You could browse through much of the American Alpine Club's Web site without becoming a member. You could add your name to the list of 1,449 fans of the American Alpine Club's page on Facebook (as of November 2009) without becoming a member. You also could buy the many climbers' guides and other books the AAC publishes without joining this premier adventure sports club.
But many people who are seriously interested in climbing find that there's a lot of upside to paying the annual fee and becoming a full-fledged member. The American Alpine Club is more than just an adventure club. It provides useful benefits and logistics as well as practical and sometimes entertaining information. With many experienced and novice climbers as members, the club is an invaluable network for those who love climbing and other adventure sports. As one member, Mike Libecki, says on the club's Web site, being a member of the American Alpine Club is "a must for the vertically obsessed" [source: American Alpine Club].
Joining the club is as easy as visiting its Web site. Memberships are available at varied levels:
- Regular membership: $75
- Senior membership, for those 66 and older: $50
- Junior membership, for those 28 and younger: $40
- Joint membership for two people who will share the set of the publications that come with membership: $125
For a $24 upgrade, members get the same discounts that members of the Alpine Club of Canada use to stay at that club's Canmore Clubhouse and its many country huts [source: American Alpine Club].
Is it worth it? Just what are the benefits of joining the American Alpine Club? The next page will tell you everything you need to know.