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! 

Becoming a Member

Expeditions can be expensive; especially those to the high peaks of the Himalaya, Karakoram and Antarctica. Fortunately several organisations, including the Alpine Club, can be approached for financial support. There are many organisations that do make awards to appropriate groups but some of the more substantial ones are as follows:

  • The Mount Everest Foundation - The MEF awards around £40K annually for expeditions and will consider applications from any British party with objectives that involve a degree of exploration and novelty. Exploring a new or rarely visited area, attempting an unclimbed mountain or a new route are typical requirements. The MEF also administers the BMC Sports Council Awards and Alison Chadwick Memorial Grants.
  • The Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund - The AC Climbing Fund will consider applications from any Alpine Club member for expeditions that have objectives similar to those required by the MEF. Grants are generally in the order of £500-1500 but are reduced prorata for participants who are not members of the AC.
  • The British Mountaineering Council - Grants are provided to BMC members and members of BMC affiliated clubs for international expeditions, particularly those consisting of younger members.
  • The Gino Watkins Memorial Fund - Will consider awards for scientific research and exploration in the polar regions.

Rock and Ice have an American-focused, but still rather exhaustive list of climbing-focused grants.

In addition to the funding bodies listed above, it is sometimes possible to garner expedition support by way of the donation or loan of equipment from key manufacturers and distributors. These need to be individually applied for.