Mick Fowler will chair the question and answer session

Mick Fowler will chair the question and answer session

The world’s oldest mountaineering club will move north – temporarily – for an evening in the company of festival goers later this year.

Some of the country’s top climbers will join in a question and answer session at the Evening with the Alpine Club event at Keswick Mountain Festival.

Mick Fowler, the ‘climbing taxman’, who is president of the Alpine Club, will chair the event, which will also see appearances by Sir Chris Bonington, Andy Houseman and Simon Yates, the man who famously cut the rope of Joe Simpson on Siula Grande, effectively saving both their lives.

The Alpine Club panel will take questions from the audience on a wide range of matters, and discuss and debate hot topics from the world of climbing.

In addition Sir Chris and Mr Fowler will be taking to the stage either side of the Alpine Club session, to entertain audiences with stories from their long careers.

Likely topics for discussion are the Compressor Route controversy, which blew up around Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk’s removal of more than 100 bolts which had been drilled into Cerro Torre in Patagonia in 1970 by Italian mountaineer Cesare Maestri using a compressor he hauled up the mountain.

Commercial climbing and its pros and cons will also be up for debate as more and more guided parties tackle routes once climbed without professional help, especially Everest.

The London-based Alpine Club was formed in 1857 and clergymen made up almost a quarter of its membership in its early years.

Tickets are on sale separately for the Alpine Club event and the two talks by Sir Chris Bonington and Mick Fowler.

The events will take place on Saturday 19 May, with the festival running from 16 May to 20 May, sponsored by Dare 2b.

More details are on the Keswick Mountain Festival website.

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