British Women Climb

Gwen Moffat
© Johnnie Lees Collection, supplied by the Mountain Heritage Trust

29th September 2017-16th September 2018, Keswick Museum

The Mountain Heritage Trust are pleased to announce that their new British Women Climb exhibition will open at Keswick Museum on the 29th September 2017. From pioneering travellers, to bold adventurers and elite athletes; the exhibition focuses on the experiences of women climbers, their challenges to social expectations, and their mountaineering achievements across history.

Early female figures

Early female figures in the 1800s not only confronted extreme mountain environments, but also extensive hostility from the male-only clubs of the time. Through continued persistence they broke onto the scene and logged some of the most ambitious ascents of the period, paving the way for all-female climbing teams that tackled Europe’s highest peaks in the 1920s and Himalayan expeditions as early as 1950.

To climb, women had to change attitudes across the social spectrum, challenging everything from the way they dressed, to the way they were perceived. The first female ascent of Mont Blanc in 1808 was soon followed with the Eiger and Matterhorn in 1864 and 1871. By the early 20th century Elizabeth Le Blond, Emily ‘Pat’ Kelly and Eleanor Winthrop Young were founding the first all-female climbing clubs.

An exciting range of historic artefacts

The exhibition includes an exciting range of historic artefacts: Lake District icon Mabel Barker’s rope and boots, original Ladies’ Alpine Club artefacts, and loans from the Fell and Rock Climbing Club, the Pinnacle Club and world bouldering champion Shauna Coxsey.

The exhibition will run from 29th September 2017-16th September 2018.

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