News

Route of AC members is awarded Piolets D’Or

Four remarkable ascents will be awarded Piolets d'Or in Ladek-Zdroj on September 19. The year 2019 turned out to be very rich for modern alpinism, with a substantial number of significant first ascents from all over the globe. The protagonists were alpinists of wide diversity.
One of the ascents is the First Ascent of Link Sar via the Southwest face. Congratulations to the team: MARK RICHEY, STEVE SWENSON, CHRIS WRIGHT, GRAHAM ZIMMERMAN.
 
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Jeremy Whitehead

News has reached us of the death of our member, Jeremy Whitehead.

Members can log in to submit their tributes or send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that they can be posted on the website. 

Peter Page

 News has reached us of the death of our member Peter Page. who had been a member for 40 years.

Members can log in to submit their tributes or send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that they can be posted on the website.

Up Close with Rob Collister

Interview by Melanie Windridge

The well-known guide, backcountry skier and writer Rob Collister recently stepped down as vice president of the Club and chair of its Environmental Group. Here he discusses his life, his passion for the mountains and his fears for the future of the natural world.

 

How did you get into climbing and skiing?

No one else in my family was interested in mountains. I had a privileged education – public school and Cambridge – but my parents crippled themselves financially educating their four children and there was no money left for school ski trips. I had to pay for myself. My first climbs were in the Cuillin on a school camp but I didn’t start climbing regularly until I left school and went up to Cambridge. Then, as now, I loved controlled, precise movement, the sense of space and exposure, the satisfaction of managing risk in potentially dangerous situations and the extraordinary places it allows one to get to, things accessible to all climbers whatever their grade. I was not very talented, did not enjoy frightening myself but was competent enough to get by on most things in the Alps. 

My first Alpine season was nearly my last. We had two unplanned bivis in three routes and I nearly died when an abseil anchor failed on a retreat. On the other hand, I found that I was well suited to the long sustained effort required in the Alps and enjoyed long hut walks that others hated, an attribute I discovered was even more useful when I got to the Hindu Kush in my second long vacation in 1968. 

Alpine ClubCast 17 – 28th July at 19:30

UK climbing adventures

As our final ClubCast before the summer break, we are focusing on UK climbing adventures, so as to offer some inspiration for the coming weeks when the usual travel further afield may not be possible. 

Richard Ive talks about climbing the ‘three’ great Scottish sea stacks in a 4-day push, Noel Williams talks about the traverse of the Skye Cuillin and Mick Fowler will focus on Skeleton Ridge on the Isle of Wight, but talk about other chalk climbs.

The talks will be followed, as usual, by a Q&A and then by a mountaineering quiz.

 

Les Piolets d’Or

The Charter

1. Spirit

The purpose of the Piolets d'Or awards is to raise awareness about the year's greatest ascents across the world.  They aim to celebrate the taste for adventure, the bravery and sense of exploration that lie behind the art of climbing in the world's great mountain ranges.

Anne Sauvy (Wilkinson)

We have been informed of the sad death on 9 July of Anne Sauvy (Wilkinson) who had been a member since 1975.  In addition to being a very accomplished alpine ice climber, Anne is best known as a prize winning mountain author. Her books of short stories - Flammes des Pierres - The Game of Mountain and Chance - Darkness and the Azure - were translated into multiple languages and won many literary awards. Anne also wrote 'Mountain Rescue Chamonix Mont Blanc, a highly acclaimed account of the PGHM rescue service.

Members can log in to submit their tributes or send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that they can be posted on the website.

Alpine ClubCast 16 – 21st July at 19:30

An Evening with the American Alpine Club: Link Sar First Ascent

The Alpine ClubCasts head across the Atlantic for an evening with the AAC.  Graham Zimmerman, Mark Richey, and Steve Swenson (guest of honour at the Alpine Club dinner in 2017) join us to talk about their brilliant first ascent of Link Sar (7,041m) in the Eastern Karakoram in Pakistan, one of the last great Himalayan problems. 

Link Sar is situated in the Charakusa Valley and sits between the better known K6 and K7.  After Jon Griffith and Andy Houseman’s first ascent of the North West Face of Link Sar West in 2015, a route they named 'Fever Pitch’, and an attempt by Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi on the North East face, the main peak was finally climbed by Steve Swenson, Graham Zimmerman, Chris Wright and Mark Richey in August 2019.  Steve Swenson, for whom this was the third attempt at the summit, wrote on Instagram after his 2017 attempt: 'It's a complex and dangerous mountain, and we didn't reach the top. But we made a significant effort to find a safe route that avoids the objective hazards. We plan to return so we can finish what we started.'  Join us on Tuesday to hear how they finally did just that.

As usual we will finish with a Q&A

Richard Brooke

News has reached us of the death of our member Richard Brooke who was born in 1927, a member in 1950 and ACG in 1953 (Retired).

Members can log in to submit their tributes or send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that they can be posted on the website. 

Alpine ClubCast 15 – 14th July at 19:30

Perfect Storm: First ascents on the forgotten side of Mont Blanc

Simon Richardson and Micha Rinn describe recent first ascents of the Diamond Ridge on the Grandes Jorasses and Perfect Storm on Mont Blanc. 

The talk will start with renowned Italian climbing historian Luca Signorelli outlining significant historical events on the Italian side of the range, and finish with a Q&A.

Alpine ClubCast 14 – 7th July at 19:30

The Six Great North Faces Part 2 - hosted by AC

The Rucksack Club and Alpine Club, two of Britain’s oldest mountaineering clubs, combine to take you up the classic six great north faces of the Alps, with accounts from 6 different members. As ticklists go this is short, sweet and an easy one to remember, but containing formidable and historic routes, it's not such an easy one to complete and has become the ticklist for the serious alpinist. It's the Matterhorn, Eiger, Grandes Jorasses; the Petit Dru, Cima Grande di Laveredo, and Piz Badile.  Tonight in part 2, the Alpine Club hosts, as we visit the Petit Dru, Cima Grande di Laveredo, and Piz Badile, with speakers James Thacker, Dominic Oughton and Ian Bryant. 

As usual, we will finish with a Q&A

 

Alpine ClubCast 13 – 30th June at 19:30

Alpine Rock to Remember

Nick Simons, Nicholas Smith and Richard Ive

After the very popular Alpine ClubCast4, which looked at some of the classic alpine ridges, tonight three Alpine Club members talk about some of Switzerland's most compelling alpine rock routes.

Nick Simons takes us up the 400m shining slab of the Canton Vaud, the Miroir d'Argentine, and Nicholas Smith talks about two lesser known ridges close to Saas, the Cresta del Lago Maggiore and the Jegigrat.  Finally, Richard Ive talks about one of the longest, hardest and finest ridge climbs in the whole of the Alps - the West Ridge of the Salbitschijen.

Aimed at whetting appetites for a future trip, the talks will be followed by a Q&A session.

 

Alpine ClubCast 12 – 23rd June at 19:30

The Six Great North Faces - Part 1

The Rucksack Club and Alpine Club, two of Britain’s oldest mountaineering clubs, combine to take you up the classic six great north faces of the Alps, with accounts from 6 different members. As ticklists go this is short, sweet and an easy one to remember, but containing formidable and historic routes, it's not such an easy one to complete and has become the ticklist for the serious alpinist. It's the Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses, Eiger, the Petit Dru, Cima Grande di Laveredo, and Piz Badile.  Tonight in part 1, we are hosted by the Rucksack Club to celebrate what has become known as "the trilogy": Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses, and the Eiger, with speakers Andy Kirkpatrick, Martin Cooper, Nick Wallis, Bill Deakin and Cec Rhodes.

As usual, we will finish with a Q&A.

 

Alpine ClubCast 11 – 16th June at 19:30

Artists of the Alpine Club

William Mitchell, John Colton, Ben Tibbetts

We are celebrating mountaineering artists past and present:

First, William Mitchell, an art dealer, climber, and writer, who has written the first book in English about Gabriel Loppé. As a prolific artist and mountaineer, Gabriel Loppé (1825-1913) was the first painter to have depicted what the French call ‘la haute montagne’.

We are joined by John Colton, who discovered the wild places of Yorkshire and a love of drawing from an early age. By the time he was twenty this had developed into serious mountaineering and painting combined. John has previously exhibited at the Alpine Club in 2013 and was described as the first exhibitor who actually draws whilst engaged on serious Alpine climbs. These include the Walker Spur on the Grandes Jorasses and the Innominata route on Monte Bianco.

Finally, we have Ben Tibbetts who last year published ‘Alpenglow’, the result of an obsessive project involving 10,000 hours of climbing, to reach all the highest summits of the Alps. It is a book full of meticulous historical research, inspiring photography, intricate and beautiful drawings, and writing that captures the essence of each route. We’re not clear yet about what Ben will show, but we can expect some of his drawings of the mountains and routes shown in Alpenglow, and the stories of the climbs that inspired them.

Followed by a Q&A

A reminder: 79 images from the AC Collection can be viewed here:

https://artuk.org/shop/featured-collections/the-alpine-club-collection.html

where you can order your own print, for which the Alpine Club receives payment


 

Mike Bullock

We are saddened by the news that Mike Bullock passed away on Friday 24th April. 

  

Members can log in to submit their tributes or send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   so that they can be posted on the website. 

 

Alpine ClubCast 10 – 9th June at 19:30

The Playground of Europe: Forbes, Tyndall and Le Blond

A celebration of three mountaineers of the Golden Age, with a scientific slant. Nanna Kaalund, Roland Jackson and Rachel Hewitt talk about the achievements of three great Victorians.

Followed by a Q&A.

AC Joint Alpine meet 2020 cancelled

The 2020 Summer Meet was planned for July in La Bérarde, in the heart of the Écrins. This site has excellent climbing and many people have fond memories of climbing and walking there.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has cast a shadow over this, and we have watched events unfold.
The decision on the meet has been delayed as we have watched events, but we are now 6 weeks before the meet. Although there is some relaxation in France (and the UK), travel is still restricted, with severe limitation on entry into France. There will be quarantine measures in place until at least the week before the meet.

Alpine ClubCast 9 – 2nd June at 19:30

A Kangchenjunga Special

We will be marking the 65th anniversary of the first ascent of Kangchenjunga which, at 8586m, is the third highest mountain in the world.

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is the first woman to climb all the 8000m peaks without the use of supplementary oxygen.  She talks about her ascent of Kangchenjunga in 2006 via the South-West Ridge and is joined by Stevan Jackson, who led the second British ascent of the SW Face in 2000, 45 years after Joe Brown and George Band.  Mick Conefrey also joins us to talk about his new book on the subject, ‘The Last Great Mountain’.  Finally, Leo Dickinson will show some unseen footage of Joe Brown describing the final stages of the first ascent. 

Followed by a Q&A.