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 welcome applications from experienced mountaineers and climbers who have an interest in climbing and exploration in the Alps, Greater Ranges and other mountains in the world.

We have 4 categories of membership to encompass most areas of interest: Full, Aspirant and Alpine Climbing Group for active climbers, where self-reliance is key. Associate Membership is available for those who have made substantive and eminent contributions to the mountain world in the arts, photography, sciences, history, equipment, literature and the environment as well as conservation of the Club’s Heritage.

Applications are considered by the Membership Applications Committee before being submitted to the main Committee for approval.

Please note that all active climbing memberships have requisite skills sets as outlined in each category below.  Please read these carefully.  To provide a clear picture of your abilities and achievements, including failures, please provide a comprehensive c.v. of your climbing history.  Any queries can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For all active climbing memberships, self-reliance is key to membership and candidates are expected to have skill sets that include:

  • Ability to plan a route, assessing weather and snow conditions, leading to a successful ascent and return.  Familiarity with avalanche forecasts and information services.
  • Navigation using map and compass, walking on bearings, pacing and use of altimeter to determine position.  GPS optional.
  • Comfortable leading and protecting multi-pitch ‘trad’ climbs and Scottish Winter, snow and mixed climbs.  Scrambling solo.  Moving together safely.
  • Crevasse rescue and modern alpine rope techniques including rapelling/abseiling.
  • A First Aid course is recommended.  In the course of your climbing career you will inevitably meet situations requiring these skills.  The mountains are a potentially dangerous environment.

Full Membership

A candidate for Full Membership shall have achieved a high level of self-reliance and technical proficiency over a course of at least 3 seasons in the mountains.  Typically they will have demonstrated a commitment to alpinism by climbing at least 20 substantive peaks at a standard of PD or above in the Alps or equivalent ranges.  Hard alpine routes or new routes carry more weight than snow ascents.  Some guided routes will be considered.  Some ski mountaineering and guided routes are accepted.

Full guidelines can be found on the application form

Please download the application form -  MS Word (.docx) or pdf.

Alpine Climbing Group Membership

The ACG is a section within the Alpine Club whose members are Full Members of the Club.  The objective of the ACG is to encourage a high level of technical proficiency, experience and self-reliance in modern alpinism. Candidates shall have a high commitment to these standards. Typically they will have climbed 3 long and serious alpine routes at a standard of TD or above in the Alps or other ranges. Routes of a somewhat easier standard in the Greater Ranges or remote areas will be considered. First ascents of mountains, new routes and winter ascents will carry more weight.  A candidate’s overall experience shall normally span at least 3 seasons.

Please download the application form -  MS Word (.docx) or pdf.


Aspirant Membership

For those who do not fulfil the criteria for Full Membership, but are working towards it, depending on the candidate’s experience we have 2 categories: Alpine Mountaineering and U.K. Mountaineering:

Alpine Mountaineering Experience

Candidates shall have some alpine mountaineering experience including roped glacier travel. Aspirants should expect to reach the Full Membership standard within 5 years, circumstances allowing.

UK Mountaineering Experience

For those who do not have alpine experience, but wish to take their experience forward, the Club offers a fixed term, one year membership term during which they are expected to progress to the Alpine Aspirant Membership category. Candidates shall have winter climbing experience in Scotland, the Lakes and North Wales for example and practised crevasse rescue indoors, to learn the principles.

Full guidelines can be found in the application form

Please download an application form and tick the appropriate category - MS Word (.docx) or pdf.

Upgrade from Aspirant To Full Member

Aspirant members who are now eligible for Full Membership (i.e. a minimum of 20 respectable alpine routes or peaks, or the equivalent of this in other ranges and wilderness) should complete a Full Membership Application for Aspirant Members.

Please download the application form - MS Word (.docx) or pdf.

Associate Membership

Candidates for Associate Membership do not have the climbing experience or aspiration to become Full members of the Club, but do have an interest in alpinism in the Alps and Greater Ranges and support the objectives of the Club. Their interest can be focused on their study of mountaineering history, literature, art, equipment, science, protection of the mountain environment or conservation of the Club’s heritage and they will have made a substantive and eminent contribution normally demonstrated by exhibition, publication or other public demonstration of their work. Alternatively, they will have made a valuable contribution to the Club’s activities over a considerable number of years.

Please download the application form - MS Word (.docx) or pdf. 

If you're unsure about which membership category is most appropriate for you, use this diagram to find the description that is closest to your level of experience.



The Club's rules stipulate that each applicant must have a proposer who has personal knowledge of them and, for full membership, is a full member of the Club.

If you wish to apply and do not know a member to propose your application, we will help you find someone, provided your climbing experience meets the membership requirements.

Next Steps

If you are an active climber, decide whether you should apply for Full Membership or Aspirant Membership, or alternatively apply using the Associateship route.

Please contact us if you need any assistance:

Call +44 (0)20 7613 0755 or by e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you live abroad and wish to pay by PayPal, please contact Subscriptions

Subscription Rates

Subscriptions for members and associates resident in the UK are taken by Direct Debit. Members who do not have a UK Bank Account should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


under 25 on 1st January (not including journal) £20
under 30 on 1st January £38
30 - 64 1st January £61
65 and over 1st January £50

There is a reduction of £10 for a shared Alpine Journal at the same address