Pinnacle Club AGM 2024

Pinnacle Club AGM 2024

On Saturday, 27 January 2024, the Pinnacle Club, a UK club “for women climbers since 1921” held their Annual Dinner and AGM, with a kind invitation to IMC representatives Petrina Concannon and Sue Packer marking the kindred clubs relationship that we now share.

Taking place at the impressive Rydal Hall near Ambleside in the Lake District, the weekend activities kicked off early Saturday morning with groups going bouldering or hillwalking. Back at base there was much to offer, including yoga, a short film screening, and afternoon tea. There was a clear focus on sustainability with a gear repair workshop and a second-hand gear sale.

The AGM took place in the beautiful stone-walled Barn, led by President Penny Clay’s dry wit and impeccable timekeeping (qualities of immeasurable importance). Business of the day was seen to, and everyone scrubbed up and turned out for dinner, which was served in the beautiful dining rooms in the main house. The dinner menus featured various artworks that had been contributed by club members, including one from our very own Rose Marie Daly featuring a photo of Gerard O’Sullivan. Other dinner guests present included website designer Nevil Hewitt and Lynn Liu from Not So Trad – a London based club for LGBTQ+ climbers. Dinner was followed by toasts and speeches and presentations of Honorary memberships. We lucky guests were also presented with a gift of a specially handmade Pinnacle Club centenary beeswax food wrap – a genuine essential for sustainability in the mountains!

Then on to the bar for the annual raffle, which was an exciting and fast paced tribute to the creativity and generosity of members with many practical and sustainable prizes such as gear repair kits, wildflower seeds, tshirts, chalkbags, and more beeswax food wraps to name a few. This part of the day was, perhaps, a rare example of the limitations of a group of mainly females; the ability to shout out the winning ticket numbers loud enough to be heard successfully over the chatter and excitement of a large group of women climbers!

The itinerary continued on Sunday with a hands-on introduction to the Pinnacle Club’s new website, kindly voluntarily redesigned by Nevil Hewitt. One only has to visit the website to understand how energetic and organised this wonderful group of women climbers and mountaineers are, with over 30 meets already planned and displayed on their homepage for 2024, including a joint meet with the Irish Mountaineering Club to be held in May 2024.

Another screening of a short film featuring long time Pinnacle Club member Denise Evans, who had recently passed, was shown in the barn. Then club member and journal editor Julie hosted a writing workshop for anyone interested in writing a contribution to the Pinnacle Club journal. (You may have guessed by my mediocre style of writing that I missed that event, sadly).

The highlight of Sunday was the annual Presidents Walk, a looped walk around Rydal Water including an optional coffee stop and featuring plenty of happy chatter. It has been the tradition of the club to hold an annual Presidents Walk alongside the AGM each year, suitable for all members young and younger to take part in together.

The entire weekend was meticulously planned by club member Diane Kitchen, who’s attention to detail maximised ways that members could contribute to and engage with the occasion. Diane’s energy and warm welcome to each member and guest was genuinely heartfelt.

The weekend was marked with ceremony, tradition and celebration, a merging of old and new, stories and history. The sense of togetherness and engagement was truly heartwarming. What struck me most was the energy and kindness among this wonderful group of women climbers and mountaineers, something that is forged in their shared experience and passion for adventure.

Petrina and Sue would like to thank Jan Rickman for her company, endless driving, hiking and kindness throughout the weekend. Also thanks to the Pinnacle Club for giving us the opportunity to share their wonderful event, and to the IMC for supporting not only the trip but the continued relationship that our clubs hope to forge for many adventures to come.

The Pinnacle Club will host a meet for IMC members in their Emily Kelly Hut (also known as Cwm Dyli) in Nant Gwynant below Snowdon on 3-6 May 2024. Places will be limited so please register early if you would like to attend this wonderful meet.

Register Here

By Sue Packer