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.

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.