Climbers' Club

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The Climbers' Club is the senior rock-climbing club in Wales and England (outside the Lake District). It was founded in 1898 and publishes guidebooks in the main climbing areas in Wales and Southern England. It also owns several climbing huts in these areas.

Early history[edit]

The Club developed from England's and Wales' earliest attempt to formally organize and bring together those who were active in participating and developing the "new" sport of rock climbing.

In 1870, C. E. Mathews founded the Society of Welsh Rabbits, which was a loose association of climbers who were largely English. By 1897, members of the Society saw a need for something more formal, and forty met at the Café Monico in London to discuss forming a new Club.[1]

Originally perceived as merely a dining club, meeting once a year in London, one-third of the original members were also affiliated with the venerable Alpine Club - generally more conservative and populated largely by alpinists who had little regard for climbing in Great Britain, except as training for the Alps. The first president, C. E. Mathews, was, himself, a pillar of the AC, but supported this new adventurous but parochial initiative. Not without the wry criticism so fashionable at the time, however, as the arch-conservative mountaineer Douglas Freshfield punned:[2]

Why is it to the Alpine Club
Our C. E. M. no longer keeps?
Why should he found - himself as hub –
A Climbers' Club for chimney sweeps.

See also[edit]

Other UK Mountaineering 'Senior Clubs'


  1. ^ Clublife at, dated 02/11/2003 (accessed 6 January 2008)
  2. ^ Clark, R. W. and Pyatt, E. C. (1957). "Mountaineering in Britain", Phoenix House.
  • Hankinson, Alan (1972). "The First Tigers", J. M. Dent & Sons

External links[edit]