2012 was a huge year for the American Alpine Club, and they’re out to prove that you don’t have to be a world-class mountaineer or live in Colorado to reap the benefits of membership. The AAC is dedicated to its members and the places they climb. In 2012 the Club launched the Live Your Dream Grant, a grant allowing every-day climbers the opportunity to gain skills and confidence to pursue their dreams. They also funded seven Cornerstone Grants, providing $25,000 in improvements to climbing areas throughout the U.S. And they’ve kept great lodging at international climbing destinations affordable by purchasing the Hueco Rock Ranch and building the New River Gorge Campground. That's a lot in one year—so much, in fact, that Climbing magazine awarded the AAC with a Golden Piton Award for its community service.
The AAC is just as ambitious in 2013. This year the Club plans to break ground on a campground in New York's Shawangunks and again be involved with roughly 300 climbing events around the country. To keep climbers safer and to provide better access to trip-planning information, they're digitizing 100 years of publications (American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering) that document significant climbs and accidents. And they've just made access to climbing history easy, with the launch of Explore, a digital gallery of rare photos and videos, documenting notable climbing history. Explore allows you to step back in time and visit the 1963 Everest Expedition or check out photos from last year’s International Climbers' Meet.
Being a member of the AAC has never been better. As a member, whether you’re adventuring in your own backyard or traveling overseas, you’re protected by $10,000 of rescue benefits. This year alone, about 300 AAC events will take place all over the U.S., allowing members to connect with other climbers in their region or around the world. Members get to check out guidebooks and movies for free, Netflix style, from the American Alpine Club Library. Members score all kinds of discounts, from magazines to climbing gyms—maybe even that jacket you’ve been eyeing. Last but not least, member dues support conservation that keeps climbing areas open and clean. Please consider joining the AAC today.