About Jane Inglis Clark (1859/1860-1950)

Jane Inglis Clark co-founded the Scottish Ladies Climbing Club in 1908 along with Lucy Smith and her own daughter, Mabel Clark.

She had married Dr William Inglis Clark in 1884 and, while she had always been an enthusiastic walker with a natural love of the hills, she didn't begin rock climbing until 1897.

She soon discovered she had a natural aptitude for tackling difficult climbing routes and took part in six first-ascents on Ben Nevis between 1897-1904 alongside her husband and many other leading climbers of the day.

Difficult climbs and ski-tours

Jane was part of the second party to climb Abraham's Route on Crowberry Ridge, which at the time was proclaimed 'the most difficult climb in Britain'.

She also climbed annually in the Swiss Alps, Dolomites and Austrian Tyrol with her family, and had experienced in long and difficult ski-tours.

The ongoing movement for women's emancipation saw more and more women take up mountaineering, and Jane was proud of her role as a pioneer. In her book 'Pictures and Memories' published in 1938 she writes of her belief in women's capabilities and the right to self-fulfilment.

Charles Inglis Clark

Alongside her daughter Mabel, Jane also had a son, Charles Inglis Clark, who died in the First World War. As a memorial she and her husband, William, funded the Charles Inglis Clark Memorial Hut, a bothy on Ben Nevis.

A film of its opening was made on 1 April 1929 and can be viewed on the National Library of Scotland's Moving Image Archive catalogue.

In her book 'Pictures and memories' (1938), Jane wrote:

'There is no sport like mountaineering. It is the overcoming of difficulties, the mental climbing, as well as the physical, that give it such a zest. The troubles of life seem to fade away in the presence of the everlasting hills. We may go out tired and worn in mind and body; we return renewed and restored: health re-established and friendships strengthened.'

Jane Inglis Clark died in 1960.


Jane Inglis Clark