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! 

Join Us
 

Club News

Club News

Mike Kosterlitz 2016 Nobel Prize Winner

Our warmest congratulations go to our long standing member Mike Kosterlitz who has been awarded a share of the 2016 Nobel Prize for physics.

Glyn Hughes shares some personal memories of Mike as a mountaineer.:

“After graduating from University in 1963 I spent six weeks in the Dolomites and the Alps before starting work. My main climbing partner on this trip was Mike Kosterlitz, who has just become joint winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics. This was probably the high point of my climbing career, but just the beginning for Mike. He followed this by becoming one of the leading British climbers in the UK and the Alps at that time, and one of the first to tackle hard routes in Yosemite. Perhaps best known for the Kosterlitz/Isherwood route on Piz Badile (known locally as the ‘via degli Inglesi’, although Mike is of course Scottish), climbed in 1968 when they went off-route on the Corti-Battaglia, and now a classic route of that area.* In 1969 Mike took up a research post at the University of Torino, and during this period pioneered routes in the Orco valley, including the ‘Fessura Kosterlitz’, a notorious test piece for crack climbers. Shortly after this, illness forced him to give up climbing at a very early age, otherwise what more might he have achieved? I met him at a reunion dinner in Cambridge in 2006, and asked him what he was doing now. He started explaining his research work to me, but unfortunately I couldn’t understand a word of it. Presumably  the Nobel prize jury did!”

* See Dick Isherwood's account of the climb in AJ 1969.

This Guardian article gives more information about the Nobel prize for physics winners.

Mike Kosterlitz & Oliver Spence on the Yellow Edge on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Photo Glyn Hughes)

Alpine Club and the George Starkey Hut

The Alpine Club has commenced a partnership with the Association of British Members of the Swiss Alpine Club (ABMSAC) to own and manage the George Starkey Hut in Patterdale, in the Lake District. We held a consultation of the AC membership before taking this on, and there was strong support, so we're pleased to say that the hut is now available for members to use.

It's a fantastic new AC membership benefit, with its excellent location in the eastern Lake District. It may not be the centre of Lakeland climbing, but there is some great climbing and scrambling in the area. Langdale and Borrowdale are within reasonable driving distance, and there might even be some winter climbing on Helvellyn again this winter.

There has been a fair bit of refurbishment of the hut amenities recently and more is planned, so if you remember it only from years past it would be worth another visit.  8 beds are reserved for members and guests of the AC and ABMSAC on a first-booked, first-in basis. Given the combined numbers in our clubs it is essential to confirm availability each time before travelling, and regular users can apply for their own key. The remaining 20 beds may be booked by our clubs, or by other clubs or groups, and the availability for club booking is shown on the online calendar. 

Already the influx of AC members wishing to use the hut has seen an increase in bookings, and to make this easier for everyone we will be developing an on-line booking system where members can see what is available, when, and book places to secure them.

In the mean time, booking remains via our Hut Booking Secretary - for contact details CLICK HERE.