Top mountaineer Alan Hinkes is to be patron of the first Festival of the Fells to be staged in Ambleside this autumn.
Alan, the first Briton to climb all the world’s 8000m mountains, is an international mountain guide, writer, photographer, environmentalist and an active campaigner for a number of charities. He will also give a guest lecture at the festival, which will be held in the town from September 22-25.
The festival will include guided walks at high, mid and low levels, abseiling and ghyll-scrambling, guided swims, exhibitions, music and comedy. It is being organised by Ambleside Together whose ‘Love Ambleside’ campaign was launched earlier this year to help the town’s economy recover from the effects of the winter storms.
Awarded the OBE in 2006, Alan Hinkes is an Honorary Citizen of his home town, Northallerton, and holds honorary doctorates and fellowships from the Universities of York, Teesside and Sunderland. Though based in North Yorkshire, he spends a lot of time on the Lakeland fells and rocks.
In his book ‘8000m: Climbing the World’s Highest Mountains’ Alan recounts his expeditions, from the first British ascent of Manaslu to the final climb on storm-bound Kangchenjunga. Most of the climbs were made Alpine-style, as part of small, lightweight expeditions. A number of summits, including K2 and Kangchenjunga, were climbed solo.
Festival organising committee member Clive Hutchby, who is currently revising Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells and who also will be giving a talk at the festival, said: “We are delighted to have the biggest name in British mountaineering associated with our new event. It promises to be an exciting festival and we hope that it will become an annual highlight for Ambleside.”