Admission and Membership

Admission

Is the AACZ the right club for you?

We are a club of mountaineers related to Zurich’s academic institutions who are enthusiastic about all kinds of alpinism. In summer, our members go alpine climbing and mountaineering; in winter, we go ski-touring and ice-climbing. The individual level of our members covers a wide range from the leisurely all-round mountaineer to absolute top level alpinists. Importantly, we see ourselves as a club that goes beyond a hiking or sports climbing club.

The main difference to other mountaineering clubs is that we go without guide on principle and therefore don’t offer guided tours or alpinist training. When you come on tour with us, you do this independently and at your own responsibility and risk. It is therefore essential that you already have alpine experience and can safely assess your alpine skills. You should be able to move independently in the mountains and be aware of your abilities, your limits and the dangers involved in your activities. Basic alpine education is provided in many courses of the Academic Sports Association of Zurich (ASVZ), in numerous Swiss mountaineering schools or in the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC).

Furthermore the AACZ is not an anonymous association, but the personal contact between our members is very important to us. This way, we want to offer an alternative to internet forums and to big clubs, where you can get in contact with other mountaineers rather anonymously.

Interested?

All students, PhD students, post-docs, employees and alumni of Zurich’s academic institutions with alpine experience are welcome to join the AACZ. We cordially invite you to get to know the club and become a member. We hope that we could make you interest in the Club and look forward to hearing from you!

Admission procedure

To ensure a safe practice of our sport and to guarantee the personal contact a two stage admission procedure has proven useful: An interested person can first get to know the club as a candidate before (s)he is admitted as full member after 6-18 months:

If you are interested in our club, simply write a message to the Admissions Committee in which you briefly introduce yourself and your relationship to one of Zurich’s academic institutions, and attach a short description of your alpine interests and previous tours.

Next, we will be happy to get to know you personally. Afterwards you can become a ‘candidate’. During a limited period of 18 months you can participate in (almost) every event of the club (except for tours with limited number of participants and events reserved for members, e.g. general assembly).

At our regular meetings and tours you can meet our members and get to know the club. During this time we recommend that you take part in at least two club tours and, if possible, attend club meetings on a regular basis. If you do not yet have the above-mentioned alpinistic skills, we strongly advise you to take appropriate courses and gain experience (tour planning, lead climbing, walking on snow, ice and scree, track laying, crevasse rescue, avalanche awareness and rescue, etc.).

If you feel well in the club and would like to join us for a longer period of time, we will be happy to see you becoming a full member. You take the initiative and write an informal e-mail to the admission committee, in which you state your interest in the club, summarize again your mountaineering experience and the tours you have done with us. We will also ask you for three members who have been on tour with you, who can confirm your mountaineering knowledge and skills, and who will support your acceptance (don’t worry, the people with whom you are touring will be happy to recommend an acceptance!). Please let us also know by then how you would like to contribute to club life, e.g. by organising a joint tour, etc. The admission committee will then review the application and you will be accepted at the General Assembly or the Rehschnitzelfrass (June and January). In order to allow enough time for the bureaucracy, your application for admission should reach the commission 4 weeks before the admission meeting.

If you are only in Zurich for a short time, e.g. as an exchange student, the candidate status can be extended to a maximum of two years.

Membership

Most members remain connected to the AACZ on a long-term basis, even if they cannot be as active anymore in the mountains due to family commitments etc. or move away from Zurich later.

After Admission the membership fee is 60 CHF/year. Since we operate mountain huts ourselves we participate in the reciprocity system and our member profit from discounts on the accommodation costs in almost all huts throughout the alps.