Learn Activities Mountaineering



There are many different types of mountaineering, from exploring Britain’s hills in summer or winter to scaling Himalayan peaks. All types of mountaineering involve climbing and exploring mountains or mountainous terrains and a high degree of skill and preparation, using a combination of skills gained through hill walking, rock climbing and snow and ice techniques.

The mountains of Scotland offer some of the most challenging winter mountaineering in the world. Other popular destinations include the Alps (Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn), Himalaya (Everest), Patagonia (Fitz Roy), Alaska (Denali) and Baffin Island, Canada.

Mountaineering might also include activities like ski touring, via ferrata, rock and ice climbing, and trekking at altitude. Since the highest and most remote mountains are located around the world and are by their nature inaccessible, many mountaineers plan expeditions with a specific goal in mind. It could be to climb a well-known summit, or be the first to reach the top of an unclimbed peak.

Mountaineering has a rich history, and the climbers of today often build upon the achievements or sacrifice of climbers that went before them. There are two styles of mountaineering. Expedition style involves setting up a fixed line of stocked camps on the mountain, using them to eventually progress to the summit. Alpine style is ‘fast and light’ carrying everything needed for a quick ascent.

Aspiring mountaineers might find it helpful to take a course at the National Outdoor Centre, Plas y Brenin, or hire a guide through the Association of Mountaineering Instructors or the British Mountain Guides. It’s a great way of fast-tracking your skills development and gaining confidence.

Develop your skills closer to home by watching the BMC Winter Skills video series.

The Reciprocal Rights Card

The Reciprocal Rights Card gives BMC members discounted rates in alpine huts. The Reciprocity Fund, managed by the Swiss Alpine Club, allows the BMC to supply its members with a card entitling the holder to discounts (normally between 20% and 50%) in the many huts owned by the organisations that are signatories to the agreement (the Alpine Clubs of France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Holland, South Tyrol, Austria and Spain). The Reciprocal Rights card is sometimes also recognised by organisations and countries that are not signatories to the charter.

Purchase the Reciprocal Rights Card in the BMC shop.