Gwen Moffat in action. Photo: Gwen Moffat

Gwen Moffat in action. Photo: Gwen Moffat

A film about a journey following in the footsteps of Britain’s pioneering first woman mountain guide has been shortlisted for an award.

Operation Moffat, a 20-minute short by Jen Randall, is inspired by the colourful life of Gwen Moffat, now 91 years old.

In the film, Ms Randall and writer Claire Carter scramble, swim and climb barefoot through Ms Moffat’s most cherished British landscapes, grappling with her preference for mountains over people, adventure over security and wilderness over tick lists.

The British Mountaineering Council, which helped produce the short for its BMCTV site, said: “With new take on landscape photography, archive footage and action sequences this is a film rooted in a real love of wild places.”

Operation Moffat has been shortlisted in the imagery category for the Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger awards.

The film has picked up awards at adventure film festivals around the world including best climbing film at Kendal Mountain Festival, judges’ special mention at Banff Mountain Festival, mountain culture award at Vancouver Film Festival and three awards, including best film award, at last weekend’s Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.

Alex Messenger of BMCTV said: “Good films have memorable action; the best films have memorable characters. And when it comes to characters, they don’t come any more inspirational than Gwen Moffat.

“Directors Jen Randall and Claire Carter have created something very special. We’re delighted the film is reaching so many people and gaining such wide recognition.”

In recognition of her contribution to climbing, Gwen Moffat, along with Angela Soper –another leading light of British climbing history – recently became the first female honorary members of the BMC.

Gwen Moffat. Photo: Jen Randall

Gwen Moffat. Photo: Jen Randall

Gwen Moffat, who now lives in Penrith, Cumbria, started climbing at 21 when she met a rock-climber whilst stationed at a suburban Auxiliary Territorial Service station during the Second World War. After a mini-adventure in Wales, she soon left the army for a life of climbing. After an existence purely dictated by the conditions and her discovery of new crags throughout the UK, she decided she could make a living from climbing.

Alongside a fruitful mountain-writing career, in 1956 Ms Moffat became the first female British mountain guide. She wrote her renowned climbing autobiography Space Below my Feet in 1961. She was a committed member of the mountain rescue, writing the non-fiction book Two Star Red about her experiences in its service.

Operation Moffat – trailer

A day dedicated to Gwen’s adventurous spirit will take place in north Wales in June during the BMC international women’s meet, held in collaboration with the women-only Pinnacle Club.

The Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards recognise those individuals and organisations doing the most to progress women’s sport.

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