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! 

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News

Rick Allen

Rick climbing on Nanga Parbat. Photo: Sandy Allan

The Club has been deeply saddened to learn of the death of long-standing member Rick Allen. Reports currently indicate that Rick died in an avalanche while attempting a new route on K2 with Jordi Tosas and Stephan Keck. Tosas and Keck survived the avalanche and have been safely returned to basecamp by a rescue operation. 

Alpine ClubCast 26 - 22nd June at 19:30

Women Rise Up: Female Climbing Pioneers with special guest Catherine Destivelle


This year the Alpine Club is celebrating the 150th anniversary of four major first ascents in the Alps.  In 1871, Lucy Walker and Meta Brevoort made the first female ascents of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, Bietschhorn and the Dent Blanche.  Over 200 women recently applied to join a meet hosted by the Alpine Club this summer, which aims to bring together a diverse group of women to commemorate this extraordinary year in female mountaineering.  The aim is to broaden access to mountaineering through inspiration, in the same way that Walker and Brevoort did for women a century and a half ago.  Whereas only 30 places were available for this meet, the Alpine Club sees Women Rise Up as an important new initiative for future years.

Tonight Catherine Destivelle, the first female recipient of the Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award, joins us to talk about her journey.  Historian Clare Roche will outline the events of 1871 and Women Rise Up Climbing Coordinator Becky Coles will talk about Women Rise Up activities.  The ClubCastwill be guest-hosted by Melanie Windridge.

As usual the evening will finish with a Q&A

Queen’s Birthday Honours

Congratulations to Alpine Club member Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, and Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, who becomes a Knight Bachelor for services to Public Health, particularly during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

John Cheesmond

News has reached us of the recent death of John Cheesmond who lived in Edinburgh. He had been a member since 1973

Members can log in to submit their tributes or send them 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. 

Alpine Club Lectures Set to Return in September

As meeting and travel restrictions are gradually easing we are hopeful that the lecture series at the AC in London will recommence this Autumn. The current plan is to have the first Autumn lecture on 14 September and continue with talks on the second and fourth Tuesdays until the end of November. Exact details will be confirmed nearer the time when we have up-to-date information on pandemic restrictions. A number of speakers have already been confirmed and we look forward to hearing from them on a wide range of fascinating topics.

                David Hamilton on his TransAlp Ski Journey

Everest: by 'Those Who Were There' Exhibition Opens

 
2021 marks the centenary of the first expedition to Mount Everest. To commemorate the occasion, The Alpine Club is hosting a landmark exhibition entitled ‘Everest: By Those Who Were There’ at its premises of 55 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3QF.
 
The exhibition uses the words of expedition members from 1921, 1922 and 1924 to explore the mountain as a symbol of adventure and a site of significant tragedy. As well as diary entries and hand-written notes, visitors can explore the art works and photography produced on the expeditions, as well as the clothing and equipment that was first used to climb the mountain.
 
Today every detail of Everest, from its precise dimensions to the exact wind speed on its summit, can be accessed at the click of a button. But for the men of these early expeditions, it was an entirely different prospect. In 1921, even its exact location was uncertain and the first expedition undertook a 200-mile trek across Tibet as they, in the words of George Mallory, ‘walked off the map’ in search of it. The achievements of these expeditions, climbing as high as 8,572m in 1924, were accomplished with rudimentary equipment and no concrete understanding of the effects that such extreme altitudes would have on the human body.
 
Renowned mountaineer, former Alpine Club president and current Head of Exhibitions John Porter said: ‘These men lived in the true age of exploration. Driven by the need to escape the horrors of the Great War and a desire to see Britain first atop the “third pole”, they achieved the remarkable. By using their own records and possessions we hope to give visitors a true sense of the reality of the time and the incredible bravery it took for men like Mallory and Irvine to attempt the summit.’
 
 
The Expedition Party of 1921 -
(Back, L-R) Alexander FR Wollaston, Col. Charles K, Howard-Bury, Alexander M Heron, Harold A Raeburn
(Front, L-R) George Leigh Mallory, E Oliver Wheeler, Guy H Bullock, Major Henry T Morshead
Base Camp, 1922 - Photo by George Finch
 
‘Everest: By Those Who Were There’ opens to the public from the 21 June and can be visited on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between the hours of 12:00 and 17:30 until October 17, with a closure for the month of August and the 27/28 July. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book in advance of your visit. If you do not book in advance, we are sadly unable to guarantee entry. If you would like to visit at a time and date outside of our listed opening hours, please don't hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to facilitate a visit.
 
Items on display include: a photograph taken on Everest by Howard Somervell in 1924 which was, at the time, the highest photograph ever taken; watercolour paintings of Everest; and Sandy Irvine’s ice axe, lost on Everest during his fateful summit attempt with Mallory in 1924, and discovered in 1933.
 
In addition to the exhibition itself, the Alpine Club Library has also produced an accompanying catalogue, laying out the aims, logistics and accomplishments of the three 1920s expeditions. Complete with high quality reproductions of expedition photography, maps and art work, this commemorative publication is sure to become a collector's item for any Everest or mountaineering enthusiast and we recommend purchasing early to avoid disappointment. Copies will be available at the exhibition itself and can also be purchased via the dedicated catalogue page.

 
 
The club is indebted to numerous volunteers for their incredible effort in assembling the exhibition, and in particular to our Honorary Librarian, Barbara Grigor-Taylor, for her helming of this project. Almost all of the exhibits on display have been drawn from the Alpine Club Library's collections and the work of our dedicated volunteers cannot be overstated.
 
We hope that both club members and the wider public will take advantage of this incredible opportunity to see so many iconic facets of climbing history on display together for the first time.

Everest: by 'Those Who Were There' - Exhibition Catalogue

The Everest expeditions of 1921, 1922 and 1924 were incredible feats of human ingenuity, vision and personal courage. 100 years on from the exploratory expedition of 1921, the Alpine Club is marking this remarkable undertaking with an exhibition that comprehensively examines the 1920s expeditions, using the words of the expedition members themselves and never-before-seen artefacts to tell the complete story. The exhibition catalogue, compiled by the Alpine Club's Honorary Librarian Barbara Grigor-Taylor and designed by Abrahams, offers a detailed and compelling companion piece to the exhibition.  

Covid-19 and Meets

Update accurate as of 05/05/2021. Please always check most recent guidance.

As the UK gradually opens up from lockdown, we are keen to get the meets program back up and running. We are just as keen to do this safely and to stay well within the laws, regulations and guidance set up by the UK government and other relevant authorities, for instance the Devolved Administrations for trips in Scotland and Wales etc.

AC Library will Reopen on May 18th

  

We are very pleased to announce that the Alpine Club Library is due to begin a phased re-opening. The library has been open to online enquiries during lockdown, but from 18 May we will be resuming some levels of normal service. In addition to online enquires we will offer a Click & Collect service, and will offer a booking system for in-person visits.

Gerald Franklin

We have recently learned of the death of our Associate member Gerald Franklin

Members can log in to submit their tributes or send them 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. 

Peter Robson

We have recently learned of the death of Peter Robson who had been a member since 1971.

Members can log in to submit their tributes or send them 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. 

Duke of Edinburgh

The Alpine Club is saddened to hear of the death of our Honorary Member, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Alpine Club wishes to convey deep condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.

Up Close with Jim Milledge

Interview by Melanie Windridge

The Silver Hut. Photo: Jim Milledge

90 year old Jim had a fulfilling career as a hospital physician with a special interest in respiratory diseases. Alongside this he pursued a ‘professional hobby’ of high altitude medicine, mainly in the field in the Greater Ranges.

Albert Chapman

News has just reached us of the death of Albert Chapman, who was also a former President of the Yorkshire Ramblers, who died on 17th March.

Members can log in to submit their tributes or send them 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. 

Alpine ClubCast 22 - 16th March at 19:30

Tierra del Fuego: Climbing, sailing and horses at the Ends of the Earth


Andy Parkin, Simon Yates and Julian Freeman-Attwood take us to the remote and little known Cordillera Darwin on the tip of South America, which has received only a handful of expeditions over the years. Close to southern-most city in the world, Ushuaia, Charles Darwin and Eric Shipton were amongst the first to explore this area, with its bleak and weather-worn peaks, fjords and glaciers. Tonight we’ll hear about the history of its exploration and the expeditions and first ascents made there by three mountaineers who have been at the forefront of worldwide mountaineering for decades.

As usual the evening will finish with a Q&A.

Alpine ClubCast 23 - 23rd March at 19:30

Peaks and Pandemics: Andrew Pollard and Charles Clarke


Tonight Dr Charles Clarke - Kishtwar '65,
Kanjiroba '69, Everest SW Face '75 & NE Ridge '82 - introduces Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection & Immunity at Oxford, whom he met as a medical student at St Bartholomew's Hospital in the 1980s.

Andy went on to climb on Jaonli in '88, Chamlang in '91 and Everest in '94, doing high altitude medical research, while developing interests in childhood infections and their prevention. Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford for 20 years, Andy has worked on vaccines in Nepal and Bangladesh. He led the not-for-profit Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trials in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. This vaccine is now used here and is being distributed widely by COVAX, for global equitable access in millions of doses. Andy will describe how the Oxford vaccine was developed, and with luck indicate how we'll be able to return to the mountains this summer.

 As usual the evening will finish with a Q&A.

Alpine ClubCast 24 - 30th March at 19:30

Conrad Anker: Queen Maud Land, Antarctica


In 2017, The North Face dispatched a team of the world’s finest explorers to one of the world’s last great climbing frontiers: the Queen Maud Land territory. Here they spent a month climbing and establishing new routes on the remote frozen towers of the Wolf’s Jaw massif.  Jimmy Chin and Conrad Anker tackled a new route on the 3,600-foot
Ulvetanna; Savannah Cummins and Anna Pfaff summitted the towering Holtanna; and Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright, using techniques honed in Yosemite, blitzed up 13 different spires spread across the ice field.  In total the team climbed 15 peaks in just 17 days. 

Join us for an evening with Conrad Anker, one of the most prolific explorers and mountaineers alive today.

As usual the talk will finish with a Q&A.

Alpine ClubCast 25 - 6th April at 19:30

Nepal: The Wild West


The West of Nepal is one of the least explored areas in the Himalaya with hosts of unclimbed mountains over 6000 metres on the Tibetan frontier. Tonight we trace the origins in the 1960s of the trekking boom in Nepal, which came full circle for Henry Edmundson when he returned, after his early explorations, to climb Dhaulagiri 7 in 2007.  Then we head North West, with Becky Coles and Paul Ramsden, to a beautiful area which had received few visitors even by the mid 2010s. Both achieved first ascents, and Paul’s stunning line on Gave Ding with Mick Fowler was awarded a Piolet d’Or.
 

As usual, the three talks will finish with a Q&A.