THE papers and writings of one of mountaineering's most iconic figures are to be preserved by for posterity by an Eden-based trust thanks a £40,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The Joe Tasker archive, comprising corresondence, papers, photographs and literary manuscripts, will be preserved and made accessible to the public through a series of exhibitions by the Mountain Heritage Trust (MHT), which is based in Penrith.

The material relates to his life as a premier climber and mountaineer and his ability to illustrate this in outstanding photographic and literary formats.

Particularly poignant are letters written home to his parents while on expedition as well as their responses to him.

Tasker, together with Peter Boardman, lost his life on Mount Everest in 1982. In order to mark their lives, the Boardman Tasker Literary Award was established which rewards the talent for writing gripping and thought-provoking climbing literature which Joe himself excelled at.

Julie Summers, chairman of MHT, said: "We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has recognised the enormous contribution Joe Tasker’s collection will make to mountaineering heritage and we look forward to being able to celebrate his inspiring achievements widely through exhibitions and education programmes in the future."