The Rick Allen Skills Award

Rick Allen was one of the world’s finest Himalayan climbers, but sadly he lost his life on K2 in 2021. Rick was a long-standing member of the Alpine Club and left a generous bequest to support the Club’s ongoing work.

Among his many and varied passions, Rick took a great interest in the development of young climbers and the future of British alpinism. In recognition of this, the Alpine Club has chosen to use part of Rick’s bequest to fund a new course with the aim of helping competent young alpinists to progress to longer and more challenging multi-day routes.

The Rick Allen Skills Award will take place for the first time in 2024, running alongside the Alpine Club Summer Meet. Over seven days, course attendees will climb with guides in a 2:1 climber to guide ratio and complete at least one bivouac, ideally on a route rather than at its base. The emphasis of the instruction will be on helping climbers to develop the independent decision-making skills that will allow them to progress to more adventurous and committing routes. This is the approach that Rick took with his own climbing and something we hope he would be proud to see his legacy supporting.

A total of four places will be available to Full AC members.



The Alpine Club Committee welcomes applications from established teams of two climbers, of comparable ability and fitness, both of whom are full members of the Alpine Club. Applicants should be in the process of developing competence on alpine routes of AD+, and multi-pitch rock routes of VS/HVS, and have a resumé which reflects this.

If successful in your application, you will be invited to a training weekend on the 5-7 April 2024 at the Alex MacIntyre Hut in North Ballachulish. This will be used to confirm participants’ ability, experience and fitness, and serve to help with preparation for the course itself. This weekend will run concurrently with the longer Mid-Season Scotland Meet meet, but applicants need only attend for the weekend, though they are, of course, welcome to join for the full meet if they wish. Other AC members (up to 10) will be able to attend the longer meet and sit in on the weekend sessions.

The course itself will take place in the Écrins between 15 – 23 June 2024 with the course-specific instruction occurring from 17 – 23 June.

The closing date for applications is 15 February 2024 and applicants are expected to be available for all of the dates detailed above.


Additional Requirements

Participants will be required to write a report on their experience for the AC newsletter and/or Alpine Journal. This will aim to inspire/inform future participants.


You can download an information sheet with further details, an itinerary and application form here.