About The Climbers' Club

The Climbers' Club is a club for experienced and competent climbers and mountaineers. We strongly support the traditional British approach to climbing which is often now simply called "Trad".

The Club was formed in 1898 to bring together active climbers, this is still our purpose.

The Club continually reviews all of its activities to ensure they remain relevant to experienced climbers. For example we published the first ever pocket guidebook to climbs in 1909 (complete with topos and photo-diagrams!) and have been at the forefront of guidebook production ever since; the most recent guidebook publications compare with the very best in the world; our Journal is a world-class publication; club huts are maintained to modern hut standards.

Included in this article

Where is the club based, what does it offer?

The Club has always been a national club and as such it is not based in any specific area. Members are found throughout the UK and beyond and there are many active regional groups. Our eight club huts are a focus for activities.

Current membership stands at around 1700 including a who’s who of Britain’s greatest climbers past and present. If you want some information on any unusual climbing area there will likely be someone who has been there, done it, and will freely share their experience.

In addition to allowing members to network and find climbing partners the Club manages eight huts in climbing areas across the UK for the benefit of its members and is the largest publisher of climbing guidebooks in the UK. The Club was instrumental in the formation of the BMC and remains active within the BMC including helping represent the needs of all climbing clubs to the BMC.

Members get an up to date member listing, this allows them to contact other members in their area and to find climbing partners. As a non-member your points of contact with the Club are the Membership Secretary and the Secretary each of whom can help you contact members in your area.

What are the advantages of joining the club?

Members enjoy many advantages including:

  • To be a member of The Climbers’ Club.
  • A diverse community of other like minded climbers, keen to share their and in your adventures.
  • £10m civic liability insurance from the BMC, and discounts in over 600 outdoor retailers and organisations affiliated with the BMC
  • Up to 25% discount on the price of guidebooks published by CC, FRCC, and the Alpine Club.
  • Concessionary priced entry to many climbing centres, e.g. Awesome Walls.
  • The opportunity to join meets from our extensive list of meets in the UK and abroad.
  • Receiving a monthly e-letter and a superb Journal.
  • Access to our eight huts, full details are available on our huts pages, plus preferential access to the huts of a number of other clubs, the advantage of staying in a hut is obvious when you wake up on a campsite to a howling gale and lashing rain!
  • The opportunity to join in at annual social weekends which include a buffet or seated meal.
  • Every year the meets programme includes a number of family focused meets where children (our future members?) are encouraged. Most huts have rooms which can be booked for family use and children accompanied by members can make full use of all huts during the day.
  • Access to a key which permits access to the upper car park on the North Side of Ben Nevis ( paused )

Is it difficult to join the Climbers’ Club?

No, but it does require some effort to complete the application and come on some meets.

Membership is open to any enthusiastic and competent rock-climber or mountaineer who has a good record of leading adventurous climbs. The idea of an adventurous climb is linked to a combination of factors in addition to the grade; for example the length of a climb, availability of protection or its location (e.g. high mountain, remote, inescapable, difficult access or descent).

Other National Clubs such as the Fell and Rock Climbing Club (FRCC) and Alpine Club (AC) have similar membership requirements to the Climbers’ Club, i.e. their members will be experienced and competent climbers and mountaineers. For example, membership of the AC requires that you have climbed a minimum of 20 alpine peaks or routes at an average grade of PD or above, something that may take several years to achieve.

Does the Club offer training for its members?

No we do not offer any technical training such as rope-work or general mountaineering skills. Previously we have organised First Aid meets for members and events like our AGM, some of our well known members have run master-classes, outside, or at a wall.