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American Alpine Journal Available to All Climbers

Posted on: October 19th, 2011 by Luke Bauer

The American Alpine Club is pleased to announce that The American Alpine Journal—the world’s journal of record for notable climbs—is once again available to the public.

In July the Club announced that the Journal in printed form would be available only to AAC Members. More than 100 climbers commented on the policy. The remarks ranged from supportive to irate, but every note reinforced the importance of the AAJ to climbers around the world. As a response to this community outpouring, the AAC has made the Journal available to everyone in the following ways, effective immediately:

 1.     Journal for All: The printed American Alpine Journal is once again available to all climbers, worldwide, at the price of $45. It is available only through The American Alpine Club and can be purchased at shop.americanalpineclub.org.

 2.     Digital AAJ for All: All climbers may continue to access PDFs of 1929–2010 AAJs for free at americanalpineclub.org/site/aajsearch. Significant portions of the 2009–2011 AAJs are also available for free at AAJ Online: aaj.americanalpineclub.org. As usual, AAC Members get early access to full digital versions of the most current Journal, accessed through their Member profile on the AAC website.

 3.     Journal upon Joining: Every AAC Member gets The American Alpine Journal for free. And now: no more months of expectant waiting for a printed copy! Every new American Alpine Club Member—within weeks of joining the Club—will receive a parcel that includes the current AAJ. As usual, all Members active in July also will receive that year’s annual publications in August: The American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering.

 4.     AAJ Discounts: AAC Members who would like to purchase additional print copies of the 2011 AAJ may do so at the exclusive rate of $36. This 20% discount is available only through The American Alpine Club. AAJs can be purchased at shop.americanalpineclub.org. (Members: log in at americanalpineclub.org to access your discount code.)

Having listened to the climbing community’s diverse input, the Club has revised its plan to meet the needs of both Members and non-Members:

• Break away from a model that does not provide a return on investment and move to a model that raises more funds that directly support the AAC programs that Members tell us they care about

• Support and encourage membership by offering immediate delivery of the current year’s Journal

• Ensure the long-term well-being of the world’s most respected climbing annual

• Further the AAC mission by spreading knowledge, inspiration, and logistics to climbers

“The AAC is in the midst of modernizing its products and programs,” said AAC President Steve Swenson. “Based on what we have heard from you, these changes will strengthen the AAC by enabling it to provide more and improved services to the climbing community.”

The American Alpine Club has been supporting the world’s climbers since 1902 and producing the AAJ since 1929. AAC Member dues and donations are a critical source of funding for The American Alpine Journal as well as other AAC programs: creating volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb, caring for the world’s leading climbing library, advocating for American climbers here and abroad, hosting local and national climbing festivals and events, and giving $80,000 in annual grants to expand possibilities in climbing, conservation, and mountain research. These programs were chosen in large part by the community thanks to a 2010 AAC Climber Survey. The Club is again asking for input in a follow-up 2011 Climber Survey.

“We are a Club for climbers, by climbers,” said the Club’s Information & Marketing Director, Erik Lambert. “We’ve heard that many of you want access to the printed Journal, and we have resumed that access.” He added that the Journal requires significant investment and resources to produce, and that joining the AAC, which includes a free Journal, is still the best way to support the AAJ and the Club’s greater mission.

For those who do not wish to become AAC Members, the Journal now is available for purchase from the AAC website—which directly injects revenue into important AAC programs, like the Journal.

“This is a new model for the AAC, and not all of these changes will please everyone,” Swenson said. “We hope the climbing community will consider the purpose behind these changes and address their concerns to the AAC in an honest, positive, and productive way. We look forward to your feedback, patience, and support during a time when the AAC is making numerous changes that will benefit all of us.” 

About The American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community. The AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world’s most sought-after climbing annuals, The American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world’s leading climbing library and country’s leading mountaineering museum; manages the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants to adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org. Join the AAC’s online community at facebook.com/americanalpineclub.

About The American Alpine Journal 
Published since 1929, The American Alpine Journal is the premier annual record of significant mountaineering and long rock climbing ascents worldwide.

2 Responses

  1. R. Bret Rhinesmith says:

    Thanks for promoting climbing for the entire community. Making the AAJ available to all is the right thing! makes me proud to be an AAC member.

  2. Jim Gregson, Alpine Club (UK) says:

    As one of the 100 who responded earlier in the year I am delighted to note this change of heart on behalf of AAC. As a regular contributor of reports to the Journal I am pleased to add information for the benefit of the climbing community and congratulate AAC on this generous revision of policy.All strength to the AAJ.