91-year old from Penrith honoured for being the first British Mountain Guide

Gwen Moffat says she thought the award was a joke at first Credit: ITV News Border

A 91-year old woman from Penrith has been given a prestigious award for her talents in mountaineering.

Gwen Moffat has been given an honorary membership of the British Mountaineering Council in recognition of her achievement as the first female British Mountain Guide.

She began climbing when she was 21 after picking up a hitch-hiker and deserted the army to take up the sport.

The hitch-hiker continued to write to her, trying to convince her to become a conscientious objector too and learn to climb.

It wasn't until her love life spiraled into despair that she took up the offer.

Gwen lived between Cornwall & Wales as a deserter from the army
Gwen became a respected climber & travelled all over the world
Gwen climbed in Wales before going back to the army to get her passport

In 1953, the Queen was coronated, Everest was climbed, and Gwen became the first female British Mountain Guide.

Gwen learned how to ice climb during winter when she first started
Gwen became the first female British Mountain Guide in 1953
She was a Mountain Guide for 20 years, supporting herself and her daughter

A film has now been made about Gwen's experiences, which has brought her fame.

Operation Moffat was made by Claire Carter and Jen Randall and has won a stack of awards.

Claire Carter spoke to ITV Border about why they wanted to make the film:

Now she joins the likes of Sir Chris Bonington as an honorary member of the British Mountaineering Council.

Gwen has written lots of books on climbing and walking Credit: ITV News Border
Gwen's autobiography Space Below my Feet inspired the film Credit: ITV News Border

She wrote books, including her autobiography and finally settled in Penrith, writing crime novels. Now her life of adventure will inspire others too.

Gwen claimed several first female ascents across Europe