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
 

Exhibitions

The Club is pleased to be able to use its premises and resources, along with its renowned archive of mountaineering reports, books, art and artefacts to host and curate exhibitions that celebrate mountain history and culture. As well as spotlighting the work of contemporary artists and academics, the Club has also worked to mark key mountaineering anniversaries; bringing together records of the past to keep our history alive and engaging for climbers and the wider community alike.

Individual exhibitions may vary, but most take place at our Charlotte Road Club House.

A full list of past and upcoming exhibitions is shown below.

Glaciers Exhibition Opens at the Alpine Club

Glaciers Exhibition Opens at the Alpine Club

With increasing attention being given to the issue of climate change and the effect it is having on mountain environments, glaciers have been pushed into the fore of public consciousness. In our new exhibition, 'Glaciers', curated by Janet Johnson, we use the Alpine Club's extensive collection of mountain art work to explore the ways that glaciers were depicted prior to the advent of photography.

Today, glaciers are revered for their sublime beauty and hold a melancholy quality, serving as significant testimony to the impact of climate change. But in previous centuries, glaciers themselves, rather than their retreat, were something to be feared; moving their way through alpine valleys and sometimes crushing entire villages in their wake. They were powerful, elemental forces of nature. The watercolour and oil paintings in The Alpine Club Collection are a valuable historical record of the world's glaciers and humanity's relationship to them.

This new exhibition will showcase some of the finest works in our collection, including a number of rarely-exhibited hidden gems that have not been shown for a long time due to a need for special safe lighting or because they are in a delicate condition and require some repair.

 
Thanks to our digital partners, these works will also be available to view online. Ninety-four oil and watercolour paintings can be found on the Art UK website while The Watercolour World showcases a further 617 watercolours, including rarely if ever seen paintings from alpine artists’ travel sketchbooks as well as mounted watercolours stored in archival boxes. We are hoping to further increase the number of entries on both sites over time.

If you would like to view these remarkable pieces in person, the exhibition will run from 11 January - 31 March 2022 and is open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 12PM to 5PM

We ask that you please book in advance by calling 0207 613 0755 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Our Digital Partners

To help bring our extensive art collection to a wider audience, The Alpine Club is working with two innovative partners, Art UK and The Watercolour World. Together, these two online portals provide an opportunity to place more of our paintings on constant digital display, allowing audiences to view, curate and purchase prints of their favourite pieces. 

Art UK

Art UK is an online art database that shows over 200,000 artworks from 3,000 venues across the UK.

Art UK was originally conceived as a database of oil paintings belonging to public collections. However, it now also shows a growing number of private collections (for example, the Oxford and Cambridge colleges). In addition to oil paintings, collections can upload images of watercolours and drawings. The site is free to access and non-profit making.

The Alpine Club is able to sell prints through the Art UK shop and license images for use in publications and for items such as wall calendars. All the images available on this website are out of copyright, (seventy years after the artist’s death).

www.artuk.org

 

The Watercolour World

The Watercolour World is also an online portal that showcases purely documentary watercolour painting through the ages.

‘Before the invention of the camera, people used watercolours to document the world. Over the centuries, painters – both professional and amateur – created hundreds of thousands of images recording life as they witnessed it. Every one of these paintings has a story to tell, but many are hidden away in archives, albums and store rooms, too fragile to display. The Watercolour World exists to bring them back into view. We are creating a free online database of documentary watercolours painted before 1900.’

At present it is not possible to buy prints from the website.

www.watercolourworld.org

 

 

 

'Women With Altitude' - 100 Years of Female Alpinism in the PC & AC

2021 marks 100 years since the foundation of The Pinnacle Club, one of the UK’s only all-women climbing clubs. As part of their centenary celebrations, the Pinnacle Club have partnered with the Alpine Club to host ‘Women with Altitude’, an interactive exhibition that profiles ground-breaking female alpinists from the last 100 years of both clubs.

As in so many areas of history, the lives and accomplishments of female climbers have often been overlooked, forgotten or diminished. This exhibition seeks to rebalance that narrative by making the biographical details of these women’s lives accessible and by foregrounding their stories with the use of their own words and possessions.

Alongside biographical displays for the 12 featured climbers, visitors will also be able to listen to audio recordings via QR codes, (a smartphone will be necessary for this element of the exhibition), and view a number of films featuring the profiled climbers. It is our hope that a combination of traditional exhibition materials, such as artefacts and displays, alongside these interactive elements will bring these women to life for a modern audience and allow us all to more fully engage with their stories.

 

Micheline Morin, Nea Morin & Alice Damesme at the Aigle Hut after completing the Meije Traverse
Dorothy Pilley

The exhibition will link these historic stories to the present using a timeline of women's achievements that runs up to the present day and shorter profiles of contemporary female mountaineers.

The exhibition is located at the Alpine Club’s premises of 55 Charlotte Road, London, EC2A 3QF and will run from 8 November to 8 January with closures on the 9 November, 14 December and for the Christmas period of 20 December to 5 January.

It is open 10AM – 5PM Monday to Friday, with extended opening to 9PM on Thursdays.

Entry is free and on a drop-in basis, but we do ask that larger groups of 8 or more visitors make a booking in advance by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to ensure we can accommodate you. 

As part of the exhibition, the Pinnacle Club and Alpine Club have commissioned the production of teaching materials to be used by visiting school groups. The materials are linked to the national curriculum and are designed to accommodate children from KS2 to KS4 (11-16 years of age). If you are aware of any schools or youth organisations who may be interested in arranging a visit to the exhibition, please get in touch with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.

 

 

Everest: by 'Those Who Were There'

 
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 16, 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.