Sunday, 21 August 2011

Join The American Alpine Club!

The Swedish Climbing Federation (SKF) is a pile of shit and sadly not of much of a benefit if you are a climber looking for an organization who will benefit your interests and provide a valid insurance outside the beaten track. SKF has fallen victim of its own ambition to please the feeding hand of governmental subsidises provided from Riksidrotts Forbundet. Tax funding for sports might be great but when the sports organization starts to divert all there focus to maximizing funding and not attending to the individual needs for its members you know its time to move on.

SKF is an umbrella organization where all forms of climbing is represented. This is bad for Swedish climbing as none of the different climbing activities is getting enough funding to do any thing that will benefit the development of Swedish climbing. The competition climbers complain they don't have enough funding for there activities but they travel, have an organization and team outfits...

The vast majority of the rapidly shrinking number of members are devote to climbing outdoors. So one would think its a no brainer to focus on there problems but thats not the case. Sadly vast amounts of the funding is funneled in to kids climbing on plastic and not doing that good on an international level (there is one or two exceptions). Not bad I just think that competition climbing can be better managed by the big climbing gyms and a specialized organization.

The Expedition funding SKF can provide is limited to about 2350 USD. So any one looking for a grant to go and explore a peak in the Himalayas or in Patagonia might get lucky with a 300 USD grant or unlucky and get zip.

After looking in to the services and offers a member of the American Alpine Club benefit from it was a no brainer to join. I was not sure if all benefits such as GLOBAL rescue insurance would apply to non US residents but swift a response from AAC assured me thats the case. On top of that I get discount on magazine subscriptions and with a number of retailers. But best of all I get the yearly American Alpine Journal. And I can browse it online so I wont where my hard copy out...