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The Pinnacle Club Journal.

No. 1[-15].

[No place], published by the Pinnacle Club, 1924-73 Stock Code: 131221

A continuous run of journals published by one of the earliest British women-only climbing clubs

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First editions, a scarce mountaineering set; a continuous run of the first fifteen journals published by one of the earliest British women-only climbing clubs, with contributions from leading female climbers such as Eleanor Winthrop Young, Dorothy Pilley, Nea Morin, and Dorothea Gravina. Copac locates continuous runs at just seven institutions, and incomplete sets at Aberdeen and Trinity College Dublin; OCLC locates none outside the UK.
At a time when women were excluded from most climbing clubs, avid climber Emily 'Pat' Kelly founded the Pinnacle Club in 1921 to represent women who felt otherwise discontent at their relative lack of executive power and representation within the Fell & Rock Climbing Club, established in 1906 and open to both genders. Kelly "felt that in this, as in all other things, woman must work out her own salvation, and that there would be no real development for her in the art of climbing rocks until she did. Kindness and help from men climbers are not sufficient" (No. 1, p. 2). In particular the club aimed to develop a more professional attitude to difficult mountaineering and to encourage more women to lead on climbs. It was an instant success and remains popular to this day. The first journal appeared in 1924, edited by Lilian E. Bray and Pilley, and the club continues to issue volumes every three years. With their detailed descriptions of meets and the routes undertaken, complemented by the inclusion of striking photographs of its members and the challenges they faced, the journal offers a unique insight into how the club was pushing the boundaries in women's climbing during this period.

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15 volumes, octavo. Original printed card wrappers, the first two vols. buff, the remaining pale blue. Nos. 1-11 with a consistent illustrated front cover design, nos. 12, 13, 15 plain, no. 14, the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, with a graphic front cover designed by Frances Tanner.


Extensively illustrated with black and white photographic plates, smaller photographic reproductions to the text.


No. 15 with a photocopied letter from the then-Club Librarian, Jo Fuller, laid in, requesting that members return missing books. Misprint to spine and front cover of no. 7 identifying it as "No. 6", this corrected in pencil on the front. All in very good condition.


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