© Yorkshire Ramblers' Club. Reproduction of this article is not permitted.
However, short extracts from it may be used, for non-commercial purposes, provided their source is fully cited, acknowledged and referenced as:
YRC Committee. (1900) Notes. Yorkshire Ramblers' Club Journal Volume 1 Number 2: pp141-142. Leeds: YRC


The Alpine Club Equipment Exhibition. - ice axeA very complete Exhibition of Mountaineering Equipment was held at the Alpine Club Rooms in December. It included a great variety of apparatus useful on mountaineering expeditions and in the exploration of mountainous countries. Clothing, camping and cooking outfits, concentrated foods and medicines, and photographic apparatus of the most modern construction were also shown. Sir Martin Conway exhibited articles used by himself and party in Spitsbergen and the Andes, and the Rev. Walter Weston some curious clothing worn by Japanese mountaineers. Probably the exhibits of most interest to men with Alpine tastes were the ice-axes, of which there was a goodly and quite historic show, ranging from the double-headed (adze and blade) piolet used by Chamonix men in the "fifties " to the modern form generally known in England as the "Pilkington."  The removable axe-head devised by the late Mr. T. S. Kennedy, of Leeds, was there, but we did not see an example of the axe which the late Mr. J. Hawthorn Kitson, of Leeds. designed, and a number of which he had made at his engine works for mountaineering friends. As we believe this axe possesses some historic interest (the first one was made in about the year 1871), we here give a sketch of the head. Although formidable in appearance the complete   axe weighed only about 3¼ lbs. It is noticeable that the point-to-blade-edge measurement of 12½ inches is identical with that of Mr. Rickmers', which is considered to be the latest development of the ice-axe.

Forthcoming Books. Professor J. D. Forbes' "Travels Through the Alps" has long been out of print, and the original publishers, Messrs. A. & C. Black, will shortly issue a new edition revised and annotated by Mr. Coolidge, who has also prefixed an "appreciation" of the historical position of Forbes among the pioneers of the High Alps;. Most of the old illustrations have been retained, and also Forbes' map of the Mer de Glace, but the other maps will be new.

English climbers will be interested to learn that a second edition of the late Mr. Owen Glynne Jones' "Rock Climbing in the English Lake District," the first edition of which so soon sold out after publication, will shortly appear. The new edition will be published by Messrs. G. P. Abraham & Sons, Keswick, Messrs. George and Ashley Abraham, who are editing it, having supplemented the work with accounts of six of the more recent Cumberland climbs and additional illustrations from their excellent series of photographs. It will also contain a portrait and memoir of Mr. Jones.

Mr. George Yeld, of York, has gathered together some of the articles on the Graians which he has, at various times, contributed to the Alpine Journal, of which he is Editor, and these will shortly appear in a volume entitled " Scrambles in the Eastern Graians " to be published by Mr. T. Fisher Unwin. Mr. Yeld, who is joint Editor with Mr. Coolidge of the Cogne volume in the "Climbers' Guide " series, has an exceptional knowledge of the topography of the Graians, his sketch-map of the Eastern Group being acceptedly reliable. The book will be illustrated from photographs by Dr. Tempest Anderson.

In Memoriam. - The late Mr. John Hawthorn Kitson, of Elmet Hall, Leeds, was in his younger days an ardent and accomplished mountaineer. He had been a member of the Alpine Club since 1871, and, until the comparatively recent election of several of the Yorkshire Ramblers, was for some years the only representative of that club in Leeds. He began to climb at a time when most of the higher ascents in Switzerland had been accomplished, and when the making of new routes had begun. His mountaineering achievements were of no mean order, the most notable being the Weisshorn by the N. arête, the Matterhorn from Zermatt and back in one day, the Täschhorn from the Mischabeljoch by the S.E. arête, the Jungfrau from the Faulberg and back in 7½ hours, the Eiger, Eigerjoch, and Mönchjoch in one day, and the Mönch from the Wengern Alp and back by the Jungfraujoch in one day. On most of his climbs he was accompanied by the late Christian Almer, for whom he had great admiration, and of whose powers on long step-cutting expeditions he could relate more than one remarkable feat.

Mr. Kitson had an excellent memory, and delighted to relate interesting incidents of his early Alpine experiences. After a serious illness about 22 years ago he gave up mountaineering, but he seldom failed to visit Switzerland in the spring of succeeding years. Though not a member of our Club, he took an interest in its doings, and on some special occasions came amongst us. He was an engineer of high attainments, with sound business qualifications, and withal a kind-hearted man.