Presentation - Mountain Club

The purpose of the Mountain Club of the University of Navarra is to make the exciting world of mountaineering known and enjoyed by the university community: professors, students, graduates, employees, and their families and friends.

In the half-century of the University's existence, there have always been people who, with great dedication and effort, have ensured that, through outings, projections and short courses, university students have left the classroom for a few moments to learn and get to know the mountains at close quarters. First, by visiting the nearest peaks in Navarre, and later by travelling through the Pyrenees.

In the last fifteen years, these activities have had greater continuity and the number of university students interested in participating in a non-competitive sport, which takes place in nature, in an atmosphere of fellowship, has gradually increased.

Despite this growth, the objectives remain the same: that all members of the university community can enjoy the exciting world of mountaineering.



October 1952 saw the birth of the Estudio General de Navarra, the embryo of what a few years later would become the University of Navarra. It was also during these years that the "prehistory" of the Mountain Club began. There was no formal and solemn inauguration, but simply the meeting between the first university professors and Navarrese mountaineers who taught them to know and love the mountains and the lands of Navarre. Under the guidance of the Navarrese notary Javier Nagore, the first President of the University of Navarre -Ismael Sánchez Bella - followed by other "pioneers" in their respective Schools -Juan Jiménez Vargas, José Javier López Jacoiste, Francisco Gómez Antón, Esteban Santiago, Félix Álvarez de la Vega... and many others - also laid the foundations of the Mountain Club.

The means and equipment they used to climb the mountains belonged to a very different era: few roads and long approaches; woollen jackets and fur coats; berets or hats on the head, bags on the back and chirucas on the feet; wooden poles and the first wooden ice axes; mountains and trails more solitary than today... But there is no doubt that the enthusiasm and passion for this sport reached as high as the summits they wanted to reach. 

The 1960s were a prodigal period for university mountaineering in Navarre. Although university students' trips to the mountains had been timid but constant up to that point, it was during these years that they became a more popular phenomenon and the first mass outings began to take place, requiring the hire of a bus. The horizons broadened, and were no longer limited to climbing the peaks closest to the capital of Navarre, although they were still the most common, and the Huesca Pyrenees began to be visited. skill It was also during these years that these excursions began to be known as "those of the Mountain Club", partly to refer to the thriving Ski Club founded in those years by José María Aymerich Llechá, a Catalan who had recently arrived in Pamplona and was beginning to work at the University. On some occasions they shared the bus on their outings if the destination was Candanchú or Formigal.

It was at this time when one after the other the highest peaks on Earth, those over 8,000 metres, were being climbed by international expeditions. The admiration for these great conquerors of the "useless" also led university students to try to emulate them in their quest for the increasingly "more difficult yet". With techniques that today seem very rudimentary, some brave men - first Javier Ardanaz and later Javier Heras - began to use sport climbing techniques, when the sport was still in its infancy, to reach the summits of the Dos Hermanas de Irurzun.

In the account sent by Miguel d'Ors, many of the protagonists of those years appear: Ismael Sánchez Bella, Javier Nagore, Jesús Vázquez and many others, some of whom are still active mountaineers today, while others are already in the memory.

In the 1970s the Mountain Club experienced one of its golden ages. Not only because of the abundance of activities and the high level of participation, but also because there were even two Mountain Clubs within the University of Navarra itself: the Medicine Club and the Law Club. The study plans recognised the possibilityof validating the subject gymnastics course for mountain activities.

Tasio del Arco, the then professor of this discipline, encouraged several students to set up their own mountain clubs at the Schools where they were studying. It was these students who organised and certified attendance for the outings.

The Medicine School continued with the mountaineering tradition of previous years but, in view of the increase in enthusiasm, a new mountaineering group was created at the Law School , with activities independent of those of the "Sciences". This group was promoted by Julián Díez.

The 1990s began with Carlos Bergera, who at the time was working for the recently created Fundación business-Universidad, taking over the management of Club de Montaña. Carlos rescued Club de Montaña from a period of certain stagnation and set up the instructions of what the club is today. He organised hiking and mountaineering trips, courses and summer expeditions to the Alps. In the 92-93 academic year, José María Aymerich began to collaborate with the club, who was beginning his studies in History that year.

In 1993, Carlos Bergera retired from directing the Club and passed the baton to José María Aymerich who, together with Fernando Unzu, another historian, took the reins for the remainder of the decade, assisted as they had been for many years by Jesús Vázquez and Fernando Múgica.

The most notable aspect of this new stage was that the existence of the club was officially recognised by the Federación Navarra de Montaña (Navarre Mountain Federation). From then on, at the beginning of each course, the students would find a calendar with the whole programme of outings and courses. Thanks to the "signing" of Iñaki Bergera, the aesthetics of the brochures improved enormously. The unconditional collaboration of José Antonio Fernández, who was just starting out with the Alumni at the time, meant that alumni, until then "forgotten" in the Club's activities, became a wider public. In addition to the hiking and mountaineering outings, numerous courses, mountain weeks, expeditions to the Alps were held and the All Mountain Day was established as the last outing of the year.

The change of millennium did not bring any major changes to the Mountain Club. José María Aymerich continues at the helm with the close collaboration of Iñaki Bergera, José Antonio Fernández, Enrique Aymerich, Patxi Gil, Teresa San Julián and Fernando Múgica among others. The Club's star activities continue to be the hiking trips, which are becoming increasingly popular and in which a large number of foreign students take part, thus making the most of the opportunity they have to get to know the country they have come to study in a different way; and on the other hand, the mountaineering trips continue, although in smaller groups.

Over the years , all the valleys and mountains of the region, as well as many places in neighbouring provinces, have been regularly visited. New ways of "experiencing" the mountains were also introduced, such as water activities: canyoning and rafting; mountain biking, day trips and even pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela; climbing in climbing walls and in the open air, etc... The graduates participated more and more enthusiastically in the activities and even dared to take their children on some of the excursions. Thus the continuity of the Club for the next 50 years is guaranteed!


Who are we?

2019-2020 course guides

  • Sergio Recalde
  • Ricardo Ibáñez
  • Fermín Milagro
  • Laura Garcia
  • Manuel Cires
  • Víctor Javier Sáenz

2019-2020 course guides

  • José Manuel Maestre
  • Fran Fernandez
  • Angel Arguibide
  • Andrea Villegas
  • Albero Delgado
  • Alberto Sanchez
  • Aritz Royo Esnal