Climbing Essentials: The American Alpine Club

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We’ve all seen the logo; opening our local slideshows, adorning gym posters and slapped on our partners’ helmets — maybe you’re a member yourself. The truth is that if you’re a climber, the American Alpine Club is the hub of your community. Membership costs about as much as a cam, and while it can’t exactly catch you when you fall, it’s just as useful to have in your pack.


The AAC has helped save members thousands of dollars in hundreds of rescues over the last twenty years, thanks to its complimentary member insurance, which includes $5,000 domestic accident insurance and $5,000 global rescue service. If you’re still trying to figure out Obamacare, AAC membership also provides access to deals on climber-friendly health and trip insurance.


Need a guide book for your next trip? AAC will send it to you for 28 days– all you have to pay is return-shipping back to their library in Golden. In addition, every year they’ll send you the American Alpine Journal, which is full of inspiration from the forefront of the sport, and Accidents in North American Mountaineering, which is a great way to learn what not to do. (Knot those rope-ends. Seriously.)


When that ratty jacket with the singe marks and duct-tape finally coughs up its last puff of down, rest easy knowing your AAC membership means discounts on some of your favorite brands (including 20% off Brooks-Range gear). It also means deals on magazines like Alpinist and Rock and Ice, lodging at the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch, and certain day guide services. So splurge a little and get some peanut butter to go with that ramen.


Maybe you’re ready to put together your first big expedition, or maybe you want to replace all the old anchors at your favorite crag. Maybe you’ve got a burning question you need to go research. The AAC gives out over $80,000 annually in grants to support our climbing adventures, wherever they might lead. They also devote more than $100,000 annually to help conserve and protect our favorite climbing areas across the globe. That means that the dues you pay come right back to you and the community you love.

We all know that no matter how simply we live, chasing our dreams can get expensive. The American Alpine Club exists to share knowledge, support development and encourage lives lived in the mountains. If you’re not already a member, have a look at their website and give it a thought– it’s a great community to be a part of.

For a little more from the folks at the AAC, watch their Campaign for Climbers video:


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