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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News

2016 Morocco AC Meet

Nick Smith has sent us this image of the Morocco AC Meet having breakfast in Tafraout before setting off for a day's climbing in the sun.

READ MORE HERE

 

Joint Alpine Meet - Ailefroide 16 Jul - 6 Aug 2016

Joint with ABMSAC, Climbers’ Club, FRCC, SMC, LSCC, Wayfarers and Yeovil MC

Just over 70 people from 7 clubs and guests attended the meet over the 3 week period and were blessed with good weather for most of the time, what  rain there was being short lived.

The campsite in Ailefroide seems to get busier each year and there was a noticeable increase in numbers since the last meet there in 2011 but after the first weekend which was a national holiday in France it did get quieter but still queuing for the showers and the toilets was normal especially at peak.

The campsite being surrounded by granite crags dictated that the rock climbing was more popular than the Alpine climbing and this was reflected in a higher turnout from the more rock oriented clubs such as the CC and the FRCC than on past meets. Many of the multipitch and single pitch routes were climbed as well as frequent forays to the limestone and quartzite climbing areas in the main Durance Valley and side valleys such as Fournel and Fressinieres.

The Barre des Ecrin being the highest peak in the area attracted a lot of attention all by the normal route as the Barre Noire Couloir was out of condition. Other teams climbed  Roche Faurio, the SW ridge of Pointe Louise, Roche Paillon, Roche Emile Pic, Pointe des Cineastes, Montagne Des Agneaux, the Traverse of the Glaciers (Pic du Rif & Pointe des Arcas), Dents de Coste Counier, Aiguille de Sialouze, Pelvoux and the traverse of the Meije.

Various via ferrata were ascended including the very spectacular Gorges D’Ailefroide located between Ailefroide and Pelvoux, it traverses the vertical or even overhanging walls of the gorge about 10m above river level and the second part is classed as a “Via Ferrata sportive” in the guide it certainly lives up to that name.

The meet was very sociable starting with an evening soiree on the first weekend so people could get to know each other, again we had the group tent where people could socialise and cook on the few occasions when it did rain, quite a few people came on their own and had no problem finding climbing partners. As people left we had several end of meet dinners at the Hotel Engilberge in the village, they provided very good food and service at a reasonable price.

Next year’s meet will be held in the Bregaglia, Switzerland based at Camping Mulina in the village of Vicosoprano 15 July to 5 August 2017.

http://www.campingbregaglia.ch/en/camping-vicosoprano

I hope to see you all again next year. Keep an eye on the club meets calendar for next year’s venue.

By Keith Lambley

 

 

Photopraphs

Top Left; Meije Traverse, Cheval Rouge - Climber John Venier - Photo Andrew Moore

Top Right; Meije Traverse - Climber Andrew Moore - Photo John Venier

Botton Left; Pointe Louise, SE Ridge - Climbers Keith Lambley and Kate Ross - Photo Adam Kassyk

Bottom Right; Super Pilou, Aiguille de Sialouze - Climber Helen Brown - Photo Adam Kassyk

Alpine Club and the George Starkey Hut

The Alpine Club has commenced a partnership with the Association of British Members of the Swiss Alpine Club (ABMSAC) to own and manage the George Starkey Hut in Patterdale, in the Lake District. We held a consultation of the AC membership before taking this on, and there was strong support, so we're pleased to say that the hut is now available for members to use.

It's a fantastic new AC membership benefit, with its excellent location in the eastern Lake District. It may not be the centre of Lakeland climbing, but there is some great climbing and scrambling in the area. Langdale and Borrowdale are within reasonable driving distance, and there might even be some winter climbing on Helvellyn again this winter.

There has been a fair bit of refurbishment of the hut amenities recently and more is planned, so if you remember it only from years past it would be worth another visit.  8 beds are reserved for members and guests of the AC and ABMSAC on a first-booked, first-in basis. Given the combined numbers in our clubs it is essential to confirm availability each time before travelling, and regular users can apply for their own key. The remaining 20 beds may be booked by our clubs, or by other clubs or groups, and the availability for club booking is shown on the online calendar. 

Already the influx of AC members wishing to use the hut has seen an increase in bookings, and to make this easier for everyone we will be developing an on-line booking system where members can see what is available, when, and book places to secure them.

In the mean time, booking remains via our Hut Booking Secretary - for contact details CLICK HERE.

Kanchenjungha/Makalu Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Nepal: 18 - 21 Nov 16

If you have summitted either Makalu or Kanchenjungha (or can tick one before November), you are invited to attend the Diamond Jubilee celebration of their first ascents, which was postponed due last year’s earthquake, in Nepal. Once in Nepal, your food and accommodation expenses will be picked up by the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

Des Rubens

A Tribute to Des Rubens by Geoff Cohen

Des was a well-known and very popular figure in the Scottish mountaineering world, as attested by the huge numbers that attended his funeral. He started climbing at Edinburgh University in 1970 and soon became President of the university mountaineering club, establishing friendships, including with his wife Jane, that were to endure throughout his life. Des was a bold and proficient ice climber, with a variety of new routes to his name, especially in the more remote corners of the Highlands. He was not only a great lover of the Scottish hills (he had just four Munros left to do), for walking, climbing and ski touring, but also a keen stravaiger of the wild coasts and islands, with a few sea canoeing trips to his credit. Abroad Des took part in over a dozen climbing expeditions, mainly to the Himalaya (starting with an early trip to Afghanistan in 1972) but also to the Caucasus, Andes and Canadian Rockies. He succeeded on many peaks over 6000m, but was rebuffed at about 7500m on Gasherbrum III and Nanga Parbat. In the Alps Des achieved many great classics of the 1930s (eg Walker Spur, Gervasutti Pillar, N Face of Dru) and more recently, in his sixties, had been ticking off the 4000m peaks, usually by routes more challenging than the voies normales.

Des was an extremely warm-hearted and affable person – it would be hard to find anyone he had crossed swords with. In his professional life he was a teacher of outdoor activities at Craigroyston High School in north Edinburgh. The outpouring of tributes from former pupils, colleagues and members of the Muirhouse community showed how deeply his commitment to taking disadvantaged kids to the outdoors had affected their lives.

Although Des had only recently joined the AC he was well known to many through his long mountaineering career. One of his more recent achievements was to revive the SMC ‘s Edinburgh lecture series, by bringing in Alpine Club and JMCS members. He devoted much thought and energy to this lecture programme and was a delightful and amusing presenter of the speakers, thus ensuring a growing attendance, drawing people from a considerable distance.


Though I will miss him terribly, I count myself incredibly fortunate to have had him as a close friend and climbing partner for over forty years. We formed a harmonious team with similar outlook on the mountains and both enjoyed our inexhaustible banter.


Des will be sorely missed by his many many friends, and my heart goes out to his family.

 

 

 

Infinite Spur First British Ascent - Montane Alpine Club Fund trip news

Infinite Spur First British Ascent - Montane Alpine Club Fund trip news

Alpine Club members Ben Silvestre, Pete Graham and Will Harris have recently left the Central Alaska range. After encountering dangerous snow conditions on the little-visited Thunder glacier they flew to Denali base camp on the Kahiltna glacier. After acclimatising to 5200m on Denali's West Buttress they made the first British ascent of the Infinite Spur on Mount Foraker in a five and a half day round trip. They found mixed conditions on the 2800m high route, with time consuming snow low down on the route and technical cruxes up to scottish grade VI. After summitting late on May 28th they spend a day and a half descending the Sultana ridge, with their rare window of good weather coming to and end as they descended Mount Crosson in typically Scottish conditions.

Ken Wilson

We are saddened to hear of the recent death of Ken Wilson, one of the most influential and controversial figures in the British mountaineering scene over the last half century.

Ken's training as a photographer, and his involvement with some of the leading British climbers of the day, led to him becoming one of the more recognised recorders of the climbing scene in the 1960s and 70s. He re-launched 'Mountain Craft' as 'Mountain', which became an important international journal covering contemporary mountain stories, ethics, and controversy in general, always illustrated with stunning photography.

His publishing career continued with Granada, Diadem, and finally his own business Baton Wicks, most notably with the hugely successful series of large format volumes covering rock climbs and walks, starting with Hard Rock in 1974.

His application for membership of the AC in 1972 generated a wealth of correspondence, with those members threatening to resign if he were elected neatly balanced by those who would resign if he were not elected.

Happily he was elected.

He continued to court controversy with strong opinions on club membership, climbing ethics, bolts, politics, etc, and with a particularly annoying habit of usually being right.

His last appearance at Charlotte Road was to cast his vote in the Presidential election in 2010.

Ken had been quite ill for some time, and died on 12th June 2016. 

A Celebration of a Life:  Ken Wilson

on Saturday 30th July, starting at 5.00pm (prompt) and finishing at about 6.30pm.

in the Pennine Lecture Theatre, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Building, Howard Street, S1 1WB, (about a five-minute walk from the railway station and about a half-hour drive from Stanage Edge).

Organised by the CC and the BMC, all are welcome. Please come and celebrate the life and achievements of one of the biggest characters of the modern climbing scene who revolutionised magazine and book publishing.

The Heartspace Atrium, which adjoins the Pennine will be open serving beer, wine, tea and coffee.

 

Ken Wilson: Photograph by John Cleare

 

Savage Arena: The Legacy of Joe Tasker

Savage Arena: The Legacy of Joe Tasker

A Mountain Heritage Trust Exhibition, exploring the life and legacy of Joe Tasker. 

- at Ushaw College, 25th June-1st September and Keswick Museum, 9th September-May 2017

The opening of the exhibition is at Ushaw College, Durham, DH7 9R, on 25th June, 6.30pm - 9.00pm

The evening will begin at 6.30pm and is free to attend. There is a talk by mountaineer and award winning author, John Porter, and a raffle.  

To sign up for the exhibition opening please see:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exhibition-launch-savage-arena-the-legacy-of-joe-tasker-tickets-25969537586

Joe Tasker, alongside Dick Renshaw, claimed the first British winter ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in 1976. Joe then went on to higher mountains from that point claiming the first lightweight oxygen-less ascent of Kangchenjunga with Pete Boardman and Doug Scott in 1979. 

Joe and Pete lost their lives on an attempt to summit Everest by the NE ridge in 1982.  The exhibition will celebrate Joe's climbing career as well as his successful and influential writing.