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! 

Becoming a Member
 

Expeditions

The Alpine Club, the world's first mountaineering club, has members from around the world. Since it was founded in 1857, members have been at the leading edge of worldwide mountaineering development and exploration. We aim to be the club of choice for all mountaineers, providing a forum for sharing experiences and information.

Alpine Club members are constantly researching, organising and participating in expeditions to mountains around the world, so it will come as no surprise to find that amongst our members there is a massive wealth of knowledge about remote areas and expedition organisation. The Alpine Club provides a number of resources that will be useful for those planning or researching expeditions. This page provides links to these resources, and to other sites that are invaluable to expedition planners.

The Alpine Journal is a substantial annual record of mountaineering achievement, if you are planning an expedition it should be on your reading list.

Alpine Club Expeditions

The Alpine Club organises annual expeditions, which are often to remote and little-known mountain areas. These expeditions are open to all members, subject to qualifying criteria and numbers. They can be subsidised by the Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund. This fund also supports expeditions privately organised by club members. .

Read more about Expedition Reports

The Himalayan Index is a key resource, it has been compiled from journals, magazines and books in the Alpine Club Library

Many expeditions will have been awarded Mount Everest Foundation grants and provided reports. There are some details on the MEF website but the MEF does not hold actual copies. These are distributed to the AC and the organisations listed below (but not the Kew archives).

Royal Geographical Society

The RGS holds copies of all MEF reports as well as many others. Searching is very straightforward and summaries are provided. Reports cover the period 1965 onwards and are very comprehensive. They can be consulted by visiting the RGS library, or copies can be e-mailed.

National Archives at Kew

Not the easiest source of information. The National Archives holds many older documents deposited there from multiple sources.

British Mountaineering Council

This is still in beta form but has some impressive features. It is easy to search although not comprehensive. It includes summaries, and you can download many complete reports as PDFs. The BMC is currently the only readily available source of this information.  The AC is working towards publishng a comprehenve expeditions database which will be be available on-line in due course.

Alan Rouse Sheffield Library

Sheffield library holds a comprehensive archive of mountaineering material, including copies of MEF and other expedition reports. There is a PDF catalogue which can be searched; one of the best ways of quickly identifying peaks and leaders. At present it is up to date only to 2010.

The Trans-Alay Pamirs delineate the southern border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, with the Western Zaalaisky sub-range about 75km west of Peak Lenin.

Andy Stratford led a team including AC member Emily Thompson, along with Steve Graham (AC Membership app recently submitted), Andy Vine, Jared Kitchen, Stuart Hurworth; all six being members of the Karabiner Mountaineering Club which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2019.

Ak Chukur 4958m from BC Photo by Emily Thompson

After flying into the southern city of Osh, August 10th we approached the Altyn Daria valley by 6WD ATV in two days, establishing a comfortable base camp at 3170m in dusty summer nomad pasture. Google Earth and Soviet Military Maps were utilised in advance to identify possible ABC approaches, viable peaks, and climbing routes in three valleys to the West.

Andy S and Steve G Abseil off Ak Chukur Photo by Andy Vine

Only one valley, the Bel Uluu proved viable and from this Steve, Andy S, Stuart and Andy V completed the first ascent of Ak Chukur 4958m, via ‘Deception Route’ (PD) – an easy glacier ascent with a final pitch of steep mixed climbing - to a 2m x 2m rock platform overlooking a precipitous 1.5km drop to the Altyn Daria below. The other two valleys – Kaska Suu and Min Terke proved very difficult to access due to several dangerous river crossings, so, we turned our attention East. Jared and Emily undertook vital recce work and by the time the Ak Chukur team returned we had two further objectives identified.

Emily crossing Bel Uluu river Photo by Andy Vine

Approached from an unnamed side valley 2km NE of Base Camp, Pik a-Boo 5077m, so named as the summit remained hidden, was a first ascent at AD- via the North Glacier Route - several mixed and ice sections to a snow arete then a small rock pinnacle summit, climbed by Steve, Jared and Emily on Friday 23rd August 

L to R Andy Vine, Steve Graham, Emily Thompson, Jared Kitchen, Andy Stratford and Stuart Hurworth

From the Kok Kikki valley Stuart and Andy V made a first ascent of Broken Peak at PD+ via the Golden Tower Traverse on Sunday 25th, the only rock ridge route of the expedition. From a side valley of the Kok Kikki and after an alpine start on Tuesday 27th Steve and Jared forced a route through difficult crevassed terrain, much of the time on steep bare glacier ice using dozens of ice screw placements, eventually summiting Ak Kalpak 5112m as a first ascent via a route they named North Ridge Chasm Route and graded Difficile. On the same day, Andy S, Andy V and Stuart attempted a similarly steep route direct up the north face of the glacier under Pt 5084. Retreat ensued from 4480m as the trio had moved too slowly on the bare glacier ice.

Recce of Bel-Uluu Glacier, kit drop at ABC Photo by Andy Stratford

The team were supported in-country by ITMC and had superb base camp support from experienced cooks and fixers Alexey and Sacha. 

The team would like to acknowledge our principal sponsor, MONTANE and support from Expedition Foods and Terra Nova. The expedition received funding from the Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund, the Mount Everest Foundation, the BMC, Karabiner Mountaineering Club and Austrian Alpine Club Sektion Britanika. 

 Steve Graham Ak Chukur summit Photo by Andy Vine