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Who gets their money's worth from American Alpine Club Membership?


Original Post
other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 15

I've appraised the details of AAC membership. It doesn't help keep access, that's the Access Fund and local groups. It doesn't help anchor replacement, that's ASCA and other groups.

It has very limited rescue insurance that doesn't cover a full rescue. You need to buy a separate policy for that. Have you used enough of the member benefits to get your money's worth? Which benefits?

JSchloem · · Homer, AK · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 265

"prodeals"  

Mae Rae · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 20

Good question.  

Their publications do have pretty pictures.

Graham Johnson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 0

I do, but also think of the AAC as an advocacy group. the Alpine Club (whichever country you're in) advocates for climbing at a higher level. It's not about "getting your money's worth".  Even as a poor student I wouldn't ever skimp on being a member of the Alpine Club of whatever country I was living in. (Currently a member of the AAC and the NZAC).   

Skye Swoboda-Colberg · · Laradise, Dornans, Bham, Cr… · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 115

Piggyback: Has anyone cashed in on the rescue insurance? I've heard helicopter rides in CO are free, and some Navy bases such as Whidbey Island north of Seattle will assist in rescue operations without charging. This seems to biggest reason to become an AAC member. Does YOSAR provide free flights?

other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 15

What does the AAC advocate for in the US? Access Fund advocates for access nationally in US. They split from AAC years ago. Local access groups advocate for access locally/regionally. Those have separate fees/dues. You could potentially be in ASCA, AF and several regional groups. The accidents in American Mountaineering is good info. There is a podcast of that too.

JSchloem - I didn't see the pro deals. Do you have a link to that page?

other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 15

Skye Swoboda-Colberg :

I've read that in the US rescue is generally free, unless the rescued people are found to be willfully negligent. For the belt and suspenders redundant insurance you have back up insurance in case the primary SAR and chopper is occupied. Hopefully there is a pay private rescue service that will help. That does exist for other countries but its pricey.

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 36

https://americanalpineclub.org/gear-discounts

Plus, the best discounts are at Experticity.com (accessible via your membership): i.e. you get something like 40% off all Mammut.

ClimbingOn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 405

I'm an AAC member. It does give discounts at some campgrounds (haven't used this perk personally). As Graham said, I consider them an advocacy group and am happy to support them.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450

There are a few climbers around here who have used their grants to fund some cool trips. 

Alex CV · · Greater NYC area · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 215

The AAC also publishes Accidents in North American Mountaineering annually as well as the Journal detailing notable alpine ascents. These are worthwhile endeavors that no other organization is doing.

-Alex

Keatan · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 20
other wrote:

I've appraised the details of AAC membership. It doesn't help keep access, that's the Access Fund and local groups. It doesn't help anchor replacement, 

https://americanalpineclub.org/cornerstone-conservation-grant (access related)

https://americanalpineclub.org/anchor-replacement-fund 


Rob T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10

Teton climbers ranch

Hueco rock ranch

Reciprocity on hut systems (CA, assume there are others as well)

Patagonia, BD clothing, and Experticity discounts. 

Open access to journal collection

Guidebook rentals, handy for out of print books 

Chris Blatchley · · Somerville, MA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

i just made my first year's membership worth from outdoor research discounts (puffy and grid fleece). That won't happen every year though as maybe I won't purchase as much gear? I've also saved a bunch of money camping at the gunks camground.

the real money maker though: saving $2.00 at rattlesnake at rumney now. lol...

Jeff Luton · · Ventucky Ca · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 5

I'm not a member but I have gone to crag cleanings hosted by them. They provided hot food and supplies to clean and stuff. It was chill

NathanC · · Logan, UT · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 10

The number of nights I've stayed at the Teton climber's ranch has more than made up for the cost of membership.  But I don't mind the extras, either ;)

Adam Peters · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 670
other wrote:

I've appraised the details of AAC membership. It doesn't help keep access, that's the Access Fund and local groups. It doesn't help anchor replacement, that's ASCA and other groups.

It has very limited rescue insurance that doesn't cover a full rescue. You need to buy a separate policy for that. Have you used enough of the member benefits to get your money's worth? Which benefits?

I'll try and answer the questions raised here. 

  1. Access: The AAC does advocate for climbers rights and access on a national level. We've been coordinating an annual "Climb the Hill" day with the Access Fund the last two years. 
  2. Anchor Replacement: https://americanalpineclub.org/anchor-replacement-fund
  3. Rescue: First, the AAC benefit that deals with rescue is not an insurance policy. Costs of Rescues vary wildly and there's no one size fits all solution. What you are getting with the AAC's Rescue Benefit is $5000 worth of reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses incurred with in the US during a rescue that is required to prevent serious injury or death. Yes, these expenses are covered A LOT by county S&R, State Parks, Nat'l Parks, etc, however, we are seeing a rising increase in these services contracting with private companies for extracting and pinging the rescued with the bill. It also gives an additional $7500 credit towards any rescue initiated by our partner Global Rescue, any where in the world. 
  4. Discounts: There's a bunch. Find which ones you like and use them or don't. 
  5. Library: The Dark Horse benefit. Check out up to 10 books for 30 days, shipped to you, wherever...uh, the library has every damn guidebook imaginable. Next trip, instead of spending $100 or more on guidebooks, check them out, take them with, return them. Money saved. 
  6. Publications: Icing on the Cake.
  7. Lodging: Tetons, Hueco, Gunks, New River Gorge, Rumney...reciprocity with Canadian and European Hut Systems. 
  8. Grants: Money in your pocket for climbing trips. Seriously, last year the AAC paid out $50K in money to climbers of every age, discipline, and experience level through it's Live Your Dream Grant. If you're a climber in America that doesn't apply for this, then something's wrong. 
  9. Other things: Events, Community, Education. 

DM me if you want to learn more in depth. 

Sean Peter · · IL · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 80

I feel my money is worth it to have one more countable member in an organization that represents climbers. Hopefully when policy decisions are made, a high membership count will make it look more worth listening to climbers opinions to those in decision making positions. 

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125

From this & previous threads on AAC, it's pretty obvious AAC does NOT have a clear core mission. By comparison, nobody is getting an Access Fund membership expecting to get their money "worth": you are supporting a cause. For those of us that who are considering donation, there's no clear & convincing argument why our money should go to AAC instead of AF, ASCA, or one of the local climbing organizations.

D-Storm · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 295

The American Alpine Club is indeed representing climbing interests in a national level, as evidenced by its partnership in last May's Climb the Hill event, in which a group of 50 climbers lobbied Congress. Climbers have never before made such a powerful impression on Capitol Hill: http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web17w/newswire-climbers-lobby-washington

As for the matter of direct member benefits, the AAC has an amazing library in the basement, including books that are nearly 200 years old that are kept in a vault, and which I have personally seen on a tour with the librarian (if you go at a decent time when they're not too busy, chances are good you could get a tour as well if you ask). The Club has volunteers constantly working to digitize these resources to preserve them and make the information more widely accessible. Also, not only are AAC members eligible to checkout books and materials from the library's main floor, the club will even mail them to you! 

If you are working on a research project or article, or planning a climbing expedition, the AAC is a tremendous resource and worth supporting.

https://americanalpineclub.org/

other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 15

Two ironies: Alex Honold's mom got an AAC grant. Honnold wanted $12,000 + In advance to speak to a local AAC group. 

The guy recruiting new AAC members locally is against anchor replacement. Afraid people might not like it.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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