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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We are saddened to receive news of the death of our member, Sir John Rowlinson.

Members are invited to send their tributes 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


#1 Geoffrey Pocock 2018-09-17 10:03
I first met John in 1971 when he was my external PhD examiner. He was Professor of Chemical Technology at Imperial College at that time but in 1974 he moved to Oxford to take up the post of Dr Lee's Professor of Chemistry where he was introduced to the Gorphwysfa Club by Brian Smith and so we met again at Pen-y-pass and I was soon one of John's many Alpine novices. Our first Alpine climb together, in 1975, was the Untergabelhorn, followed by the Breithorn and Alphubel. Two years later John and I with my wife Anne Davis did the Haute Route and finished with sufficient energy to climb Monte Rosa.

Over the next ten years, often in the company of other AC members, Brian Smith and Jeremy Naish, John climbed many of the traditional routes around Zermatt, including an epic ascent of the Weisshorn in near winter conditions.

John was first to acknowledge that he was no rock tiger, nor a fierce climber of snow and ice. But how many of us are? Very few of those who visit the Alps can aspire to being hard men; even fewer can claim to have the most important skills for an Alpine climber - fitness, leadership and companionship.
John had these attributes in abundance. How many of us had slaved up a steep glacier behind him, mesmerised by his powerful gait, not fast but never stopping. And how often had we been on the brink of calling a halt in the face of bad weather or just overwhelming fatigue only to be gently urged on a little further ... “just to the next ridge” ... “if it's no better we haven’t committed ourselves” ... until the climb has been completed. In the matter of being a good companion I can think of few people who could spend three days in hut in terrible weather and still be able to offer some thought-provoking conversation and amusement by way of a mathematical puzzle or some such diversion.

Those of us who climbed with John were privileged to have enjoyed his companionship. We will miss him greatly.

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