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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Expeditions

The Alpine Club, the world's first mountaineering club, has members from around the world. Since it was founded in 1857, members have been at the leading edge of worldwide mountaineering development and exploration. We aim to be the club of choice for all mountaineers, providing a forum for sharing experiences and information.

Alpine Club members are constantly researching, organising and participating in expeditions to mountains around the world, so it will come as no surprise to find that amongst our members there is a massive wealth of knowledge about remote areas and expedition organisation. The Alpine Club provides a number of resources that will be useful for those planning or researching expeditions. This page provides links to these resources, and to other sites that are invaluable to expedition planners.

The Alpine Journal is a substantial annual record of mountaineering achievement, if you are planning an expedition it should be on your reading list.

Alpine Club Expeditions

The Alpine Club organises annual expeditions, which are often to remote and little-known mountain areas. These expeditions are open to all members, subject to qualifying criteria and numbers. They can be subsidised by the Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund. This fund also supports expeditions privately organised by club members. .

Read more about Expedition Reports

The Himalayan Index is a key resource, it has been compiled from journals, magazines and books in the Alpine Club Library

Many expeditions will have been awarded Mount Everest Foundation grants and provided reports. There are some details on the MEF website but the MEF does not hold actual copies. These are distributed to the AC and the organisations listed below (but not the Kew archives).

Royal Geographical Society

The RGS holds copies of all MEF reports as well as many others. Searching is very straightforward and summaries are provided. Reports cover the period 1965 onwards and are very comprehensive. They can be consulted by visiting the RGS library, or copies can be e-mailed.

National Archives at Kew

Not the easiest source of information. The National Archives holds many older documents deposited there from multiple sources.

British Mountaineering Council

This is still in beta form but has some impressive features. It is easy to search although not comprehensive. It includes summaries, and you can download many complete reports as PDFs. The BMC is currently the only readily available source of this information.  The AC is working towards publishng a comprehenve expeditions database which will be be available on-line in due course.

Alan Rouse Sheffield Library

Sheffield library holds a comprehensive archive of mountaineering material, including copies of MEF and other expedition reports. There is a PDF catalogue which can be searched; one of the best ways of quickly identifying peaks and leaders. At present it is up to date only to 2010.

In August 2017, four friends travelled to the Shimshal valley in northern Pakistan to look for unclimbed peaks. George, Steve, Clay and Ross had previous expedition experience but due to work commitments could only afford three weeks away.

This was a bold and risky plan as the team would only spend a week at basecamp and be living above 4400m after 4 days. With the help of the 5th team member and local guide Karim Hayat, the team found a number of unclimbed mountains between 5800m - 6000m, easily accessible from the Gunj-e Dur glacial system.

    

Topo of 5585m peak and 6015m peak

The team made a three day walk in from the village of Shimshal to a basecamp site in the valley. After three further days of acclimatising, advanced base camps were established and two first ascents were made. In the First East Gunj-e Dur Glacier, George, Ross and Karim attempted the SE face of Pk 6150. Unfortunately George had to descend from 5500m due to AMS. Ross and Karim carried on to reach the summit ridge. The highest peak on the ridge was unreachable with the current snow pack so they made the first ascent of the nearer peak, naming it Yad Sar (Remembrance Peak) 6015m. Meanwhile Steve and Clay had turned their attention to an unclimbed peak in the Second East Gunj-e Dur Glacier, summiting the day before at 5855m. The team remained in basecamp for a few more days before descending, spending time in Shimshal, Hunza and Islamabad on the return.

Climbing on Yad Sar (Photograph George Cave)

For a country with a reputation in the West for terrorism and kidnapping, the team felt safe and relaxed throughout the entire visit. The Karakorum Highway, against which the FCO advise all travel along, was extremely secure. The approach trek towards the Shimshal Pass was stunning and a highlight of the expedition. Travel in this friendly and hospitable country is highly recommended.

View from Yad Sar (Photograph Ross Davidson)

S. Carratt, C. Conlon, R. Davidson, G. Cave, K. Hayat