Welcome to the

Alpine Club


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

We regretfully inform you that the Alpine Club Library will be closed to Alpine Club members and external visitors from Monday 23rd March to a least the end of May.

We will review this situation at the end of April and keep you all informed by Alpinet, and our website and social media channels.


Following Government advice we need to act responsibly and limit our travel and contact with others.

Our Librarian will be visiting the library once a week to answer enquiries requiring research, and to post out loans to members and provide document scans, so do still get in touch via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or phone and leave a message.

Any members that need to return books can either keep them for the time being (all loans will be renewed) or return by post to the Library.


Covid-19 is a terrible challenge to everyone and our thoughts and sympathies go out to all those affected in so many ways.

We would like to thank all our visitors over the years and look forward to welcoming you back into the library as soon as we can.



Alpine Club Library 

 The Library, housed in the Club's premises, has an unrivalled collection of over 30,000 books, magazines, club journals, expedition reports and rare historic material. Some modern guidebooks, photographs (see AC Photo Library) historic diaries, press cuttings and correspondence (see AC Archives)

Many books can be borrowed by AC members, the exceptions being guidebooks and valuable items. Books can be borrowed in person or by post within the UK. Photocopies can be requested in person, by post or e-mail.

The Club holds a wonderful collection of over 35,000 historic and modern photographs in the form of prints, negatives, glass plates, lantern slides, transparencies and albums. The Photo Library has been set up to conserve and manage this collection

You can access the library catalogue online here or use the search box below

 search by  


New Books


Contact the Library

The Library is normally open from 10.00am to 5.30pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, except during the month of August and for the Christmas / New Year period.


For Alpine Club members, the Library remains open until 7.00pm on lecture evenings. If travel from afar is involved, please check the opening times in advance.


The telephone number for the Library is 020 7613 0745 - email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Using The Library

Members of the AC, ABMSAC, and Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society may use the Library free of charge.

Other users are invited to make a financial contribution to running costs.

AC members may use the Royal Geographical Society Library free on production of their AC membership card.

World Maps

The Alpine Club has world maps to help members plan their expeditions. Typically we have numerous maps in electronic format that can be emailed on request. Please provide either the map reference number or the specific location of interest. The following regions are available:

Himalaya, Karakorum; Hindu Kush; China – Tibet; China – Central; China – Xinjiang; Pamirs; Fann Mountains; Tien Shan; Altai; Sayan; Kamchatka; Iran; Caucasus; Turkey; Morocco; Ethiopia and South America.




The Library was founded in 1858, in the first year of the Club. In 1972 it was established as a separate charitable trust, managed by trustees appointed by the British Mountaineering Council and the Royal Geographical Society as well as the Alpine Club. The Library relies greatly on financial donations and legacies, as well as gifts of books, photos or artifacts. Diaries, correspondence, and press cuttings are welcomed as gifts or deposits to the Archives. The Honorary Treasurer of the Library will readily advise on procedure for making bequests and tax-effective covenanted donations.


Annual Reports

The Alpine Club Library not only maintains the clubs collection of books and maps but are often busy organising exhibitions.

To discover what the library have been doing click on the annual report. 2016 2017 

Latest Articles

  • Alpine ClubCast 16 – 21st July at 19:30 +

    An Evening with the American Alpine Club: Link Sar First Ascent The Alpine ClubCasts head across the Atlantic for an Read More
  • Richard Brooke +

    News has reached us of the death of our member Richard Brooke who was born in 1927, a member in Read More
  • Alpine ClubCast 15 – 14th July at 19:30 +

    Perfect Storm: First ascents on the forgotten side of Mont Blanc Simon Richardson and Micha Rinn describe recent first ascents Read More
  • Alpine ClubCast 11 – 16th June at 19:30 +

    Artists of the Alpine Club William Mitchell, John Colton, Ben Tibbetts We are celebrating mountaineering artists past and present: First, Read More
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Upcoming Events

  • 07 Jan - 21 Jul
  • 25 Jul - 13 Sep




Use the boxes below to explore the expeditions section


Any questions relating to expeditions ? send us an email.


The AC and the MEF can provide funding for certain expeditions, the AC also has a climbing grant for AC teams


The AC holds a vast library of material relating to expeditions both online and on paper


Expeditions are at the core of the Alpine Club's purpose and culture. Use the boxes on the left to navigate the expedition section.


Any questions relating to expeditions? Send us an email.


The AC and the MEF can provide funding for certain expeditions, the AC also has a climbing grant for AC teams


The AC holds a vast library of material relating to expeditions both online and on paper.


The Himalayan Index has been compiled from journals, magazines and books in the Alpine Club Library