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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Des Rubens

A Tribute to Des Rubens by Geoff Cohen

Des was a well-known and very popular figure in the Scottish mountaineering world, as attested by the huge numbers that attended his funeral. He started climbing at Edinburgh University in 1970 and soon became President of the university mountaineering club, establishing friendships, including with his wife Jane, that were to endure throughout his life. Des was a bold and proficient ice climber, with a variety of new routes to his name, especially in the more remote corners of the Highlands. He was not only a great lover of the Scottish hills (he had just four Munros left to do), for walking, climbing and ski touring, but also a keen stravaiger of the wild coasts and islands, with a few sea canoeing trips to his credit. Abroad Des took part in over a dozen climbing expeditions, mainly to the Himalaya (starting with an early trip to Afghanistan in 1972) but also to the Caucasus, Andes and Canadian Rockies. He succeeded on many peaks over 6000m, but was rebuffed at about 7500m on Gasherbrum III and Nanga Parbat. In the Alps Des achieved many great classics of the 1930s (eg Walker Spur, Gervasutti Pillar, N Face of Dru) and more recently, in his sixties, had been ticking off the 4000m peaks, usually by routes more challenging than the voies normales.

Des was an extremely warm-hearted and affable person – it would be hard to find anyone he had crossed swords with. In his professional life he was a teacher of outdoor activities at Craigroyston High School in north Edinburgh. The outpouring of tributes from former pupils, colleagues and members of the Muirhouse community showed how deeply his commitment to taking disadvantaged kids to the outdoors had affected their lives.

Although Des had only recently joined the AC he was well known to many through his long mountaineering career. One of his more recent achievements was to revive the SMC ‘s Edinburgh lecture series, by bringing in Alpine Club and JMCS members. He devoted much thought and energy to this lecture programme and was a delightful and amusing presenter of the speakers, thus ensuring a growing attendance, drawing people from a considerable distance.


Though I will miss him terribly, I count myself incredibly fortunate to have had him as a close friend and climbing partner for over forty years. We formed a harmonious team with similar outlook on the mountains and both enjoyed our inexhaustible banter.


Des will be sorely missed by his many many friends, and my heart goes out to his family.

 

 

 

Infinite Spur First British Ascent - Montane Alpine Club Fund trip news

Infinite Spur First British Ascent - Montane Alpine Club Fund trip news

Alpine Club members Ben Silvestre, Pete Graham and Will Harris have recently left the Central Alaska range. After encountering dangerous snow conditions on the little-visited Thunder glacier they flew to Denali base camp on the Kahiltna glacier. After acclimatising to 5200m on Denali's West Buttress they made the first British ascent of the Infinite Spur on Mount Foraker in a five and a half day round trip. They found mixed conditions on the 2800m high route, with time consuming snow low down on the route and technical cruxes up to scottish grade VI. After summitting late on May 28th they spend a day and a half descending the Sultana ridge, with their rare window of good weather coming to and end as they descended Mount Crosson in typically Scottish conditions.

Ken Wilson

We are saddened to hear of the recent death of Ken Wilson, one of the most influential and controversial figures in the British mountaineering scene over the last half century.

Ken's training as a photographer, and his involvement with some of the leading British climbers of the day, led to him becoming one of the more recognised recorders of the climbing scene in the 1960s and 70s. He re-launched 'Mountain Craft' as 'Mountain', which became an important international journal covering contemporary mountain stories, ethics, and controversy in general, always illustrated with stunning photography.

His publishing career continued with Granada, Diadem, and finally his own business Baton Wicks, most notably with the hugely successful series of large format volumes covering rock climbs and walks, starting with Hard Rock in 1974.

His application for membership of the AC in 1972 generated a wealth of correspondence, with those members threatening to resign if he were elected neatly balanced by those who would resign if he were not elected.

Happily he was elected.

He continued to court controversy with strong opinions on club membership, climbing ethics, bolts, politics, etc, and with a particularly annoying habit of usually being right.

His last appearance at Charlotte Road was to cast his vote in the Presidential election in 2010.

Ken had been quite ill for some time, and died on 12th June 2016. 

A Celebration of a Life:  Ken Wilson

on Saturday 30th July, starting at 5.00pm (prompt) and finishing at about 6.30pm.

in the Pennine Lecture Theatre, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Building, Howard Street, S1 1WB, (about a five-minute walk from the railway station and about a half-hour drive from Stanage Edge).

Organised by the CC and the BMC, all are welcome. Please come and celebrate the life and achievements of one of the biggest characters of the modern climbing scene who revolutionised magazine and book publishing.

The Heartspace Atrium, which adjoins the Pennine will be open serving beer, wine, tea and coffee.

 

Ken Wilson: Photograph by John Cleare

 

Savage Arena: The Legacy of Joe Tasker

Savage Arena: The Legacy of Joe Tasker

A Mountain Heritage Trust Exhibition, exploring the life and legacy of Joe Tasker. 

- at Ushaw College, 25th June-1st September and Keswick Museum, 9th September-May 2017

The opening of the exhibition is at Ushaw College, Durham, DH7 9R, on 25th June, 6.30pm - 9.00pm

The evening will begin at 6.30pm and is free to attend. There is a talk by mountaineer and award winning author, John Porter, and a raffle.  

To sign up for the exhibition opening please see:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exhibition-launch-savage-arena-the-legacy-of-joe-tasker-tickets-25969537586

Joe Tasker, alongside Dick Renshaw, claimed the first British winter ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in 1976. Joe then went on to higher mountains from that point claiming the first lightweight oxygen-less ascent of Kangchenjunga with Pete Boardman and Doug Scott in 1979. 

Joe and Pete lost their lives on an attempt to summit Everest by the NE ridge in 1982.  The exhibition will celebrate Joe's climbing career as well as his successful and influential writing.

Tate Britain "Painting with Light"

 

Tate Britain "Painting with Light"

The Alpine Club Photo Library would like to bring to your attention an exhibition just opened at Tate Britain entitled "Painting with Light"

This is an exhibition showing the relationship between early photography and British art. The club has loaned one image from the photo collection, entitled "Rosenlaui Glacier" by Friedrich von Martens, taken c1858.

The exhibition opened on 11th May and runs till 25th September 2016. The link to the relevant website for further details is

 http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/painting-light

 

Alpine Club to play a part in mountain protection

The Alpine Club now has a voice in the UIAA’s Mountain Protection Commission - the arm of climbing’s international body that endeavours to ensure the world’s mountains remain as wild and unsullied as possible - natural havens for the enjoyment and livelihoods of climbers and mountain people for generations to come.

BMC Multiple Club Affiliation

BMC Multiple Club Affiliation

AC members belonging to two or more BMC affiliated clubs can reclaim their additional membership payments. Additional subscriptions can be refunded direct to the member, or be paid to one of their clubs, or used to convert to BMC individual membership. However, bear in mind that by not asking for a refund this money will be devoted to the numerous good causes that the BMC supports, especially the Access and Conservation Trust, and from which all active AC members greatly benefit. Refund claim forms can be downloaded from the BMC website and must be returned by 30 June 2016.

MountaiNow Safety App


The Club is supporting the development of the MountaiNow App. This App aims to share current mountain conditions, in order that alpinists will be better prepared for climbs in the Alps. It will be delivered in four languages.

Chamlang (7319) - Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund trip news

Chamlang (7319) - Montane Alpine Club Fund trip news

News from Andrew Houseman on his attempt with Jon Griffith on the north spur of Chamlang (7319m) in Nepal supported by the Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund. But not a totally wasted trip for Jon and Andy: their acclimatisation was an ascent of Ama Dablam.

By Andy: Chamlang wasn't to be this year. Even the initial easy snow slopes were going to be difficult to access as Jon found out here on the first of only two pitches we climbed. Looking across from Ama Dablam we knew the route wasn't in the conditions we need, the whole Everest region was exceptional dry this spring. All we found was loose rotten rock and not a single bit of usable névé. The climbing was going to be too slow and the thought of dangerous, loose rotten rock for pitch after pitch once/if we got into the meat of the route higher up wasn't exactly motivating or what we were after. Back in base camp later that day as the usual afternoon snow started and the sounds of thunder echoed around the valley we were pretty relived we'd bailed rather than carrying on higher just to have a look like we'd briefly contemplated. 

 

Indian Mountaineering Foundation Newsletter

For those with an interest in the Indian Himalaya, the 24-page illustrated digitial version of the May 2016 Indian Mountaineering Foundation Newsletter is available for download HERE

Petzl and C2C

Since 1975 Petzl's famous line drawings have enabled thousands of mountaineers and climbers to improve their techniques on rock, snow and ice.