The Alpine Club, the world’s first mountaineering club, was founded in 1857.  For over 150 years, members have been at the leading edge of worldwide mountaineering development and exploration. 

With membership, experienced and aspiring alpinists benefit from a varied meets programme, regional lectures with notable guest speakers, reduced rates at many alpine huts, opportunity to apply for grants to support expeditions, significant discounts at many UK retailers, extensive networking contacts, access to the AC Library and maps - and more! 

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As a recent recruit to the Alpine Club, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from my first club meet to the George Starkey hut in Patterdale, or for that matter from the impending weather forecast for the Lake District.

On the Saturday three groups consisting of Phil and Shaun, Richie Mockler and Nigel Allsop, and myself and Jon Gonzalez decamped to another Crag, this time the one in Langdale. The original plan had been to walk into Gimmer crag, however given the ominous clouds, the option of an easy escape proved too tempting! All three groups spent a fantastic day on some mid-grade classics on brilliant rock in great weather, with Richie and Nigel also finding time to practice moving together ahead of the upcoming meet in the Alps. While we were over in Langdale, Tim Cooper and Phil Children spent the day climbing on Eagle Crag in Grisedale before finishing up by walking home over Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Pike and Striding Edge. However climbing wasn’t the only activity on offer, as Jonathan White and Nikki Wallis spent the day hiking, and even managed to catch the Ullswater Steamer back to Patterdale at the end of the day, and Sharon Jones used the day as a training exercise head of the Saunders Mountain Marathon.

While Saturday had dawned bright, sunny and full of promise, Sunday only managed to dawn full of rain. However this did not put off a hardened few of us from setting out for a walk along the banks of Ullswater, although choice of footwear proved the downfall of Phil W as his boots transformed themselves into flip-flops within the first few kilometres forcing him to retire! The remainder pressed on to Sandwick, and then used the improved weather to journey over Place Fell.!

While I didn’t know what to expect before the weekend, the whole meet was brilliant, and I met nothing but friendly, enthusiastic people, although honourable mentions have to go to Jonathan for organising the whole thing, and also to Phil W for his culinary skills on the Saturday night in preparing the group meal! Here’s to the next meet! Many thanks to Matt Lewis for this report