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

Joe Brown

Members will be saddened to learn that our Honorary Member Joe Brown died yesterday,15 April, peacefully at home,   We send condolences to his family and all his friends.

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 3 - 21st April at 19:30

New routing in unexplored Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan

In 2013 six mountaineers, who had met whilst studying in Leeds and Sheffield, went off on their first expedition. Alpine Club members Tom Bell, Tim Elson and Hugh Thomas were part of the team that travelled to the relatively unexplored area of the Tien Shan mountains on the border between China and Kyrgyzstan. There, multiple glacier systems with multiple unclimbed 5000m peaks had seen few mountaineers before.  Over 4 weeks the team achieved several first ascents and were able to get to grips with the steep learning curve of a first expedition, which was partly funded by grants from the Alpine Club and the Austrian Alpine Club.

Tom, Tim and Hugh will talk about their experiences and afterwards answer questions from the audience.

If you would like to join this ClubCast please check your emails again on Monday 20 April, when a link will be sent out.  The link will also be available on the Alpine Club Facebook Member Area.

Alpine ClubCast 4 - 28th April at 19:30

The 4000m Peaks of the Alps - Ridges to Remember

Three Alpine Club members talk about their favourite route on a 4000er: Paul Newby on the West Ridge of the Dufourspitze, Max Streeton on the Weisshorn Schaligrat, and Becky Coles on the Lauteraargrat which links the Schreckhorn and the Lauteraarhorn.

Aimed at whetting appetites for a future trip, the talks will be followed by a Q&A session.

Jerry Gore - The Eiger Challenge

Thank you for all the positive comments about yesterday evening’s virtual lecture.  If you would like to send any feedback please email the office or post them on Facebook. 

We are sorry that the Zoom limit of 100 participants prevented some of you from attending. Please note that a recording will be publicly available shortly.

We are delighted by the interest shown, and as a result the Zoom limit for future virtual lectures has now been increased to 500 participants. The next lecture will be on

Tuesday 14 April at 19:30

The Eiger Challenge

Jerry Gore takes us on a 25 minute bumble up the 1938 route on the North Face of the Eiger.  After his two very different experiences on this iconic route, Jerry gives us his take on how to prepare and train for a successful ascent.

Jerry’s light hearted glimpse at the world of uphill alpinism will be followed by a Q&A session.

If you would like to join this lecture  please check your emails again on Monday 13 April, when a link will be sent out.  The link will also be available on the Alpine Club Facebook Member Area

If you have ideas for future lectures, or other activities for these challenging times, you can share them here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kYB-IVQzvlrN3KBPlRCFXbcFRkVTcbBZf6SGU123Ypc/edit?ts=5e85c62f

 

Sikkim: Beyond the Mists with Victor Saunders, Nigel Buckley and Nicholas Hurndall Smith

We hope that you and your families are all keeping well.

While we are all practicing social isolation, the club is proposing to host a series of short virtual lectures, using Zoom. This technology has the advantage that those participating have the opportunity to ask questions directly to the presenters.  

To launch this initiative the presenters of the last London lecture, Victor Saunders, Nick Smith and Nigel Buckley, are planning to broadcast a shorter version of their lecture, live, on

Tuesday 7 April

19:30

Swanage Meet Cancelled

Due to the corona virus situation the Swanage meet due to take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April 2020 has been cancelled.

Alpine Club Library Closure

We regretfully have to 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 advise 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 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.

Lundy Meet Cancelled

Due to the corona virus situation the Lundy meet due to take place from Thursday 02 April 2020 to Saturday 04 April 2020 has been cancelled.

Report 6th March 2020

MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS 06/03/2020

Some (brief) information for the weekend.

One spell of bad weather has been quickly followed by another, making the good weather windows very short. The main activities, therefore, have been off piste skiing, ski touring and snow shoeing, (on the trails at the head of the valley.)

On Thursday, there was 50cms of fresh snow at Vallorcine and a bit more in Courmayeur, (due to pockets of cold air). In the Chamonix valley and the Prealps, (Chablais and Aravis,) it rained up to 2000m

At altitude, there has been 40 to 50cm of new snow reported since Thursday morning. PIDA, (Avalanche Patrols) have released unstable snow with depths of 40cm to 1m, sometimes in large quantities.  

Concerning the off piste, the snow is relatively good and the successive snow dumps have increased the chance of making “fresh tracks”.  Be aware of the avalanche risk.

The three designated ski touring trails (Les Houches, Trapette at Argentiere and Le Tour) are feasible.

All the classic ski tours could be OK but be aware of the avalanche danger. It is possible to start skinning from Notre Dame de la Gorge, Plaine Joux (Pointe de Pormenaz), La Flatiere (Aiguillette des Houches), Buet (Bérard Valley / Buet), Couteray (Loriaz sector), Finhaut (Bel Oiseau sector) and Col de la Forclaz (Pointe Ronde).

Concerning the glaciers, the Argentiere sector is popular, (hut open, telephone working again.) It is still probably too early for the Aiguille d’Argentière by the glacier du Milieu, even if the recent snows have improved the lower part.

No information for the Brèche Puiseux or the Conscrits sectors, (weather windows often too brief.)

The recent snowfalls have improved conditions for the lower part of the Mer de Glace and it is possible to reach Montenvers without problems. The people responsible for the ice cave have put out a warning that the old, (lower,)  ice cave is at risk of collapsing.  It is therefore best not to pass this way but to approach the steps from above.  

The descent by the Mottets snack bar, (open this weekend,) down to Chamonix is possible, with some rocks showing through on the lower part of the glacier and on the bends before the Planards Farm, (not to be recommended to people with new skis!)  

The marked snow shoe trails at altitude are feasible but check first for those managed by the Company du Mont Blanc on their website: : http://www.skiplan.com/bulletin/bulletin.php?station=chamonix&region=alpes&pays=france&lang=en). The more experienced snow shoers can consider the unmarked trails up to Chailloux or Loriaz.

 

For the hikers, it is best to keep down in the valley on the signposted paths.  Please check the avalanche risk before doing certain routes.  For example, the way up to the Chapeau cafe, normally practicable this winter, has frequently to be avoided during the last few weeks due to avalanche risk

Following a stonefall, the path beside the Arve between Les Monquarts and the Eaux Rousses path is closed until 13th March.

There is still icefall climbing on the true left bank of the Argentière glacier, (Déferlante sector) and at Cogne, (Patri, Lillaz gully, Patinaggio Artistico etc).

There is no recent information for the gullies, except for a party seen on the Pellisier (Pointes Lachenal) last weekend.

A party did the Fil à Plomb on Wednesday: deep snow, crux still with ice but too thin for ice screws.  

The gullies on the N face of the Aig du Midi, (Vent du Dragon etc ), and the Triangle du Tacul look to be very dry.

 

 

Trevor Braham

News has reached us of the death on the 2nd March of our member Trevor Braham, who had been a member since 1951.

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. 

 

 

AC High Atlas Winter Meet

In January 2021 we are planning a 12-day winter mountaineering trip to the High Atlas mountain range, Morocco.  The High Atlas rises to over 4000m with reliable winter mountaineering, ice climbing and winter hill walking easily accessible from two guarded huts. 

We will fly to Marrakech before transferring to the small town of Imlil. The following day we will walk into the CAF hut below Toubkal, where we will spend 7 nights. From here, we will have easy access to reliable ice climbing, alpine ridges and winter climbing of a similar character to Scottish winter climbing, though usually with sunshine! The area in the summer (and winter) is popular for trekkers wanting to walk up Toubkal, but beyond the trade routes you will find yourself in remote alpine wilderness.

Report 21 February 2020

Some information for the weekend!

The Argentière and Cosmiques huts open this weekend. The Requin, Torino, Loriaz and Lognan huts are already open.

The recent snowfalls  have improved ski conditions. There are still some ice plates or hard snow, notably on the moguls or convex slopes, (drop offs). In general conditions are reported to be good, even if some areas are wind affected.   It was warm on Thursday and the snow on the slopes receiving the sun is being transformed, (could be crusty).

 

Most of the classic ski tours should be feasible this weekend, plus the forecast is for good weather.  

At mid altitudes: for example,  Crochue-Bérard traverse, Cols des Dards and Bélvédere, (there and back), Col de Beugeant, Mont Buet, Col de l'Encrenaz from the Col des Montets, Col de la Terrasse, the Bel Oiseau / Fenestral sector, (some walking low down), Contamines sector: Col de la Cicle / Jovets lakes, (roman road icy, crampons useful).

On glaciers: Helbronner sector (the Marbrées, Toula glacier, col and shoulder of the Entrèves, Brenva glacier were done on Thursday 20/02), Brèche Puiseux, Argentière sector (Col des Grands Montets, Col du Passon, Col du Chardonnet + 3 cols. N.B. the glacier du Milieu is very dry and not recommended. Col du Tour Noir, Col d'Argentière), descents towards Trient (this sector has been affected by the wind, it is only just possible to get to the parking on skis.)

All the Valley Blanche variations were skied on Friday 21/02, (good snow, in the process of being transformed,). The Salle à Manger passes reasonably well.  There are still some plates of icy snow on the Vallée Noire, but it is OK.

There is a lack of snow in the lower part, but the last two snowfalls have made it possible, (for the moment,) to ski within 50m of the ice cave without too much bare ice or rocks. After the Salle à Manger it is best to keep to the true right bank until the junction with the Leschaux glacier. 

During this holiday period the lifts, (Aiguille du Midi and Montenvers train) are very busy. Think about reserving a “benne”, (Aig du Midi) and having spare time at the end of the day.

 

Some information on the "couloirs", (the conditions can change rapidly.)

- Cosmiques couloir and  Rond glacier: very hard snow at the top, walking foreseen from below the ancient Para station or the Combe des Glaciers.

- Gervasutti couloir on the Tour Ronde is skiable but better suited for alpinism!

- Capucin couloir has been done; no further information.

- NNE of the Courtes (the summit part is probably fairly dry) and the Col des Cristaux were skied with good snow on 20/02.

- Aiguille d’Argentière: Barbey couloir was skied last weekend, (“concrete” high up, better on the lower two thirds.)  No information for the “Y” this winter.

Concerning the ice gullies: little or no change since the last update of 12/02, (most of the climbing is in the Valley Blanche sector.)  The ice plating on « Beyond Good Evil” is now very thin.  

The approach behind the Requin was tracked by ski on 20/02. (Ice is Nice : looks thin but with ice  + Sorenson Eastman: the bergschrund is no longer passable, need to use the rocks, then good conditions until the narrow gully near the top which is very dry.)

No major changes concerning the hiking or snowshoe trails.  Likewise, for the icefalls.

 

Julian Davey

We are saddened by the news that Julian Davey passed away after a short illness on Friday 14th February. 

 

There will be a memorial service on the 28th of February at St. Kertigern’s Church in Caldbeck at 2:30 pm, followed by a gathering at the Parish Hall afterwards. 

 

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. 

 

Report 12th February 2020

A complicated winter!

A quick overlook of the recent weather:

  • A series of weather fronts and storms at altitude
  • Very strong winds
  • Rain on Monday for several hours, up to 2300m
  • Little or no fresh snow below 2500m, (no info for above.)

Therefore, activities in the high mountain are not obvious during this holiday period.

The information the OHM has received indicates that the ski conditions remain “special”.

Concerning the pisted ski areas, the snow cover is still satisfactory and most of the pistes are open, weather permitting.  Only certain areas at low altitude are suffering from insufficient snow.

In general, ski conditions are OK.  Certain pistes, (particularly the steeper ones,) have hard snow with ice plates starting to show through during the day.  Choose pistes in accordance with your ability and control your speed!

Conditions off piste are “variable,” drifted snow alternating with plates of hard, icy snow, (risk of breaking away in places.)

The langlauf tracks are suffering from a lack of snow and coldness in the valley floor.  The best choice is at Argentière, though there are some pistes open at Chamonix and Vallorcine. More info on what is open at:  https://www.chamonix.com/ouverture-des-pistes,129,fr.html

The avalanche transceiver practice area, (DVA park) at Savoy is closed since today, due to lack of snow.

The snow shoe tracks and the winter walking trails in the valley floor, ( Lac Vert loop, Bossons glacier, Cerro chalet, Cerfs loop, Tines loop) are all possible without snow shoes, Hiking is also possible, (with proper footwear, hiking poles and walking crampons,) near the Ayeres chalets, the Charousse alp and the Chapeau buvette.

Snow shoers need to go to Vallorcine (Granges loop) or at altitude using the lift system, (Prarion, Montenvers, Flégère/Index, Col de Balme and Aiguillette des Posettes from the top of the Vallorcine bubble lift.)  With the recent weather, the snow is hard rather than powdery.  

Concerning ski touring, the OHM has not received any info yet following the good weather this Wednesday.  Last weekend all the classics in the Aiguilles Rouges (Pointe de Pormenaz, Crochue-Bérard, Pointe Alphonse Favre, Col des Dards, Col du Bélvèdère, Beugeant, Buet), in the Argentiere sector, (Col du Passon, Col du Tour Noir, Col d'Argentière) and in the other sectors nearby (Bel Oiseau, Val Montjoie) were done. Generally good conditions, (20-30cms of fresh snow on a hard base), though ski crampons and sharp edges are needed because of plates of hard, icy snow in places .

Hopefully, the conditions have not deteriorated too much since.

The Valley Blanche is being done.  Good conditions high up, but “complicated” lower down due to the lack of snow.

Concerning the alpine ice gullies, there have been ascents on the Pointe Lachenal (Pellissier in good conditions), Cecchinel-Jager and Scotch on the Rock (no further info,) E face of the Tacul (Modica-Noury, Gabarrou-Albinoni), the Combe Maudite (Grassi-Comino), the Col des Grands Montets (Pépite) and the Col des Pélerins (Beyond Good Evil)...

Concerning the icefalls, it is still possible to climb on the true left bank of the Argentière glacier, (Deferlante sector, EMHM) and at Cogne (Lillaz, Patri, Acheronte, some more info here: https://www.iceclimbingcogne.com/ice-conditions/). It is finished for the Crèmerie, (unless there is another cold spell.)

 

Report 31 January 2020

A quick update between two periods of unsettled weather.

Following the large dump of wind affected snow at the beginning of the week, (between 40 and 80 cm depending on altitude, plus drifting), on Thursday night it rained night up to 2300m, with some snow falling above this.  

 

From Thursday morning onwards, some off piste skiing was possible near to the lifts.  By Friday, probably some ski tours being done.  (There was a track towards the Col du Passon, no further information.)

The Valley Blanche was also done.   The return route to Chamonix has much improved, (snow quality variable, some rocks between the ice cave and the exit from the glacier, and on the bends down from the Mottets buvette, one section of walking.)

 

The large drifts and the presence of weak layers on certain slopes means great care is needed in the choice of route.  The forecast is for heavy rain above 2000m, starting on Saturday.  This will moisten the snow cover.

 

There is very little recent information concerning the icefalls.  Conditions have not changed much since the last update, (still climbing on the true left bank of the Argentière glacier, the Crèmerie, etc.).

 

Due to the fresh snow and the very short weather windows, there has been no activity in the high mountain.  

 

Finally, the marked snowshoe trails are feasible, including those in the base of the valley.