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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
 

Membership

The Alpine Club welcomes applications from all those with an interest in the high mountains.

We are predominantly a climbing club, but we also have a strong contingent of members whose interest in the greater ranges is historical, artistic or scientific.

Whether you are an experienced alpinist, a mountain ecologist or a proficient climber looking to take their first steps into alpinism, you will benefit greatly from the Club’s resources, mentoring and facilities. Membership will also allow you to lend your opinion and your voice to Club positions on environmental, political and ethical issues that affect mountain regions.

We offer three main types of membership; Aspirant Membership, Full Membership and Associate Membership. (These are explained below).

 

Member Benefits 

All members benefit from access to the Club’s facilities, including its unparalleled mountain archive, its library, maps, regional lectures, an annual copy of the Alpine Journal, regular newsletters, London accommodation, expedition funding, an extensive programme of climbing meets, informal climbing WhatsApp groups and use of the George Starkey Hut.

For a full breakdown, please visit our Member Benefits page.

Membership Types

In recognition of our diverse membership, we have a variety of different membership options. We encourage you to read through the descriptions below, find the type of membership that is most relevant to you and apply using the appropriate form at the bottom of the page. 

 

Aspirant Membership

This membership tier is ideal for those with a good level of climbing experience in the UK or Alps and who are wanting to become even more self-sufficient in the mountains.

Applicants for this membership type will understand the principles of or have practiced glacier travel, climb proficiently on traditionally protected multi-pitch rock routes and have experience of winter climbing in the UK or Alps.

As well as benefitting from additional resources such as the Club-subsidised aspirant meet, which provides teaching in key alpine climbing principles such as route planning and crevasse rescue, members at this tier receive all of the same benefits as other Club members but do not have the ability to vote on Club issues until they attain full membership.

Aspirants are supported in progressing to full membership of the Club and can take advantage of a number of resources designed to help them advance their climbing abilities. These are detailed here.

 

Full Membership

For those who are already climbing self-sufficiently in the high mountains, full membership is the best tier.

Members at this tier will be competent in route planning, crevasse rescue, avalanche forecasting, navigation and alpine rope techniques. They will also have climbed at least 20 peaks at a standard of PD or above. The level of climbing experience is not set in stone, and more weight is given to harder routes and first ascents.

Applicants can enter as a full member or apply to upgrade their membership after gaining experience as an Aspirant Member.

 

The Alpine Climbing Group

Those full members who hope to undertake exploratory expeditions or hard technical ascents should consider additional membership to the Alpine Climbing Group – a sub-set of members who work towards these goals. There is no additional cost to ACG membership.

Associate Membership

If you have expertise in a particular area of mountain history, science or culture, but no desire to pursue the level of climbing or technical proficiency necessary for Full or Aspirant Membership, we also offer Associate Membership.

Associate Members will have an interest in and have made a substantive contribution to mountaineering history, literature, art, equipment, science, protection of the mountain environment or conservation of mountain heritage.

Associate Members are entitled to the full benefits of membership but do not have the ability to vote on Club issues.

 

If you’re unsure which tier is best for you, please reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via social media.

 

Membership Costs

The membership cost per year is as follows and is the same across all membership types:

Under 25 (Without a copy of the Alpine Journal) £20.00
Under 30 £38.00
30 - 64 £61.00
65 and over £50.00

There is a reduction of £10 for a shared Alpine Journal at the same address

UK members are asked to pay via direct debit. Those without a UK bank account should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange an alternative method of payment.

If you are a member of multiple UK clubs, it is possible to claim back the cost of your BMC affiliation from the BMC. Please contact us for details, as this may significantly reduce your membership costs.

How to Apply

Whatever tier of membership you’d like to apply for, you will need to fill out an application form and include the support of at least one active Alpine Club member or an official of your current club.

The requirement for an individual to support your application is not designed to be a barrier to membership, but rather a necessary precaution. Members frequently rely on each other in potentially hazardous situations, so all members need the assurance that their partners will be competent and safe.

Rest assured that if you have the necessary climbing proficiency, we will be able to find someone from the Club to propose your application. Please get in touch via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need help finding a Club member to support your application.

You can also meet current members by attending one of our regional lectures or our New Member Meets.

 

Application Forms

Aspirant Membership
Full Membership
Alpine Climbing Group Membership
Associate Membership
Upgrade from Aspirant to Full Membership

 

Still Unsure?

If you’re still hesitant about applying or have additional questions, please send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We can answer any questions you might have, arrange for you to meet Club members in your local area or invite you to one of our regular meets as a guest.

Alternatively, if you’d like to develop your climbing skills further before applying, we recommend exploring your local climbing clubs, hiring the services of an instructor/guide or attending an appropriate course.