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.

After a multi-day trek up the steep Sumur Lungpa to establish a base camp by the Sumur Lakes at 5,160m, Derek, Drew, Rafal and Howard made the first ascent of Point 6068 via its technically easy SW slopes (Alpine F) on 18th September following an arduous 5h of post-holing from a high camp at 5,743m. Deceptively, this top turned out to be the high point of three convergent ridges rather than a true peak per se and was thus called Deception Point. We were unable to get a Ladakhi translation. Only roped glacier travel was required.

Several days later, Derek, Drew, Rafal and Howard made the first ascent of PK 6078, a twin summitted peak at the head of glacier beyond the East Rassa Col, via its SE Face on 25th September following extensive post-holing over 5h from a camp at 5,680m. The face steepened only for the final few hundred metres to the lower rocky South summit (6,071m) before a relatively straightforward traverse was made to the slightly higher snow-covered North top (6,078m). We graded this at Alpine PD and called the peak Tsagtuk Kangri (Ladakhi for Twin Snow Peak).

After an earlier failed attempt due to unstable snow conditions, Derek, Drew and Rafal successfully completed the first ascent of the attractive PK 5991 via its steep, 45° WNW Ridge on 29th September from a high camp on the glacier at 5,500m. Once again the route involved continuous post-holing, but because of our previous attempt on 16th September the early part of the climb was made less strenuous by the presence of vestigial tracks. Requiring double axes for security we graded this route Alpine AD and chose to call the peak Sumur Kangri after the major glacier system from which it rose.

Every peak/point was climbed in excellent, clear weather but climbing options were limited on account of unstable snow lying on all northerly faces. There was extensive evidence of recent avalanche activity during our time on the glacier system, with at least one occurring as we passed safely beneath it. It was this ever present danger that prevented our venturing over the East Rassa Col (north-westerly aspect) onto the Rassa glacier itself, which was one of our primary objectives.

The team are grateful for the support of the Mount Everest Foundation, the Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund, the Austrian Alpine Club (UK) and Duffler of Sweden.

* Unfortunately, Jamie left early in the expedition on account of a family bereavement, although he did stay long enough to take part in the failed attempt on Sumur Kangri on 16th September.

Team: Derek Buckle (leader), Drew Cook, Jamie Goodhart,* Rafal Malczyk and Howard Pollitt

Photographs and text by Derek Buckle