Climate Change is an existential threat to climbing, climber safety, and mountain environments
June 4, 2019, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC), the country’s oldest and largest climbing advocacy organization, represents an outdoor community whose ethos is inextricably linked to healthy mountain environments and ecosystems. It is time that the Club addresses climate change as a direct threat to the climbing community and engages in coordinated action to mitigate its impacts. Failure to act with urgency threatens important alpine environments which support the health and vitality of our community. As such, the AAC is committing to taking action on climate change.
Around the world, mountain regions are warming at roughly twice the pace of the global average. The American Alpine Club, the advocacy voice of more than 24,000 climbers, is alarmed about the adverse impacts of climate change on climbing, climber safety, mountain environments. A recent AAC climber survey showed 94% of AAC members agree that climate change poses a great deal of risk to the places we climb, hike, and ski; the vast majority of survey participants also believe that human activity is the driving cause of climate change.
“It is clear the team at the American Alpine Club and me that the voice of the climbing community is critically important in today’s environmental and social efforts,” said AAC CEO Phil Powers. “I’m proud to be part of a committed group of people who are advocating for the health and sustainability of mountain environments, the ecosystems that house them, and the planet as a whole. We are addressing the challenges of climate change and we hope that you’ll join us; together, we’re stronger.”
The AAC is taking immediate steps to measure, minimize, and offset the organization’s own carbon emissions, as well as to divert staff resources and financial support toward political advocacy, scientific research through grants, and developing resources for members to make sustainable choices as they plan trips and expeditions.
Recognizing that climbers, skiers, and mountaineers are credible witnesses to change in the mountains, the American Alpine Club is also soliciting personal observations of how climate change is impacting the climbing landscape as part of a new Climate Story Collection. We encourage you to join the Club and contribute your story, which will be used to influence local and national policy and advocacy reform: http://bit.ly/2KqDmj7
ABOUT THE AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB
The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, 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 Climbing; cares for the world’s leading climbing library and country’s leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and gives $100,000+ annually toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.