Rules Printable version

Regulations Printable version



Constitution of the Club

  1. The Club will be called the Alpine Club.
  2. The objects of the Alpine Club are to promote mountain climbing and exploration in good style throughout the world, to develop a better knowledge of the mountains through literature, science and art and through its meetings and publications, to encourage protection of the mountain environment and to conserve the Club’s heritage.
  3. The Club will consist of Full Members elected under Rules 17-20, Aspirant Members and Associate Members elected under Rules 17-19 and 21, and Honorary Members elected under Rule 22. All Full Members of the Alpine Climbing Group are Full Members of the Club. Membership of the Club is open equally to men and women. For detailed provisions regarding the various categories of membership of the Club see the Club's Regulations.

Management of the Club

  1. The Officers of the Club will be a President, two Vice-Presidents, an Honorary Secretary, an Assistant Honorary Secretary, an Honorary Treasurer, an Honorary Editor, an Honorary Librarian and the Chairs of the Climbing Sub-Committee, IT Sub-Committee and Marketing, Communications and Publications Sub-Committee.  
  2. The management of the Club and its operations will be the responsibility of a Committee consisting of the Officers, up to four Elective Members, the Chair for the time being of the Library Council, and such co-opted Members as may be appointed according to Rule 6. Seven will form a quorum.
  3. The Committee will have power to co-opt any Full Member, provided that the total number of co-opted Members does not at any time exceed four.  Co-opted Members will hold office from the time of their appointment until the following 31st December and will be eligible for re-appointment, but will not serve for more than three years consecutively.
  4. If a casual vacancy occurs in the office of President, the Committee will appoint one of the Vice-Presidents to fill the office until the following 31st December. If a similar vacancy occurs in respect of any other Officer or Member of the Committee, the Committee may co-opt any eligible Full Member to fill the vacancy for the same period. Any such period of service will be disregarded in applying the conditions of Rule 35. Any casual vacancy in the office of Auditor will be filled by the Committee, subject to confirmation by the next General Meeting.
  5. The Committee will appoint, maintain, and receive recommendations from the following sub-committees: 

(a) a Membership Applications Sub-Committee, which will collect and scrutinise applications for Associate, Aspirant and Full Membership;

(b) a Climbing Fund Sub-Committee, which will manage and oversee the provision of grants;

(c) a Finance Sub-Committee, which will manage and oversee the strategic financial affairs of the Club;

(d) a Property Sub-Committee, which will manage and oversee the strategic property affairs of the Club;

(e) an Honorary Membership Sub-Committee, which will collect and scrutinise applications for Honorary Membership;

(f) a Climbing Sub-Committee, which will manage and oversee the climbing activities offered by the Club;

(g) an IT Sub-Committee, which will manage and oversee the Club’s IT;

(h) a Marketing, Communications and Publications Sub-Committee, which will manage and oversee all aspects of media and communications for the Club.

9 (a) The Committee will appoint and maintain a Bar Sub-Committee which will consist of the Treasurer and three other Members of the Club to manage the purchase for the Club and the licencing and supply by the Club of intoxicating liquor.

(b) Members (and guests of such Members) of other clubs that exist for learned educational or cultural objects of a similar nature to those of the Club may be admitted to the Club’s premises. Intoxicating liquor may be sold to them on behalf of the Club for consumption on the premises, provided that such admission or sale will be in accordance with conditions and occasions authorised by or in accordance with Regulations made by the Committee.

  1. The Committee will have power to appoint other sub-committees as it considers necessary, and to define their terms of reference.
  2. The Committee will appoint five Members to the Council of the Alpine Club Library, which will be given responsibility for the management of the collections of mountaineering books, tracts, archives, paintings, photographs and artefacts owned by the Alpine Club, and of making them available to the public.
  3. The Committee will have power, and where required by these Rules a duty, to make from time to time Regulations deemed to be for the well-being of the Club. Regulations must be consistent with these Rules.

Appointment of Trustees

  1. (a) The freehold and leasehold property of the Club, and such other property as the Committee may direct, will be held by not less than two but no more than four Trustees, who will be appointed by the Committee from Full or Honorary Members. However, cessation of Membership will not disqualify a Trustee from continuing in office. 

(b) Trustees will act in accordance with any lawful directions given by the Committee or any appropriate sub-committee appointed in accordance with Rules 8, 10 and 11.


(c) The Committee will have power to appoint a new Trustee or Trustees in the place of a Trustee or Trustees dying, retiring, or becoming unable to act.


(d) The Committee will have power by resolution to remove a Trustee from office. Any Trustee so removed will agree to provide any documents requisite to give effect to this removal.


Investment Powers of Trustees

  1. The Trustees will have the following powers as regards any property held by them (“the Trust Funds”):

(a) to invest the Trust Funds in whatever way they think fit, as if the Trust Funds belonged to them personally; except that they may only exercise this power to further the Club’s objects and not so as to benefit any individual;

(b) to deposit any securities or documents of title with any bank or similar institution in the United Kingdom, and to hold any investments in the name of nominees in the United Kingdom on such terms as they think proper;

(c) to insure any property in the Trust Funds for any amount.


  1. Trustees, Officers, Committee and Sub-Committee Members or any other Member acting honestly and in good faith in the management and administration of the Club’s affairs will be indemnified out of the property and insurances of the Club against any civil liability (including costs and expenses) incurred as a result of their acts or omissions.

Dissolution of the Club

  1. In the event of the dissolution of the Club any assets remaining after settlement of all debts and liabilities will not be paid or distributed among Members but will be given or transferred to recognised charitable or non-profit organisation(s) having similar objectives to that of the Club.

Election of Members

  1. The election of Members will be subject to the approval of the Committee in consultation with the Membership Applications Sub-Committee.  
  2. No candidate will be elected who has not attained the age of 18 years.
  3. The Committee will make Regulations which will prescribe the procedures to be followed for the election of Full, Aspirant and Associate Members. 
  4. Every candidate for election as a Full Member will be proposed and seconded by Full Members.  
  5. Every candidate for election as an Aspirant or Associate Member will be proposed by a Full Member or by a person approved by Regulations having personal knowledge of him or her.
  6. The Committee will receive recommendations from the Honorary Members Sub-Committee and elect to Honorary Membership eminent mountaineers, or persons who have rendered services of exceptional value to the Club or to mountaineering.

Privileges and Liabilities of Members

  1. All Members will be entitled to attend the General Meetings and dinners of the Club, and to use the Club rooms and Library at times and under conditions prescribed by the Committee. On payment of the appropriate subscription they will receive the ordinary Club publications.
  2. Aspirant and Associate Members will not:

(a) be entitled to vote upon any requisition, resolution or motion of the Club;

(b) be eligible for election as Officers of the Club, or Members of the Committee;

(c) be entitled to propose or second candidates for Membership.

  1. Honorary Members will be exempt from the payment of any subscription. On election an Honorary Member will become entitled to all rights and privileges, and will become subject to the rules and restrictions applicable to Full Members. However, Honorary Members will have no right to, or claim upon, the property of the Club, except for Full Members who are elected as Honorary Members.
  2. Annual subscriptions will only be altered at a General Meeting of the Club. 
  3. The annual subscription will be due and payable on election, and on every succeeding 1st of January. The subscription of a Member elected between October 1st and December 31st will cover the period up to the end of the following year.
  4. Every Member will be liable for his or her subscription for the current year, unless he or she forwards a formal resignation in writing to the Honorary Secretary before 1st of January of that year. The Committee may at their discretion waive payment of any subscription.
  5. No Member whose subscription is in arrears will be entitled to attend any Club activity, or make any use of the Club rooms. In addition, he or she will not receive any Club publications, or serve on committees or sub-committees. No candidate is eligible for proposal if the subscription of his or her proposer or seconder is in arrears.
  6. Every Member whose subscription is 12 months in arrears will cease to be a Member of the Club, but the Committee will have power at their discretion to reinstate such a Member on payment of arrears.
  7. The application documents of every new Member will be available in the Club rooms for inspection by Members.

General Meetings

  1. An Annual General Meeting for the election of the Officers, Committee and Auditors for the ensuing year will be held between the 1st October and 31st December of each year. Notice of the date, time and place of every Annual General Meeting will be issued to every Member of the Club at least 56 days before the date of the meeting. The details of the business to be transacted will be issued at least 28 days before the date of the meeting. No business will be taken at the meeting without such notice.
  2. A Special General Meeting will be called by the Honorary Secretary if required by the Committee, or on receiving a requisition signed by not less than 25 Full Members of the Club, and specifying the object for which the meeting is to be called. Notice of the date, time and place of every Special General Meeting, and of the business to be transacted, will be issued to every Member of the Club at least 21 days before the date of the meeting. No business will be taken at the meeting without such notice. This notice will be issued within 28 days of the receipt of the requisition by the Honorary Secretary.
  3. (a) On any resolution at a General Meeting (including the election of Officers and Elective Members of the Committee) every Full Member will have one vote. That vote may be cast either in person at the meeting or by proxy.

(b) The notice of the meeting will give directions about the form of proxy notices and about the methods and time of delivering them to the Club. The directions may allow e-mail or other electronic means to be used, as well as ordinary post.

(c) A proxy notice may appoint either the Chair or any other Full Member as proxy and may specify how the proxy is to vote on one or more resolutions. Unless the notice indicates otherwise, it must be treated as allowing the proxy discretion as to how to vote on any ancillary or procedural resolutions put to the meeting.

  1. (a) The Officers and Elective Members of the Committee will be elected at the Annual General Meeting, to hold office from the following 1st January. They will be eligible for re-election, up to a maximum consecutive term of:

Vice-Presidents: 2 years,

The President and Elective Members: 3 years,

Honorary Secretary, Assistant Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, and Chairs of Sub-Committees: 5 years,

Honorary Editor and Honorary Librarian: 10 years.

After these respective terms they will not again be eligible for election until after the expiry of one year.

(b) If after the Annual General Meeting there remains any position which is unfilled for the following year, this will be treated as a casual vacancy to which Rule 7 applies.

  1. Candidates for the offices as defined in Rule 4, and for the other Elective Members of the Committee, may be proposed by any two Full Members of the Club or by the Committee. If two Full Members propose any candidate, notice in writing of the proposal, accompanied by the consent in writing of the proposed Member, must be sent to the Honorary Secretary not later than 42 hours before the Annual General Meeting.
  2. The details of an Annual General Meeting will give details of the candidates duly proposed as Officers and Elective Members of the Committee. If the number of candidates does not exceed the number of respective vacancies, then the Chair of the meeting will declare the candidates elected. If the number of candidates exceeds the number of vacancies, the notice will provide for an election by Members' votes.
  3. A General Meeting will have power by a majority of not less than two-thirds of those present and voting, to expel from the Club any Member for any cause that the meeting will deem sufficient. A resolution to expel a Member may be proposed by the Committee, or by a requisition made to the Honorary Secretary and signed by not less than 25 Full Members. The notice of a meeting at which such a resolution is to be put forward must state the grounds for expulsion and must include any lawful representations that the Member wishes to put forward. Any Member so expelled will forfeit all right to the use of, or claim upon, the property of the Club, but will have his or her subscription for the current year returned to him or her.

The Chair

  1. The Chair, whether at a General Meeting or at a meeting of the Committee, will be taken by the President, or in his or her absence by one of the Vice-Presidents. In the absence of the President and Vice-Presidents, the Meeting will elect a Chair from among the Members present.
  2. The Chair, whether at a General Meeting or at a meeting of the Committee, will, in the case of equality of votes, have a second or casting vote.


  1. The Club will, at each Annual General Meeting, appoint Auditors to audit the Club accounts for the current year. Such accounts will, when duly audited, be presented by the Honorary Treasurer to a General Meeting of the Club for confirmation, a copy having been duly forwarded to every Member of the Club within the notice convening the meeting.

Dinners of the Club

  1. The Members of the Club will, save in exceptional circumstances of which the Committee will be the judge, dine together each year.

Alteration to the Rules

  1. A General Meeting will have power, by a majority consisting of not less than two-thirds of the Full Members voting, to alter or add to the existing Rules of the Club.  

30th November 2019






  1. Membership of the Alpine Club is open equally to all men and women who have the relevant alpine mountaineering experience.


  1. No candidate may be elected to Membership of the Alpine Club until he or she is 18 years of age.
  2. A candidate for Full Membership shall have achieved a high level of proficiency and self-reliance and shall have demonstrated a commitment to alpine climbing. Typically, they have climbed approximately 20 substantive peaks or routes at an average grade of PD or above in the Alps, or in other ranges or wilderness areas, over at least three seasons. Hard alpine routes and serious climbs in the greater ranges will carry more weight than snow ascents. Ski mountaineering ascents are taken into account. 
  3. A candidate for Alpine Climbing Group (ACG) Membership typically will have the following level of mountaineering experience:

(a) at least 3 “major alpine-style routes” in the European Alps or other equivalent ranges anywhere in the world. By “major alpine-style routes” we mean long and serious routes of at least TD standard.


(b) routes of a somewhat lower technical standard in the “greater ranges”, e.g. Himalayas, Andes. 


(c) somewhat easier/shorter routes on lower mountains in very remote areas, e.g. polar.

Extra credit will also be given for first ascents, new routes, and winter ascents.

A candidate’s overall record, including easier alpine-style routes in any location, and hard British winter routes, will normally span at least three years.

  1. Candidates for Aspirant Membership shall have alpine mountaineering experience, which includes roped glacier travel and an ability to competently lead mixed snow and rock climbing to PD grade. Aspirants should have an enthusiasm for the mountains making it reasonably likely that they will qualify for Full Membership in due course

Alternatively, for those mountaineers who do not have any alpine mountaineering experience, but now wish to take their experience to an alpine level, the Club offers Probationary Aspirant Membership for a fixed term of one membership year. These candidates should be able to demonstrate an ability to competently lead traditional multi-pitch rock routes at grade Severe and have UK winter mountaineering and climbing experience, which demonstrate an ability to competently lead mixed winter climbing routes at Grades II – III in Scotland, as a necessary foundation to develop the skills needed for technical mixed snow and rock travel in an alpine environment to enable them to successfully apply for Aspirant Membership with alpine experience or Full Membership within the fixed term of their membership.

  1. Candidates for Associate Membership do not have the climbing experience or aspiration to become Full members of the Club, but do have an interest in alpinism in the Alps and Greater Ranges and support the objectives of the Club. Their interest can be focused on their study of mountaineering history, literature, art, equipment, science, protection of the mountain environment or conservation of the Club’s heritage and they will have made a substantive and eminent contribution normally demonstrated by exhibition, publication or other public demonstration of their work. Alternatively, they will have made a valuable contribution to the Club’s activities over a considerable number of years.

Application Forms 

  1. Separate forms are provided for:

a) Full Membership 

b) ACG Membership

c) Promotion from Aspirant Membership to Full Membership

d) Aspirant Membership 

e) Associate Membership

  1. Every candidate for Membership should apply on a form approved by the Committee (in the case of ACG membership, on a form approved by both the AC Committee and ACG Committee)

The same form will be used for application for ACG membership by an existing AC member, and by someone who is not yet an AC member.

  1. All forms shall provide for the name, age and address of the candidate, and for the name of any other mountaineering club of which the candidate is a member. 
  2. Forms for Full, ACG and Aspirant membership shall list a candidate's expeditions and climbs, stating in each case the month and year, whether a camp or bivouac was involved, whether it was conducted partly or wholly on ski, and whether a guide accompanied the party. 

An expectation of Full (including ACG) membership is personal alpine mountaineering competence.

  1. Forms for Associate Membership shall provide information demonstrating an interest and experience in the alpine environment and/or mountaineering activities, history, literature, art, equipment or science; and a wish to benefit from, or contribute to, the Club’s activities.

 Proposers and Seconders

  1. The proposer and seconder of every candidate for Full Membership shall be a Full Member of the Alpine Club (AC). The proposer shall have personal knowledge of the candidate. 
  2. The seconder may be the Chair of the Applications Sub-Committee. 
  3. If the candidate does not know a proposer who is a full member, the Chair of the Applications Sub-Committee may propose the candidate after making appropriate enquiries; in which case the seconder of the candidate shall be another member of the Applications Sub-Committee. 
  4. The Committee shall have power to dispense with this requirement in the case of a candidate who is ordinarily resident outside the United Kingdom.
  5. Every candidate for ACG membership must be supported by a proposer and a seconder who are both ACG members.  The ACG Secretary may act as seconder for application for ACG Membership.
  6. The proposer of every candidate for Aspirant Membership or Associate Membership shall be a Full Member of the Alpine Club (AC), or an elected officer of a club in full membership of the British Mountaineering Council, the Mountaineering Scotland, or the Mountaineering Ireland, or any member of the British Association of Mountain Guides, who has personal knowledge of him or her. 

Letters of Support

  1. The proposer shall write to the Club intimating the extent and duration of his or her personal knowledge of the candidate, and the proposer's reason for considering the candidate technically and otherwise suitable for membership of the Club (and /or ACG). The letter shall be signed by the proposer.
  2. They will send this “Letter of Support” to the AC office.

Submission of Applications and their consideration

  1. Once completed, the form must be signed manually by the applicant.  
  2. A hard copy of the completed application form should then be sent to the AC office, who will then send the form and the Letter of Support to the appropriate people for consideration.  In the case of the Alpine Club, to the Chair of the Application Sub-Committee for consideration by the Application Sub-Committee.  In the case of the ACG, to the ACG Honorary Secretary for consideration by the ACG committee.
  3. The procedure to be followed will be as follows:

a) for an application to the Alpine Club, the Applications Sub-Committee will consider the application and decide whether to refuse it or accept it for consideration for election.  The Committee of the AC will then consider whether to elect the candidate or reject or defer his or her application election. 

b) for an application to the ACG, the ACG Committee will consider to elect the candidate or reject or defer his or her application election.  Those candidate’s details will then be passed to the AC Membership Application Sub- Committee where they will be considered for admission as Full AC members, if they are not already a Full AC member.   Membership of the ACG is contingent upon the joint approval of both committees.  

c) the AC Committee will, before proceeding to the election of any candidate, take into consideration any communication received from any member concerning his or her application, and any such communication shall be treated as confidential.  The ACG Committee will do the same for ACG Membership.

d) The Committee will periodically review the proportion of Full Members/Aspirant Members/Associate Members of the Club.

Promotion of Aspirants Membership to Full or ACG Membership

  1. When an Aspirant Member considers that he or she has attained the competence and experience required he or she should apply for Full AC or ACG Membership on the relevant form. 

a) Promotion from Aspirant AC Membership to Full AC Membership

b) ACG Membership application form 

The election procedure and the above regulations shall thereafter be followed. 

Election of Associate Members to Aspirant or Full Membership

  1. If an Associate Member considers that he or she has attained the experience required for Aspirant Membership, or the competence and experience required for Full Membership, he or she may apply for Membership on the relevant form. 

The election procedure and the above regulations shall thereafter be followed. 


Alpine Climbing Group

  1. The Alpine Climbing Group (ACG) is a section of the club and will be managed under the Club Rules and Regulations.  The objective of the ACG is to encourage high standard alpine-style mountaineering.   Its Members, who are Full Members of the Alpine Club elected under the above regulations, are known as Alpine Climbing Group Members.  

The management of the ACG and its operations will be the responsibility of the ACG Committee consisting of an Honorary President, an Honorary Secretary and whatever other posts are deemed necessary. Two will form a quorum. 

The ACG Committee may:

I. nominate up to two members to sit on the Club Committee if invited.

II. co-opt any ACG member as another ACG Committee member, or to fill a casual vacancy

III. determine the criteria for membership of the ACG

IV. arrange meetings, dinners or other functions for ACG Members. 

  1. The ACG committee posts will normally be elected annually between the 1st October and 31st December of each year.  The ACG Hon Sec will invite nominations from all members giving two weeks' notice.  Nominations for each post must be made by two members (proposer and seconder). If after two weeks, a post has only one nomination, that nominee will be declared elected. If a post has more than one nomination, an election will take place. This will normally take place electronically, with each member having a single vote. In the event of a tie, the president will have a second, or casting vote.
  2. There will be no annual ACG subscription, as being a section of the AC, ACG members are only required to pay their AC annual subscription.     

 March 2019









  1. The Library is open 10am to 5pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays to members and the public; visits can also be made by appointment on many Thursdays. In addition it is open to AC and ACG Members up to 7pm on London lecture evenings. If travelling from afar, please telephone beforehand to check opening times.


2. Members of the Alpine Club and Alpine Climbing Group, members of the Association of British Members of the Swiss Alpine Club and Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society are entitled to use the Library free of charge. (AC and ACG members enjoy reciprocity at the RGS Library). Non-members may use the Library but are charged a daily fee.


3. Members of the AC and ACG are entitled to borrow up to five books at a time for up to four weeks, with the permission of the Librarian. These must be duly recorded in accordance with instructions posted in the Library. They may be borrowed by post, within the UK only, on payment of postage. Borrowers are responsible for return of books undamaged. In the event of loss or damage, the borrower may be required to pay compensation to the Library. Non-members may not borrow books.


4. Archival material and rare or valuable books are housed separately, and may only be consulted by appointment. They may not be borrowed, nor may certain other items such as unduplicated guidebooks or maps.


5. All visitors are required to enter their names in the Visitors Book, plus addresses if they are not AC or ACG members.


6. No rucksack, briefcase, item of luggage or other container may be taken into the Library without the express permission of the Librarian. No food or drinks may be taken into the Library. Smoking is forbidden.


7. The Librarian will assist users to identify material for study and will provide a photocopying service, but cannot undertake extended research. To assist those unable to visit the Library, the Librarian will undertake strictly limited research and photocopying, provided full details of the requirement are submitted in writing. Telephone requests for such services cannot be accepted.



April 2015