Judy Whiteside holds the award, accompanied by George Manley, left, and Andy Harbach. Photo: Andy Harbach

Judy Whiteside holds the award, accompanied by George Manley, left, and Andy Harbach. Photo: Andy Harbach

A mountain rescue team is celebrating after a history of the organisation scooped top prize in an outdoors award.

Judy Whiteside’s Risking Life and Limb was named book of the year at The Great Outdoors awards in Kendal on Wednesday.

The book is published by Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation and is an account of the origins and growth of the north Wales volunteer team.

It was shortlisted two weeks ago, and members of the public were invited to vote for their favourite from the nine listed publications.

Ms Whiteside, who is editor of Mountain Rescue magazine, said: “In essence, their history is the history of every other team across the country.

“It’s a huge accolade for me but, more importantly, this award raises awareness of the fantastic work done by mountain rescue – not just in the Ogwen Valley, but across England and Wales and not least here in the Lake District.

“They’re a remarkable bunch of people – entirely volunteers – and they deserve to be acknowledged.

“There were nine books shortlisted, so it was a privilege to win against a field that can only be described as the great and the good of the UK outdoors.

“I believe the support for the book was overwhelming, so a huge thank you to everyone who voted for me. And I must thank George Manley for his wonderful illustrations, and the Ogwen team, who put such faith in me to write their story.

“This was a major project for me, researching, writing then designing the book and I met some wonderful characters along the way. Altogether a humbling and inspiring experience.”

The book commemorates not just 50 years of mountain rescue in the Ogwen Valley but goes back over the preceding years and the events and personalities that led to the formation of a more organised mountain rescue service across England and Wales.

In the 50 years since 1965, Ogwen team members have remained at the forefront of innovation, equipment design, training and technology.

Ms Whiteside and Mr Manley, along with team chairman Andy Harbach, were at the ceremony in Kendal to receive the award.

Grough recently reviewed Risking Life and Limb, which is available for £18.50 plus postage via the team’s website. Out There by Chris Townsend was highly commended in the category.

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