We strive to be relevant to the needs of the climbing community and to individual climbers. We frequently get and read comments from members and non-members alike on various blogs, forums, events, and emails. Your ideas and your input help make us better and help us understand the ways we can make the American Alpine Club serve your needs and the needs of the broader community. Once again we would like your input. Every idea and comment is valuable, so please comment away; however we have identified a few areas where your specific comments would be helpful:
Conservation – Protecting the areas we climb: the AAC continues to do work pertinent to climbing area needs, specifically much-needed infrastructure (toilets, trails, etc.) and other projects that show that climbers are good stewards of the places where they recreate. We are considering some strategy changes in this area: 1) Developing the core competencies within the organization to be a resource for local organizations or land managers. This would probably be accomplished via an AAC funded Climbers Conservation Corps that would travel to areas where their expertise is required. 2) Create a new grant program specific to conservation where the AAC would receive applications for work that needs to be done. The club might provide expertise, volunteers, or money for approved projects. 3) A hybrid of the two strategies above.
Local Empowerment – We believe that local sections should be empowered to do what they are passionate about. In fact, we are thinking about changing our section strategy to instead be an opt-in structure based on passions and interests. You may live in Colorado, but love Yosemite, and want to engage with other Yosemite lovers. You may love sport climbing in the southeast and want to engage with others that also love that. In essence, we would like to engage and empower our membership by providing them with community based on similar interests and passions. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and on creative ideas for empowering and engaging local, volunteer groups.
Knowledge – The AAC has long been the source for reliable information on all forms of climbing and mountains worldwide. When the AAC started, to recent times, we were effective in this area with our library, the American Alpine Journal, and Accidents in North American Mountaineering – the latter two being print publications. What should the knowledge area look like at the AAC in the 21st century – a time when digitization, videos, and instant information is the norm?
Mentoring – Thousands of new climbers enter our sport every year – most through climbing gyms. The transition from indoor to outdoor climbing can be a confusing, and sometimes dangerous, process. We believe the club needs to create opportunities to mentor climbers no matter where they are at in their climbing career. We are exploring several strategies, including partnerships, training standards, and volunteer mentor programs. Please give us your ideas.
Thank you for your input on these, and any other ideas you might have. If you are uncomfortable posting your thoughts on a public forum, please email them to: email@example.com.