The AAC belongs as a member federation to the UIAA, the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation. In the spirit of sport and friendship, the UIAA brings together nearly three million men, women and children joined by their passion for mountains. The members, a global community of volunteers, exchange ideas, give guidance and work together on the following areas:
- Lobbying for the opportunity for everyone to responsibly access the world’s special and beautiful mountain environment.
- Giving young people the opportunity, through initiatives like the Global Youth Summit, to overcome differences and form friendships across borders and cultures—building a peaceful and better world through sports.
- Preserving mountain environments for the good of all by supporting local communities to achieve sustainable development and respect nature. The Mountain Protection Commission works to achieve these goals.
- Providing reliable safety standards for climbing equipment and advice on medical issues related to mountaineering. The UIAA Safety Label is a recognized standard since 1964, and indicates that products have been tested to the highest criteria. Since 2004, the UIAA has also awarded the Environmental Label to those who follow UIAA environmental guidelines when organizing activities in the mountains.
- Organizing competitions like the Ice Climbing World Cup in ice climbing and ski mountaineering with the ultimate aim of competing in the Winter Olympic Games.
The UIAA was founded in 1932. It started as a European organization, but now all continents are represented with 90 member federations from 62 different countries. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the international federation for mountaineering. Visit the UIAA website or download the "What is the UIAA?" (.PDF): What_is_the_UIAA.pdf.
UIAA Hut Stamp Program
The AAC's member federation status entitles its members to purchase UIAA hut stamps when traveling in some of the world's major mountain ranges. The stamps provide discounts in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Spain, and Switzerland. With a stamp, an AAC member will pay the same rate as members of the club with which the particular hut is associated. More details and purchase information here.
A number of AAC members serve as representatives to the UIAA:
Youth Commission: Ralph Ernezo
Mountain Protection Commission (President): Linda McMillan
Medical Commission: Jim Litch
Ski Mountaineering Commission: Andrew McLean
UIAA North American Honorary Vice President: Jim McCarthy
UIAA Representative for North America: Mark Richey
Safety Commission: Dave Custer, Mark Pilate (alternate)
Traning Standards Working Group: John Bicknell
Most recently, Past President Mark Richey traveled to the UIAA board meeting in Kalymnos, Greece as the UIAA representative from North America. Download the minutes (.PDF): Minutes_MC_Kalymnos_2010_V1.pdf.