Information for New Members
Welcome to the Alpine Club! We're thrilled to have you as a member.
The AC has a very active programme and a huge selection of resources available exclusively to members. This page details everything you need to know to get involved with the Club and to access the benefits of your membership. Please give it a read and bookmark it for future reference.
New members are warmly invited to the annual New Members’ Meet which will take place at the Club’s George Starkey Hut early each year. This offers a chance to meet other new members (aspirant and full), as well as committee members and long-term Club members.
The climbing meets programme varies from year to year. However, the Club usually holds several winter ice meets – in 2022 these took place in Ossetia, as well as the Tatra and the Alps, several alpine meets in the summer and meets in other parts of Europe, the Greater Ranges and other remote mountain regions. Each year we now offer members the chance to join Club expeditions further afield, with trips to the Greater Ranges. We have UK meets throughout the year in Scotland, Wales, the Lakes, Peak District and the South-West. In addition, for Aspirants we run an annual pre-Alps meet at the George Starkey Hut and an Aspirants meet in Saas which begins with two days of skills revision provided by alpine guides. You can see the programme of Club meets, and find details of how to contact meet organisers, on the Meets Section of the website.
As a club run by volunteers, members are always welcome to submit ideas for meets, and of course to organise them!
Alpine Club members are active in all the major mountain and remote areas of the world, and are still making first ascents of major new routes and unclimbed peaks.
The Alpine Climbing Group was founded in 1952 to provide a regular programme of meets for young , active climbers with a desire to climb extreme new routes. It was a forum for the transfer of skills and the development of partnerships and merged with the Alpine Club in 1967.
It was revived in 2018 and today its aims remain very much the same. All members who aspire to establish or repeat technically difficult climbs or undertake exploratory expeditions are encouraged to apply and benefit from a community that is focused around the same objectives. All ACG members are Full members of the Alpine Club and there is no additional cost to join the ACG.
The George Starkey Hut
The AC has a climbing hut, jointly leased with the ABMSAC, and situated in Patterdale in the Lake District. This is a wonderful facility and members are encouraged to use it at a highly subsidised rate of 45p per bed, per night. For details see https://george-starkey-hut.com/
The Climbing Fund
We run a well-established scheme to give grants to expeditions involving Club members, details of which, including how to apply, can be found here. If you are new to expedition climbing, then our Expedition Information Centre offers excellent advice on planning, safety and equipment.
Lectures and Symposia
We hold lecture programmes at the Clubhouse in London, and in Hathersage, Bristol, jointly with the ESC and CC near Kendal and, jointly with the SMC/JMCS, in Edinburgh. Details are in the enclosed Newsletter and announced on the Lecture Page of the Club website. Attendance at climbing meets and lectures is an excellent way to meet other members and you are welcome to bring guests.
From time to time, the Club holds symposia on mountain areas or topics. Seminars on Expedition Essentials for Women, and Planning Lightweight Expeditions are planned for 2023.
The Alpine Club Library, Archives and Photo Library
At the Clubhouse we have the leading mountaineering library in the UK which has an important collection of journals and books, all accessible to members. The main collection of modern books can be borrowed either in person or by post, or if you’d prefer we can scan sections to deliver by email. If you would like a postal loan please email and we can confirm postage costs before sending.
To find a title, you can search the library catalogue online.
The Library also has a wide range of resources ideal for researching future expedition objectives and a collection of over 6,000 digitised maps, as well as a large collection of printed maps. We will shortly have our vast range of expedition reports fully digitised and available to download. The full back catalogue of the Alpine Journal is already online.
The Club has an extensive collection of mountain artworks and regularly holds exhibitions of works by leading artists in the Clubhouse. We also have links with a number of galleries specialising in mountain-related art. Exhibitions in 2022 included ‘Glaciers’, which showcased some of the finest works in our collection, including a number of rarely-exhibited hidden gems not shown for a long time; ‘A Wider Landscape’ featuring contemporary artwork alongside pictures from the AC collection, and ‘The British Alps’ featuring the Cuillin Ridge. Exhibitions are regularly announced via the AC Newsletter and the Club website.
Social Events and Networking
The Club’s Annual Dinner, to which all members and their guests are invited is held in November or December. The Club also has regional social events where members may meet others living in the same area.
An additional benefit, which is key to the Club's appeal, is access to a network of other climbers who are primarily focused on the Alps and Greater Ranges. The Alpine Club has members in over twenty countries and includes many of the UK's leading mountaineers. WhatsApp groups have been created in all the regions, including the Alps, so that members can share information and arrange to meet up. If you log into the AC website, you will be able to view and request to join a number of WhatsApp groups at this address: http://www.alpine-club.org.uk/members/whatsapp-groups
Newsletter, the Alpine Journal, the AC Website and Alpinet
The Club publishes a newsletter three times each year, in winter, summer and autumn with news of Club activities, cultural highlights and pieces on mountaineering issues by members. The Alpine Journal, published annually, contains articles covering the whole range of the Club's activities including climbing, literature, history, art and science.
The Club website has details of all upcoming events. There is a Members' area, which is accessible from the Club’s homepage. It is straightforward to register and we encourage members to do so, since it provides information direct from other members and last-minute opportunities which you might otherwise miss. Within the Members’ Area, Alpinet provides a means of sending an email to all members who have consented to be contacted in this way, or to individual members. It also contains a ‘Members’ Handbook’, with contact details for all members that is constantly updated.
The Club provides a steady stream of information about Club activities and the wider mountaineering world on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It also has a private Facebook Group for Club Members where members can exchange information, advertise for climbing partners and express views on any topic. You can request to join the group here. Lastly, the Club also runs a YouTube account where we share video tours of exhibitions, livestreamed ClubCast talks and lecture recordings.
Guidebooks and Shop Discounts
We have in the past published a range of guidebooks, which are available from the Office at a discount to members. In addition, through our distributor, Cordee, discounts are available on guidebooks published by other UK climbing clubs, including the CC, FRCC and the SMC.
A new benefit offered to members is a voucher for a free 30-day introductory subscription to FATMAP Explore which you can access here.
Discounts are also available from a number of UK retail outlets and a full list of discount codes is available on our Member Benefits Page.
The Club is affiliated to the British Mountaineering Council and the UIAA, the international body representing mountaineering. Together with the Royal Geographical Society, we helped found the Mount Everest Foundation. The MEF gives grants to expeditions with an emphasis on exploration and research. It has recently widened its scope to emphasise sustainability.
Concessionary Hut Rates
Concessionary rates are now available at all huts participating in the UIAA International Reciprocal Agreement on Mountain Huts. These will only be available on production of a current AC membership card. These are issued annually, usually in early March.
The Club is managed by an elected committee, headed by the President, currently Simon Richardson, and two Vice Presidents, currently Nick Kekus and Adèle Long. The Annual General Meeting is held in November or December, usually on the same day as the Annual Dinner. Only Full Members may vote and we encourage Aspirant Members to upgrade their membership as soon as they qualify so that they can play a full and active part in Club life.
Bunkhouse, Library and Office
We have a Clubhouse in London. This contains the Club office, the Alpine Club Library and a lecture room with a small bar that is open for specific evening events. Members are welcome to visit the Clubhouse during office hours, Monday to Thursday, 10am-5pm. We also have a bunkhouse in the Clubhouse that is available to members who are engaged on Club or other mountaineering-related activities. The bunkhouse is free but there is limited space, so a bed must be booked in advance through the office.
We received a direct debit form at the time of your application which will be used to collect your subscription in January 2024 and future years. Please make your 2023 subscription payment by PayPal at this link. As well as on the Paypal page, a full list of subscription rates can be found on our Membership Page and it is circulated annually in paper form in advance of the AGM motion to approve the following year’s rates.
Please let us know if you change your bank account and contact the office to find out about alternative payment methods if you go abroad for an extended period and will no longer have a UK bank account.
Your Contact Information
Please let us know if you change your e-mail address, postal address or phone number. Climbers tend to be quite mobile and we have found it difficult to keep track of some members. Once you are registered on the website, you can make these changes yourself.
… and Finally
The Club acquires many new members through personal contact. We are always delighted to receive applications for membership. If you have friends or family members interested in becoming members please encourage them to apply or invite them along as a guest to a meet or lecture.