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

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.

The Alpine Club is working with the BMC to look at ways of helping young, talented British climbers to improve their skills and knowledge about expedition climbing. This group is known by various names including the ‘Young Alpinists’ and will hopefully transform in the near future into a revitalised Alpine Climbing Group within the Alpine Club. I have been willingly roped in to process to act as an expedition mentor for anyone willing to listen to the ‘Old Bloke’.

Recently the Alpine Club received an offer from the Polish Mountaineering Association to participate in a British - Polish exchange for young mountaineers reminiscent of those carried out in the 1970s-90s, which lead on to some truly great expeditions. This seemed like an ideal opportunity for a team of volunteers from the Young Alpinist to experience the Polish way of doing things, share experiences and ideas and hopefully create some expedition plans together.

The Scottish leg took place in February 2018 with the return leg to the Polish Tatra taking place in March 2018

The Polish team consisted of:
Wadim Jablonski
Michal Czech
Kuba Kokowski
Damian Bielecki
Wytek Tavanowski (only in Scotland)
Karol Lejuszewski (only in Poland)
Martin Janecek (only in Poland)

The British Team consisted of:
Tim Miller
Richard Kendrick
Tim Oliver
Alfie Maun
Paul Ramsden
Ian Parnel (only in Scotland)

The Scottish visit organized by Ian Parnell was based in the marvelous Black Rock cottage hut below the Buachaille. Unfortunately, the week was marred by persistent heavy snowfall and severe avalanche conditions. The team failed to even get out of the hut on one day until the snow plough had cleared the road to the ski lifts. The conditions made it impossible to get out on the Ben, which was disappointing for the Poles and many of the Glencoe classics were either buried in snow or too dangerous to get to. In the end the team were forced to focus on the Bridge of Orchy crags for much of the week.
Routes climbed included: Messiah, Promised Land, Manage a Tois, Pas de Deux, Deadman’s Grooves, North Wall Groove, Agag’s Groove, Central Grooves etc. I think in the end the Poles were very impressed with the unique Scottish conditions and climbing style.
The return leg to the Polish Tatra was organized by members of the Krakow University Mountaineering Club, which appears to be one of the most active branches of the Polish Mountaineering Association. A big thank you goes out to Wadim Jablonski for putting in a lot of work on this. The meet was based at the Morskie Oko hut and we were blessed by the national park authorities who granting us a driving permit to the hut. Unfortunately, the weather treated us to a repeat of our Scottish experience with heavy snow, rain and high avalanche potential on most days of the trip. However good local knowledge and the ability to move between valleys, even into Slovakia, thanks to the driving permit meant that routes were climbed most days including first winter ascents, rare winter repeats and classic as well as epic mountain outings. The Brits were very impressed by the scale of the routes and the quality of the climbing which generally follow good crack and corner lines on good quality granite with ample amounts of turf.

Routes climbed included the Miekkie Ruchy, Czarne Zaciecie, Szare Zaciecie, Starek-Uchmanski, and Prawy Dziadek routes on the Czolowka Miegusza. The Czulka-Weincziller and Puskasowa Rebro routes on Tupa and the Stanislowski route on Many Kiezmarski.
Obviously, I missed something in translation, but everyone was very amused with my ascent of what turned out to be Left Hand Grandfather Route followed by Right Hand Grandfather Route! Two of the highlights of the trip was Richards Kendrick’s free ascent of the Black Deidre at M8, possible the first time it had been climbed in winter without rock shoes! And Tim Miller’s twenty-eight-hour epic outing on the Stanislowski route.
On the last night in Krakow I gave a presentation to the University Mountaineering Club which was well received and finished off with much drinking and dancing into the early hour’s. We all agreed it had been a superb exchange, despite the terrible weather at both ends and most importantly new climbing partnerships had been forged and plans are underway for a joint expedition to the Himalaya in 2019.