News

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.

 

Alpine Club Caucasus Ice Meet 2021

Andrey Golovachev is arranging the Alpine Club Caucasus Ice Meet in the Midagrabin valley, North Ossetia, Russia from Saturday 6th February 2021 to Friday 12th February 2021. Accommodation is a newly built hotel with en-suite showers with twin, double and family rooms available. The approximate costs are £250-300 for the hotel accommodation, transfers and meals plus about £325 for return flights from London to Vladikavkaz (OGZ) plus about £50 for the Russian visa.
The hotel stands literally at the foothills of Mt Tbau 3,400m. Its 700m dolomite cliffs much resemble Italian Marmolada and there is a big potential for trad first ascents, provided sunny weather. In theory it is possible to climb Kazbek (5054) which requires a detour into Georgia via Verhny Lars official international border crossing. It takes about 5-7 extra days for acclimatization and the climb. The more technical route is graded about AD+ and is about 700 vertical meters of 50-55 degrees ice.

CLICK HERE for details

Alpine ClubCast 8 – 26th May at 19:30

Aiguille des Pélerins

In February 1975 Rab Carrington and Alan Rouse brought hard Scottish style climbing to the Alps with their winter ascent  of the Terray Rebuffat route on the Aiguille des Pélerins.  17 years later Andy Parkin and Mark Twight climbed the nearby ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ and in February this year Jon Bracey, Matt Helliker and Pete Whittaker added ‘Beyond Reason’. In their own way each of these ascents have set new standards for the sport.

Why has this corner of the Chamonix Aiguilles been a test bed for the best climbers of their generation? Find out on 26 May.

Alpine ClubCast 7 - 19th May at 19:30

“Medical dilemmas on long bivvies….severe headaches, black digits, the squits and more”.

BMC Honorary Medical advisor David Hillebrandt chairs a team of three mountaineering doctors - Chris Imray, Paul Richards and Jeremy Windsor - to share advice, experiences, and a Q&A.

Art UK

Alpine Club Paintings 

Following our agreement with Art UK 70 digital images from the Club’s painting collection are now displayed on the Art UK website.

Slovakia Meet, Chata Pri Zelenom Plese

6th - 13th March 2020

Words & Photographs by Alex Metcalfe.

Attendees: Mike De La Rue (organiser), Jonathan Bamber, Alex Metcalfe, Tom Davis-Merry, Mark Grist (guest), Tom Priestly (guest), John Venier, Ian Bryant.

Things did not start well for the AC Slovakia meet. A six hour delay gave members of the team ample time to repack & worry about baggage allowance whilst others went to see the sights and sounds of Luton. The team finally convened that night to fly out and meet the Johns the following day in Tatramanska Lomnica. 

Alpine ClubCast 6 – 12th May at 19:30

Nanga Parbat’s Mazeno Ridge 

Rick Allen and Sandy Allan talk about their traverse of the Mazeno Ridge in 2012, which was first attempted by Doug Scott back in 1992.  Scott Ellsworth will speak first on the history of climbing on Nanga Parbat.

Joe Brown

Members will be saddened to learn that our Honorary Member Joe Brown died yesterday,15 April, peacefully at home,   We send condolences to his family and all his friends.

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 3 - 21st April at 19:30

New routing in unexplored Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan

In 2013 six mountaineers, who had met whilst studying in Leeds and Sheffield, went off on their first expedition. Alpine Club members Tom Bell, Tim Elson and Hugh Thomas were part of the team that travelled to the relatively unexplored area of the Tien Shan mountains on the border between China and Kyrgyzstan. There, multiple glacier systems with multiple unclimbed 5000m peaks had seen few mountaineers before.  Over 4 weeks the team achieved several first ascents and were able to get to grips with the steep learning curve of a first expedition, which was partly funded by grants from the Alpine Club and the Austrian Alpine Club.

Tom, Tim and Hugh will talk about their experiences and afterwards answer questions from the audience.

If you would like to join this ClubCast please check your emails again on Monday 20 April, when a link will be sent out.  The link will also be available on the Alpine Club Facebook Member Area.

Alpine ClubCast 4 - 28th April at 19:30

The 4000m Peaks of the Alps - Ridges to Remember

Three Alpine Club members talk about their favourite route on a 4000er: Paul Newby on the West Ridge of the Dufourspitze, Max Streeton on the Weisshorn Schaligrat, and Becky Coles on the Lauteraargrat which links the Schreckhorn and the Lauteraarhorn.

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

Jerry Gore - The Eiger Challenge

Thank you for all the positive comments about yesterday evening’s virtual lecture.  If you would like to send any feedback please email the office or post them on Facebook. 

We are sorry that the Zoom limit of 100 participants prevented some of you from attending. Please note that a recording will be publicly available shortly.

We are delighted by the interest shown, and as a result the Zoom limit for future virtual lectures has now been increased to 500 participants. The next lecture will be on

Tuesday 14 April at 19:30

The Eiger Challenge

Jerry Gore takes us on a 25 minute bumble up the 1938 route on the North Face of the Eiger.  After his two very different experiences on this iconic route, Jerry gives us his take on how to prepare and train for a successful ascent.

Jerry’s light hearted glimpse at the world of uphill alpinism will be followed by a Q&A session.

If you would like to join this lecture  please check your emails again on Monday 13 April, when a link will be sent out.  The link will also be available on the Alpine Club Facebook Member Area

If you have ideas for future lectures, or other activities for these challenging times, you can share them here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kYB-IVQzvlrN3KBPlRCFXbcFRkVTcbBZf6SGU123Ypc/edit?ts=5e85c62f

 

Up Close with Sally Westmacott

Interview by Adele Long

But for Mt. Everest, Sally Westmacott might now be a professional concert pianist. Instead she…is one of the best…British women mountaineers’.  This is how Ingrid Cranfield began her article about Sally for the Observer on 4 March 1965.  

So, if Sally had not met Mike (Westmacott of the 1953 Everest expedition fame), would she have been a climber? When asked, she replied “I don’t know. Because the bug is always there. I was climbing on the sandstone in Fontainebleu long before I met Michael”. But she did concede “I fell in at the deep end with the Everest business. I was lucky”.

Sikkim: Beyond the Mists with Victor Saunders, Nigel Buckley and Nicholas Hurndall Smith

We hope that you and your families are all keeping well.

While we are all practicing social isolation, the club is proposing to host a series of short virtual lectures, using Zoom. This technology has the advantage that those participating have the opportunity to ask questions directly to the presenters.  

To launch this initiative the presenters of the last London lecture, Victor Saunders, Nick Smith and Nigel Buckley, are planning to broadcast a shorter version of their lecture, live, on

Tuesday 7 April

19:30

Swanage Meet Cancelled

Due to the corona virus situation the Swanage meet due to take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April 2020 has been cancelled.

Alpine Club Library Closure

We regretfully have to inform you that the Alpine Club Library will be closed to Alpine Club members and external visitors from Monday 23rd March to a least the end of May.

We will review this situation at the end of April and keep you all informed by Alpinet, and our website and social media channels.   

Following Government advise we need to act responsibly and limit our travel and contact with others.

Our Librarian will be visiting the library once a week to answer enquiries requiring research, and to post out loans to members and provide document scans, so do still get in touch via email or phone and leave a message.

Any members that need to return books can either keep them for the time-being (all loans will be renewed) or return by post to the Library.

Covid-19 is a terrible challenge to everyone and our thoughts and sympathies go out to all those affected in so many ways.

We would like to thank all our visitors over the years and look forward to welcoming you back into the library as soon as we can.