Originally club membership was mainly concentrated along the Manchester – Sheffield
axis, also a ‘London’ section. Now we are widely distributed throughout the U.K.
with representation in Edinburgh in the North, Cambridge in the East, Swansea in
the West, and the Channel islands in the South. In recent times the club membership
has fluctuated between 35 and 50. We have two fixed Meets a year at Seatoller at
Easter and in October. Other Meets are arranged in various parts of the UK as members
see fit. The club has a long association with Seatoller and the Meets at the house
are seen as pivotal in maintaining the club identity.
For a more detailed account of the invention and development of Tricouni nails please
explore this site:-
During the 1920’s J E B (Jerry) Wright, the Lakeland Mountain Guide, based himself
at Seatoller House for a large part of the year and ran rock climbing courses and
holidays. George Starkey, among others, had assisted with these courses and had
also led walking holidays for the Co-operative Holidays Association (CHA).
The pair became the moving forces behind the launch of the new club and organized
a meeting of interested potential members on 16/17 November 1929. That meeting agreed,
subject to the approval of the CHA General Committee, to form the CHA Mountaineering
Club, and this was ratified on 10th January 1930. That first year 125 people joined
the Club and the children and grandchildren of a number of them are still involved.
An early CHA M.C. / Tricouni group photo. Left to right, Bobby Files, Jerry Wright,
‘Bill’ Marston,George Starkey, Mary Files (later Starkey), Ronnie Mustchin ?, Mary
Green (later Ling).
The CHA built the original Glaramara Guest House at Seatoller as the Club’s Headquarters
but this led to friction and in 1933 the Club broke away from the CHA, renamed itself
the Tricouni Club and reverted to Seatoller House as one of its bases.
The Swiss watchmaker, (and climber), Felix Genecand, nicknamed ‘Tricouni’ after his
favourite Geneva climb of the same name, which in turn was named in honour of a famous
talented Italian guide, developed, patented and manufactured the toothed rock climbing
nail which all serious climbers of the day used as a matter of choice.
‘Tricouni’ was so delighted that someone had named a club after him that he presented
the Club with members’ badges fashioned from Tricouni nails. Although the company
was sold on, it still makes versions of its nails – mainly used by American lumberjacks,
- and also innovative lightweight crampons.
16/17 November 1929. Photo of CHA Mountaineering Club members at their very first
’Meet’ at Birchfields, Hope Valley, Derbyshire.
Apart from WW2 when, notably, one member managed to find time to climb in the Atlas
Mountains during the North Africa campaign, the Club has continued active to this
day. In more recent years members have climbed and walked in most parts of Europe,
North and South America, the Himalayas and South East Asia. Despite all this activity
the Club has a good safety record, only suffering one related fatality which was
as far back as January 1933.
The newly formed CHA Mountaineering Club on Win Hill, Derbyshire, November 1929