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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 The ice of Les Écrins National Park was the perfect venue for this year’s AC / CAF meet. 

The annual exchange between the two clubs brought together six AC climbers and twelve members of CAF (Marseille) -- faces familiar to many -- from as far as Aberdeen, London and, of course, Marseille to meet in L’Argentiée-la-Bessée for a week of high quality ice climbing. Despite the pessimistic forecast and ice conditions, the weather was surprisingly good (the British were particularly delighted!) and all those in attendance were very happy to make the most of the many great climbs that the area has to offer. 

Each evening, a broad range of climbers shared stories of their mountaineering experiences over a glass of Génepie and/or Scotch whisky and an enjoyable time was had by all. A great event all-round; we look forward to familiar faces and many more, at the next exchange...in SCOTLAND!

Thank you to Bernadette and all at the Moulin Papillon, L’Argentiée-la-Bessée for their warm welcome – not to mention great food and wine. And thank you Rémi for co-ordinating the CAF members and the logistics on French soil.

Climbs completed: Champ Pelbaud, Hiroshima, La Vision de Marco (all at Vallon du Fourmel) and Le Pylone and La Colere du Ciel (at La Grave), and Y de gauche and Y de droite and Sombres Héros (Ceillac), and Paulo Folie (Freissinieres). 

by Georgina Maxwell