Historic mountaineering images archive created

By Steven McKenzie
BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

HillwalkersImage source, Ian Dawson

A National Archive of Historic Mountaineering Images is to be launched by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) later this year.

The searchable digital collection will include images taken using glass plate photography 160 years ago.

Glasgow-born climber, keen photographer and founder of Rab mountain clothing, Rab Carrington, has been helping to head up the project.

It will be officially unveiled at the Kendal Mountain Festival in November.

Among the oldest images that will be available to the public in the archive were taken by brothers George and Ashley Abraham of the Lake District in the late 19th Century.

Pictures of Gwen Moffat, Britain's first female mountain guide, will also feature.

Other photographs have been provided by climbing clubs, including the Alpine Club and Fell and Rock Climbing Club.

'Hobnail boots'

Mr Carrington told BBC News Scotland online that one of the features of the archive would be that it would show the changes in climbing styles over the centuries.

He said: "We have already obtained permission to put a range of images from the Alpine Club and Fell and Rock, and the Abraham Brothers family will be making a strong contribution.

"The Climbers Club have also chipped in with some 1950s images of Gwen Moffat climbing in the style of that day.

"We will now be seeking to have further representation from private individuals depicting Himalayan achievements from the 1970s right up to getting cutting edge first ascents from 2010s.

"The archive will show how styles of climbing have changed over the last 150-160 years, from the use of hobnail boots to plimsolls and bare feet to the footwear worn by today's climbers."

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