00, 3-course meal is £16.00. Talks start at 7:30 p.m. Attendance is free to both members and guests.

The lectures will be:

Tuesday, October 6 Oksfjord Expedition 1970. The story of the City of Leicester Polytechnic’s climbing and scientific expedition to the ice-caps of Arctic Norway’s Oksfjord peninsula. First ascents, accidents, science, rampaging reindeer and more by Neil Harwood of the RC.
Monday, November 2 Exploratory mountaineering in the Djanghart Valley, Kyrgyzstan by Paul Padman of the AAC.
Monday, December 7 Ascent of the North Face of the Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey by Simon Kemper of the AAC. The Aiguille Blanche is considered the most difficult and serious of the alpine 4000-m mountains.
Tuesday, January 5 Climbing all of the Alpine 4000-metre peaks by David Wynne-Jones of the FRCC.
Tuesday, February 2 “Falling and other Mountain Journeys” by Martin Cooper of the FRCC.
Tuesday, March 1 Ethiopia, its history and the Simien mountains by Peter Clarkson of the TCC.

February 2015


The official opening of the bouldering wall was on Friday 30 January. Over 100 climbers and friends were invited by the Yeovil Mountaineering Club for the official opening of the Bouldering Wall in memory of Mike Pinney. The wall was built by generous donation from Margaret Moore, Mikes sister, and Sherborne Girls School.

Following a donation from Mike’s sister Margaret Moore and her husband Nicholas, the Yeovil Mountaineering Club (YMC) has built a 4.2 metre long bouldering wall at the Oxley Sports Centre, Bradford Road, Sherborne. The official opening involved speeches from senior staff at the school and the Yeovil Mountaoneering Club chairman, Rick Snell and an old friend, Gerry Martyn.


Rick Snell, a friend of Mr Pinney’s for more than 40 years, said: “Mike was always the most modest and generous man, and a careful climber. He was always keen to encourage others, and would be delighted to know that some of his estate had been used to just this purpose. Although not a great user of bouldering walls himself it would have given him great pleasure to know that he was responsible for this addition to our club’s ability to develop climbers’ skills and maybe encourage more people to start a sport which might lead to “proper” climbing. I’m sure he would have been one of the first to give the new wall a try.”

Moira Lyons-Montgomery, who knew Mr Pinney for around ten years, speaking on behalf of the YMC she said: “We had already been working towards putting a bouldering wall in the Oxley but it is thanks to the incredibly generous donation from Mike’s family that the project has finally come to fruition. I think this is a wonderful way for everyone to remember Mike. He did a lot of work with young climbers and I’m sure he would be happy to know that this facility will be used by future generations of young climbers.”

The Moore family
Nicholas, Margaret and Chris Moore
the wall
the bouldering wall in action

After the official opening, see pictures above, the wall was eagerly used by a number of people - including our president Ed (guess which one is Ed).

Representing the ABMSAC were Ed Bramley, Andy Burton, Belinda and James Baldwin and Mike and Anne Goodyer. It was a very friendly evening meeting up with old and new friends. The evening concluded with a group of over twenty enjoying supper in an Italian restuarant.

The quotes are from the Western Gazette. Read more in Western Gazette

December 2014


I have received the following from Pamela Andrews.

For some years the terrace in front of the Britannia Hut had been gradually sliding downhill and was in urgent need of stabilising. Dario Andenmatten, the warden, was looking for financial support for this when, purely by chance, Frutiger, a construction company in Thun, was looking for a camp for their young apprentices and a project to help the SAC. And so, for a period of four weeks in September, 60 apprentices and their supervisors worked at the hut, each for one week.


Frutiger paid for the labour and food for the apprentices so that the Geneva Section had only to pay for the gabions (wire mesh containers to fill with rocks) and their transport by helicopter. The weather was good for most of the time, though on occasions the apprentices had to endure violent winds, cold and even snow. The Geneva Section is most grateful to Frutiger and the apprentices for their help in this project.

the hut and terrace the terrace

The enlarged terrace, with its magnificent view up to the Rimpfischhorn, is now ready to receive visitors, and those who have been to the hut in the past know that, with this view, a drink or lunch outside in the sunshine is an unforgettable experience.


Many of you own walking guides by Cicerone Press, the publishing company started by Walt Unsworth in 1967 with a climbing guide to the Lake District. Since this time the company has expanded greatly and now offers over 320 guides for walking, trekking, climbing and cycling. Alasdair owned 150 of these guides, and they were invaluable in helping us plan alpine meets each summer, as well as the trekking meets to Nepal and Bhutan.

When he first brought over Janette Norton’s Walking in the Haute Savoie and Walking in Provence, I little thought that I would one day be involved in helping to write these myself. But when I met Janette in 2002 she was in the process of re-doing all the walks in the Haute Savoie book in order to divide it into two volumes, and welcomed assistance. So I started walking with her, and quickly realised how much work goes into each book.

Some years later Cicerone agreed that she could divide Walking in Provence into two volumes in the same way, with the addition of two new regions, and Alasdair and I started to do some of the walks for her. We had already used the book for our walking holidays in the Alpes Maritimes, and on our next visits walked with a GPS and updated the text. After Alasdair died I continued to walk with Janette, making several visits to her house in the Drôme Provençale, but then Janette herself was diagnosed with cancer and died in January 2013.

Sadly she had no time to finish the books, and her husband Alan planned to finish them in her memory. I agreed to help, and after months of work we were finally able to take the first proofs down to Cicerone Press in the Lake District in person. The books are now in print, and available from both Cicerone and Amazon. Alasdair’s help is acknowledged too, and there is a photo of him, taken by Janette, in one of the books.

west east The two books are Walking in Provence West, covering the regions of Drôme Provençale, Vaucluse and Var, and Walking in Provence East, covering the regions of Alpes Maritimes, Alpes de Haute-Provence and the northern section of the Mercantour Park. There are 30 walks in each book, and each walk includes a detailed route guide, map and profile plot, with information on interesting places visited en route and lots of colour photographs. The walks themselves are all circular day walks and are graded easy, medium and difficult. The books also include what I think is an interesting introduction on the History of Provence, Writers and Artists, Plants and Flowers, Wildlife, Regional specialities and Markets, as well as practical information on travel, when to go, accommodation, etc.

Provence is a beautiful part of France to visit at any time of the year, even in the winter, and the guides give a good introduction to the possibilities of walking there.

Either or both of the guides can be bought from Cicerone Press at a 25% discount to members. Please use the code PP06167 at the checkout.

MOUNTAIN VIEWS - A Lifetime’s Enjoyment, Rupert Hoare, 2011, Vertebrate Publishing. Review by Roger Newson

mountain views This book was presented to attendees at the ABMSAC Summer Hotel Meet in Pontresina in by Jay Turner*, Rupert Hoare’s widow. The book was written in the last few months of Rupert’s life before his untimely death from cancer at the age of 56.

I much appreciated and enjoyed and would highly recommend to other members of ABMSAC this remarkable account of walking, climbing, mountaineering and ski-mountaineering in many of the world’s most renowned mountainous regions. Included are wide-ranging descriptions of Rupert Hoare’s lifelong mountain experiences and achieving many difficult and challenging goals, richly illustrated with over one hundred and fifty outstanding photographs. Rupert’s favourite areas are the Alps and Scottish Highlands but he also describes adventures in many other places such as the Pyrenees, Corsica, Japan, Iran, Malaysia, New Zealand and, not least, the Brenta Dolomites where the ABMSAC summer hotel meet is planned in July 2015.

Evident throughout is Rupert’s love of mountains and his elation and pleasure in reaching the final goal, the sublime views and scenery, the magnificent natural beauty - but his writing is realistic, emphasising the often major efforts and struggles, as well as occasionally tense and dangerous moments, which can be involved in climbing significant summits. Extra spice is added by the author’s recollection of personal details and feelings and of his friends and family.

The book was written in the last few months of Rupert’s life and published just before his untimely death in September 2011. Copies may be obtained from *Jay Turner or through Amazon.

* Jay was also very active in mountaineering sports and is a member of the Alpine Club. She now regularly participates in the ABMSAC Summer Hotel Meet.

May 2013

Car Parking issues in the Peak District

Andy Burton sends me the following:
You may be aware that the whole of the former North Lees Estate land management has been entrusted to a partnership between the National Trust and the RSPB. Marcus and I parked at the Birchens car park recently and they are installing a parking meter there.
I rang the RSPB rep for the area and she confirmed that all the car parks that they take over will be free of charge to either RSPB or National Trust members on displaying a current membership card in their windscreen. This will eventually encompass the whole area from Stanage right down to Birchens.

Editor - Andy will update me on other car parks the car parks when he finds any other changes to the parking charges.

SAC commemorative stamps – 150 years of SAC

I have received the following from Pamela Andrews.

swiss stamp

The Swiss Post Office has issued SAC commemorative stamps.
They are available from There is a link in English. It is easier to find them by clicking on the date of issue which was 07/03/2013. The information was in the February edition of Les Alpes so all SAC members should already know about it.

Hello Switzerland

I have received the following from Pamela Andrews.

The magazine “Hello Switzerland”, which is published free in Switzerland for ex-pats, recently ran an article about the Centenary of the Britannia Hut and the Associations involvement with it. Our President has a copy of the magazine. The editor lives in Grimentz and is coming to the meet at Saas-Almagell. A copy of the article is available for your review.

February 2013

In Commemoration of Alasdair Andrews (1939 – 2011)

AIA Commemoration In April 2011, a group of ABMSAC members, including Alasdair and Pamela, were in Bhutan where they visited the Choki Traditional Art School. They were all impressed by the work of the Choki family in helping disadvantaged students, by the school's goals, the hard work of the students, and the dedication of the teachers. On 15 November 2011 Alasdair passed away.

In his commemoration, Pamela and her friends raised funds to support a new Computer Classroom at the school. The new Alasdair Andrews Classroom was inaugurated on 16 May 2012 at the 12th anniversary of the school. Photographs of building the classroom.

The Choki Traditional Art School in Bhutan thanks Pamela and her friends for their generous contributions towards the new classroom, which will enhance the skills of all students at the school.

Pam plans to go back to Bhutan in October 2013, to visit the school and also to go further east to the Bumthang area which the group did not visit before, staying in hotels and doing some trekking. This will not be an official ABMSAC meet, but she is hoping to find a group of friends to accompany her. If anyone is interested, please contact Pamela Harris-Andrews.

Britannia Hut 1912 – 2012 Centenary Book.

Centenary Book This commemorative book is produced by the Geneva Section of the SAC to celebrate the centenary of the Britannia Hut. Written in 3 languages (French, German, English), it consists of 110 pages with numerous photographs. There are sections on the evolution of the building from 1912 to the present day, on the people associated with it, and on the effects of climate change. Tribute is paid to the close relationship between the Geneva Section and the ABMSAC who gifted the hut to the Geneva Section at its inauguration, and who have continued their support over the years.

The accompanying DVD covers the years from the 1960's with detailed sections on the 75th anniversary celebrations of the ABMSAC in 1984 and the inauguration of the new hut in 1997, and contains previously unpublished photos of the hut and its environs taken from the air.

Sales: Since I helped with this book, the Geneva Section has asked me to coordinate sales in the UK.

The cost of the book with DVD is £20.00 (without postage), to order contact Pamela Harris-Andrews.
Pam can bring books to the Annual Dinner so you can buy one after you have had a chance to see a copy.