Grant provides major boost for our centenary plans

13th February, 2020

Great news! We’ve been awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £70,000, to create a multimedia archive to mark our centenary in 2021.

The funding, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, will enable us to bring to life and protect 100 years of our fascinating and inspiring history and make it accessible to all.

It is the first National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of this kind awarded to a climbing club. The project will also see the first dedicated oral collection on climbing in the British Library Sound Archive.

When the Pinnacle Club was founded in 1921, women climbing independently from men was very unusual. The Club’s development over the last century is an illustration of the journey of female emancipation and independence. This history is embodied in journals, photographs, films, letters and the memories of our members, some now in their 80s and 90s.

Using the National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, we will make oral history recordings with members, digitise our extensive photo archive, repurpose historic film materials and commission a new film to chart the Club’s development – and women’s climbing – over the last century, as well as look to the next 100 years.

Supporting the ‘Women in the Wild’ project are the Mountain Heritage Trust and Bangor University Library, who will house the club’s hard copy photos and documents.  Through a partnership with National Life Stories at the British Library, the oral history recordings will all become part of the Library’s extensive oral history collection within the Sound Archive. 

Nancy Smith on Glyder Fach in 1961

Pinnacle Club President, Alex Nicholson, said: “Preserving the Club’s history and making it more accessible helps to rebalance the narrative of climbing history, which is primarily about men. Without this financial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project just wouldn’t be possible. We hope the archive will help to highlight women’s longstanding involvement and achievements in the sport as independent climbers in their own right.”

Anne Jenkins, Director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to support the Pinnacle Club in recording and preserving its 100-year strong heritage, and sharing the fascinating and important stories of their members who embody female strength and independence. This grant, made possible by the National Lottery players, ensures that the voices and memories of this community can be heard for generations to come.”

The project also aims to reach beyond the climbing community through exhibitions and outreach events, to inspire women of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in the outdoors and in climbing in particular.

Club member and Centenary coordinator, Val Hennelly, said: “In 1921 our members broke the mould and we want to carry on doing that. Being able to access our heritage better will mean we can share our stories more easily and inspire women to be more adventurous and get out into the mountains.”

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Climbing: a collaborative poem, Annual Dinner 2019

11th February, 2019

At the 2019 Pinnacle Club dinner at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal, our after dinner speaker (and Pinnacle Club member) Dr Julie Carter engaged us all in an experiment. She asked us individually to visualise ourselves climbing a favourite route and to then jot down on paper the name of the route and a few words describing how we felt about it. Our pieces of paper were then collected and Julie promised to make a poem from them. She has used almost all the words we wrote and has not added anything more. I hope you agree that the result is pretty amazing – a tribute to the power of collective imagination. Thanks, Julie!

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The Welsh 3000s: A Short Tale of Joy and Joyful Despair

8th January, 2019

Freddie’s Blog

What follows is a Blog written at the request of the President after she agreed for Freddie to stay at Cwm Dyli in order to attempt the Welsh 3000s as a tribute to his Great Grandmother, Daloni Seth Hughes, who was a member of the Pinnacle Club from 1931. The attempt did not go well but makes for an entertaining read and is a cautionary tale for those tempted to celebrate too early!  Read the rest of this entry »

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Dip into the Library at Cwm Dyli for some inspiration….

30th July, 2018

From Nea Morin to Gwen Moffat, the Pinnacle Club has a long history of women who have combined literary and climbing talents. Now Julie Carter has joined this illustrious crew with her new book Running The Red Line. Like Moran (in A Woman’s Touch) and Moffat (in Space Beneath My Feet) before her, she weaves together autobiographical details with inspirational insight about her sporting endeavours. In Julie’s case, focusing on fell running and as well as climbing – surgically analysing the factors that impact her ability to push herself to her physical and psychological limits. In doing so, she generously shares her hard-won insights which have a resonance beyond physical activity and offer an approach to life.

Whether you are a runner, a climber or neither it would be difficult not to enjoy her engaging writing style and self-effacing wit.

If you want to own your very own copy Julie’s book is available at www.needlesports.com amongst other outlets. BUT all of the books mentioned above and many more are available for Pinnacle Club members to read in the library of Cwm Dyli, our hut beneath Snowdon. Many of the historic books and journals are now housed at the Bangor University Library – but the library at Cwm Dyli has a wide range of guidebooks, instructional and information books as well as some inspirational reads.

We have also had a recent donation of an additional set of journals, many dating from the 1950s,60s and 70s which are available for all to browse and make a fascinating read.

So dip in and enjoy!

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