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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News

Everest Exhibition to be Broadcast Live

On the 27 September at 16:00 UK time, the Alpine Club will broadcast a livestream of our latest exhibition: ‘Everest: by Those Who Were There’ via our Facebook page.

The exhibition marks the centenary of the very first Everest expedition in 1921 and uses the words and possessions of expedition members from 1921, 1922 and 1924 to tell the story of the first attempts to climb the world’s highest mountain – from the search for its exact location in 1921, to the fateful summit attempt of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine in 1924.


Sandy Irvine working on Oxygen cylinders in base camp, 1924. (Photo: Bentley Beetham)

The livestream will be presented by Alpine Club librarian Beth Hodgett (@AlpineLibrarian) and will provide viewers with both an overview of the 1920s expeditions and the opportunity to see many of the artefacts on display, including the watercolour paintings of Howard Somervell, a piece of the mountain itself and Sandy Irvine’s ice axe.

The exhibition’s curator and Honorary Librarian of the Alpine Club, Barbara Grigor-Taylor said: “During the past 18 months it has been especially hard, and at times impossible, for everyone who might wish to attend the exhibition to make their way to see it in person. That’s why we’re so excited to be able to offer this opportunity for as many people as possible to receive a tour of the exhibition online.”

The broadcast is expected to run from 16:00 to 16:30 and will be available to view after the fact via the Alpine Club’s Facebook page. You can sign up for a reminder of the event here.

‘Everest: by Those Who Were There’ will complete its London run on the 20th of October, with visitors welcome to the Alpine Club’s premises at 55 Charlotte Road, London on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between the hours of 12:00 and 17:00 until then. (Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book a visit).

A commemorative exhibition catalogue, detailing the three 1920s expeditions and reproducing the full exhibition collection is also available for purchase but we are down to the final few copies.

 

 

Revised Library Opening Hours

From September 2021 the Library will open Tuesday to Thursday 10:00 - 17:00.

Bookings are no longer required for members wanting to browse the open shelves, though if you have a particular research project that requires access to the Club archives, please do contact us in advance so that we can prepare for your visit.

We kindly request that visitors to the library continue to follow Covid-19 precautions including sanitizing hands before entering the library.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

 

2021 AGM & Annual Dinner Announced

This year's annual dinner will be held on Saturday 27 November at the Castle Green Hotel, Cumbria LA9 6RG.

Our principal guest at the dinner is Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the second woman to climb all fourteen 8,000ers and the first woman to do so without supplementary oxygen or high altitude porters. 

Tickets for the three course dinner are the same price as 2018 and 2019, namely £35.00 per person, reduced to £24.00 for those under the age of 38 on the date of the dinner. To book tickets, members should login to the website and navigate to the Annual Dinner page in the "Events" tab.
 
B&B room rates are as follows: £129 for a double/twin room for 1 night and £218 for two nights. There is a £20 reduction for single occupancy. In addition, for those under the age of 38, the rate is further reduced by £29 per room by special arrangement with the Club.
 
These room rates will be held until 30 days before the event, so you are encouraged to book soon. Call 01539 734000 and quote Alpine Club.
 
 

Lady Ann Chorley

We are saddened to learn of the death on 19 August of Lady Ann Chorley. She had become a member of the Ladies’ Alpine Club in 1966.

Thanksgiving for Rick Allen

A service of thanksgiving will be held for Rick Allen on the 28th August in Aberdeen. All are welcome to attend and the service can be joined digitally here.
 
Those with memories or photographs of Rick that they would like to share are encouraged to do so using the details provided with the invitation below.
  

Rick Allen

Rick climbing on Nanga Parbat. Photo: Sandy Allan

The Club has been deeply saddened to learn of the death of long-standing member Rick Allen. Reports currently indicate that Rick died in an avalanche while attempting a new route on K2 with Jordi Tosas and Stephan Keck. Tosas and Keck survived the avalanche and have been safely returned to basecamp by a rescue operation. 

Alpine ClubCast 26 - 22nd June at 19:30

Women Rise Up: Female Climbing Pioneers with special guest Catherine Destivelle


This year the Alpine Club is celebrating the 150th anniversary of four major first ascents in the Alps.  In 1871, Lucy Walker and Meta Brevoort made the first female ascents of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, Bietschhorn and the Dent Blanche.  Over 200 women recently applied to join a meet hosted by the Alpine Club this summer, which aims to bring together a diverse group of women to commemorate this extraordinary year in female mountaineering.  The aim is to broaden access to mountaineering through inspiration, in the same way that Walker and Brevoort did for women a century and a half ago.  Whereas only 30 places were available for this meet, the Alpine Club sees Women Rise Up as an important new initiative for future years.

Tonight Catherine Destivelle, the first female recipient of the Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award, joins us to talk about her journey.  Historian Clare Roche will outline the events of 1871 and Women Rise Up Climbing Coordinator Becky Coles will talk about Women Rise Up activities.  The ClubCastwill be guest-hosted by Melanie Windridge.

As usual the evening will finish with a Q&A

Queen’s Birthday Honours

Congratulations to Alpine Club member Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, and Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, who becomes a Knight Bachelor for services to Public Health, particularly during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

John Cheesmond

News has reached us of the recent death of John Cheesmond who lived in Edinburgh. He had been a member since 1973

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 Club Lectures Set to Return in September

As meeting and travel restrictions are gradually easing we are hopeful that the lecture series at the AC in London will recommence this Autumn. The current plan is to have the first Autumn lecture on 14 September and continue with talks on the second and fourth Tuesdays until the end of November. Exact details will be confirmed nearer the time when we have up-to-date information on pandemic restrictions. A number of speakers have already been confirmed and we look forward to hearing from them on a wide range of fascinating topics.

                David Hamilton on his TransAlp Ski Journey

Everest: by 'Those Who Were There' Exhibition Opens

 
2021 marks the centenary of the first expedition to Mount Everest. To commemorate the occasion, The Alpine Club is hosting a landmark exhibition entitled ‘Everest: By Those Who Were There’ at its premises of 55 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3QF.
 
The exhibition uses the words of expedition members from 1921, 1922 and 1924 to explore the mountain as a symbol of adventure and a site of significant tragedy. As well as diary entries and hand-written notes, visitors can explore the art works and photography produced on the expeditions, as well as the clothing and equipment that was first used to climb the mountain.
 
Today every detail of Everest, from its precise dimensions to the exact wind speed on its summit, can be accessed at the click of a button. But for the men of these early expeditions, it was an entirely different prospect. In 1921, even its exact location was uncertain and the first expedition undertook a 200-mile trek across Tibet as they, in the words of George Mallory, ‘walked off the map’ in search of it. The achievements of these expeditions, climbing as high as 8,572m in 1924, were accomplished with rudimentary equipment and no concrete understanding of the effects that such extreme altitudes would have on the human body.
 
Renowned mountaineer, former Alpine Club president and current Head of Exhibitions John Porter said: ‘These men lived in the true age of exploration. Driven by the need to escape the horrors of the Great War and a desire to see Britain first atop the “third pole”, they achieved the remarkable. By using their own records and possessions we hope to give visitors a true sense of the reality of the time and the incredible bravery it took for men like Mallory and Irvine to attempt the summit.’
 
 
The Expedition Party of 1921 -
(Back, L-R) Alexander FR Wollaston, Col. Charles K, Howard-Bury, Alexander M Heron, Harold A Raeburn
(Front, L-R) George Leigh Mallory, E Oliver Wheeler, Guy H Bullock, Major Henry T Morshead
Base Camp, 1922 - Photo by George Finch
 
‘Everest: By Those Who Were There’ opens to the public from the 21 June and can be visited on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between the hours of 12:00 and 17:00 until October 20, with a closure for the month of August and the 27/28 July. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book in advance of your visit. If you do not book in advance, we are sadly unable to guarantee entry. If you would like to visit at a time and date outside of our listed opening hours, please don't hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to facilitate a visit.
 
Items on display include: a photograph taken on Everest by Howard Somervell in 1924 which was, at the time, the highest photograph ever taken; watercolour paintings of Everest; and Sandy Irvine’s ice axe, lost on Everest during his fateful summit attempt with Mallory in 1924, and discovered in 1933.
 
In addition to the exhibition itself, the Alpine Club Library has also produced an accompanying catalogue, laying out the aims, logistics and accomplishments of the three 1920s expeditions. Complete with high quality reproductions of expedition photography, maps and art work, this commemorative publication is sure to become a collector's item for any Everest or mountaineering enthusiast and we recommend purchasing early to avoid disappointment. Copies will be available at the exhibition itself and can also be purchased via the dedicated catalogue page.

 
 
The club is indebted to numerous volunteers for their incredible effort in assembling the exhibition, and in particular to our Honorary Librarian, Barbara Grigor-Taylor, for her helming of this project. Almost all of the exhibits on display have been drawn from the Alpine Club Library's collections and the work of our dedicated volunteers cannot be overstated.
 
We hope that both club members and the wider public will take advantage of this incredible opportunity to see so many iconic facets of climbing history on display together for the first time.

Everest: by 'Those Who Were There' - Exhibition Catalogue

The Everest expeditions of 1921, 1922 and 1924 were incredible feats of human ingenuity, vision and personal courage. 100 years on from the exploratory expedition of 1921, the Alpine Club is marking this remarkable undertaking with an exhibition that comprehensively examines the 1920s expeditions, using the words of the expedition members themselves and never-before-seen artefacts to tell the complete story. The exhibition catalogue, compiled by the Alpine Club's Honorary Librarian Barbara Grigor-Taylor and designed by Abrahams, offers a detailed and compelling companion piece to the exhibition.  

Covid-19 and Meets

Update accurate as of 04/08/2021. Please always check most recent guidance.

As the UK gradually opens up from lockdown, we are keen to get the meets program back up and running. We are just as keen to do this safely and to stay well within the laws, regulations and guidance set up by the UK government and other relevant authorities, for instance the Devolved Administrations for trips in Scotland and Wales etc.

AC Library will Reopen on May 18th

  

We are very pleased to announce that the Alpine Club Library is due to begin a phased re-opening. The library has been open to online enquiries during lockdown, but from 18 May we will be resuming some levels of normal service. In addition to online enquires we will offer a Click & Collect service, and will offer a booking system for in-person visits.

Gerald Franklin

We have recently learned of the death of our Associate member Gerald Franklin

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 Robson

We have recently learned of the death of Peter Robson who had been a member since 1971.

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. 

Duke of Edinburgh

The Alpine Club is saddened to hear of the death of our Honorary Member, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Alpine Club wishes to convey deep condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.