100th Anniversary of the Cambridge University Mountaineering Club

The club’s 100th anniversary was celebrated on 19th June 2005 with a dinner held at St Catherine’s College. Following this meeting a number of articles were written by CUMC alumni to create the CUMC 100th Anniversary edition journal. This contains a series of fascinating accounts of the history of the club, the talented mountaineers involved, and the incredible trips that alumni have been a part of. The full series of articles can be found HERE.


British Minya Konka Expedition 2018

In late September myself and Nick Bullock headed out to Sichuan to attempt the first ascent of the south face of Minya Konka. Despite only having been climbed by the relatively straightforward north east and north west ridges, the mountain has a very dubious reputation for the number of people who have died while attempting it. 

Kendal Mountain Festival

The Alpine Club is hosting a dedicated session at the upcoming Kendal Mountain Festival. 

Split into two parts the first half will be hosted by John Porter and Brian Hall. They will try to keep their old friends "the Burgess twins" Aid and Al at bay when they recount their legendary old and new tales. A rare visit to Europe by the twins- and certainly a promise of high class entertainment.

The second half of the session will be a lively panel discussion with Mick Fowler, Tom Livingstone, Dr. Melanie Windridge and Banff Festival director Jo Crostonon the influence of social media in the mountain world. Jonny Dry will be moderating.

The session will held  on Sunday the 18 November from 12:30 to 2:30pm at the Kendal Town Hall. More information and tickets are available via this link


Takphu Himal

This group (part of the southern end of the Nalakankar Himal)  lies in the very furthest NW corner of Nepal  (just south of Gurla Mandhata 7694m) geographically in Tibet whilst politically in Nepal.  It is trans-Himalayan rather like Dolpo or Mustang.

Julian Freeman-Attwood led a team comprising AC members Ed Douglas, Nick Colton and Bruce Normand along with Christof Nettekoven.

Tony Streather

We are saddened to receive news of the death on the 31st October of our Honorary Member Tony Streather, President of the Club 1990-1992 and a member of the Kangchenjunga first ascent team in 1955.

A celebration of his life will be held in St John the Baptist Church, Hindon, Wiltshire, on 1st December, at 12pm..

Members are invited to send their tributes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that they can be posted on the website.


Reciprocal arrangement with the Oread Mountaineering Club

The Club has a reciprocal agreement with the Oread Mountaineering Club covering the use of each others huts.

The OMC operate two huts, one at Rhydd-Ddu in Snowdonia, and one near Baslow in the Derbyshire Peak District. Details can be found on the OMC website (

AC members may book places at both Oread huts. Requests should be sent to the booking secretary Michael Hayes (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). AC members will pay the Members’ overnight rate, and will be entitled to use the Members Room at Rhydd-Ddu.

The Derbyshire hut is small, with only 10 places. At weekends a party wishing to use the hut has to book all 10 places, but individual mid-week bookings are possible.

Anglo-New Zealand Kishtwar Expedition 2018

Flat Top, The North Spur is Centre Right and the East Ridge is on the left

The Anglo-New Zealand Kishtwar is a bit of a grand name for Richard “Reg” Measures’ and my (both AC members) trip to the Indian Himalaya – originally Steve Fortune from New Zealand was going to join us as well, but two months before departing, work commitments meant he was unable too.

The aims of the trip were to make the first ascent of the North Spur of Flat Top (6100m) and the South Face of the Kishtwar Eiger (circa 6000m). Ultimately we were unsuccessful on attempts on both of these peaks due to unseasonably bad weather.

Sir John Johnson

It is with sadness that we report the news of the death of our member, Sir John Johnson, on the 15th October.

Members would be welcome to send their tributes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that they can be posted on the website.

Spirit of Mountaineering Commendation

Alpine Club recognise Nanga Parbat rescuers with Spirit of Mountaineering commendation

On the 21st September the Alpine Club recognised the action taken by expedition leader Krzysztof Wielicki and four climbers Adam Bielecki, Denis Urubko, Piotr Tomala and Jarosław Botor earlier this year on Nanga Parbat. As part of the K2 panel session held this year at the 23rd Ladek Mountain Festival, Victor Saunders presented our Spirit of Mountaineering commendation to all five for their involvement in the rescue of French climber Elisabeth Revol and attempted rescue of Polish climber Tomek Mackiewicz.

Piolets d'Or 2018

This year's Piolets d'Or ceremony celebrated alpinism in a new and refreshing way, with a healthy mix of pageantry, humour, respect and honour”. So said world-renowned Canadian author of mountain-related books, Bernadette McDonald, after her visit to the Ladek Mountain Festival, which took place from September 20-23 in Ladek Zdroj, a small spa town in southern Poland. 

Going to Nepal?

Going climbing or trekking in Nepal sometime soon? 

If so, here’s a chance to come home with much lighter bags and to support a very worthy cause at the same time

James Cadzow Smith

News has reached us of the death of Club Member James Cadzow Smith.

Members are invited to send their tributes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  so that they can be posted on the website.

Sir John Rowlinson

We are saddened to receive news of the death of our member, Sir John Rowlinson.

Members are invited to send their tributes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that they can be posted on the website

Jeff Lowe

News has reached us of the death of our Honorary Member, Jeff Lowe. We understand that he had suffered from an unknown neurodegenerative condition for the last eighteen years

Members are invited to send their tributes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  so that they can be posted on the website

A Weisshorn Traverse, 10 August 2018

I first set eyes on the Weisshorn in 2006, mid-way through a trek known as the Tour of the Matterhorn. As we crossed into Switzerland, over the Theodulpass and past the Matterhorn, the huge pyramid of the Weisshorn appeared at the end of a row of incredible peaks, the highest and most massive of them all, at 4506m. Until then, the Matterhorn, which was plastered in snow and thus out of condition, had commanded our attention, but now I could not take my eyes off the Weisshorn, and it was to dominate our attention for the next two days as we walked down the Oberer Theodulgletscher, through Zermatt, and along the Europaweg above the Mattertal.

Up Close with Uisdean Hawthorn

Interview by Adele Long


Hi Uisdean, how long have you been a member of the Alpine Club?

Two months!


Like many UK mountaineers you seem to have cut your teeth on Scottish rock, how does this prepare you for alpine climbing?

I suppose the thing is you get a lots of technical climbing, so for me when I do lots of winter climbing or trad that really helps to gives you a lot of confidence that you will be able to get up pretty much any of the technical cruxes on a route [in the Alps] because you know they are a few grades lower than what you would climb at home.

A lot of the mixed climbing on the Bheinn, the routes are short and if they were anywhere else no-one would climb them, they are just little bits of rock, but because they are technically really hard and you can just go and do them from your house in a day, you get in a lot of climbing.  Its the volume of hard climbing more than any specific climb. You would spend weeks and weeks in the Alps to get that volume of hard climbing.

UIAA Mountain Protection Committee gather at George Starkey Hut

The Club is always looking for opportunities to make the Alpine Club a louder voice in influencing events in the mountaineering community.  To this end, in May the AC used its base in the Lakes to play host to the UIAA’s Mountain Protection Commission.  Delegates from Europe and Asia gathered at the club’s George Starkey Hut in Patterdale for the Commission’s annual face-to-face meeting.