The Austrian Alpine Club [ÖAV] is a large and long established mountain club and much more ! With almost 150 years history, more than 545,000 members and a structure involving many branches and activities, it has developed into an important, influential and socially active institution in Austria and further afield.
Association for Mountain Sports Enthusiasts
The Alpine Club is the largest alpine association of Austria. Its most important functions lie in the promotion and facilitating of mountain sports, such as hiking, mountaineering, climbing, ski-touring and many modern mountain sports with the associated training of experts.
With its huts, paths and climbing facilities, the Alpine Club provides the necessary infrastructure. In addition to personal advice, mountain sports enthusiasts can use a wealth of publications and online services as information channels.
The active social involvement of the club is seen in its successful work with families and young people as well as programmes specifically for older people. We offer soundly based, well supervised active training for children and youth groups throughout the year. There are also holiday camps and inclusive programs for participants with disabilities as well as numerous meeting places for children, teenagers and families.
Protection of nature and environment
As “Lawyer of the Alps” the Club has struggled to ensure the orderly use of the alpine area and has established itself as THE ecological expert on alpine environmental questions. It is a founder and partner in the establishment and maintenance of National Parks and other protected areas. Committed members can get involved in environmental sites and mountain forest projects.
The Alpine club museum (Alpenverein Museum) and its collections, illustrate the club’s cultural mission. This is also reflected in exhibitions, cultural programmes and printed historical materials produced.
In 1862, the Austrian Alpine Club was founded in Vienna. It’s first aims were “to open up the Alps, to encourage travel through the mountains and share knowledge about them”. The corner stone of its early development was the creation of paths and climbing routes, the building of huts and the production of year books and newspapers. For a long time it operated together with the German Alpine Club, as the German and Austrian Alpine Club. In the whole of Austria today, there exists a network of 40,000 km of footpaths and 425 mountain huts, which are supervised and maintained by the German and Austrian Alpine Associations. The organisation of mountain guides, mountain rescue teams and the development of alpine equipment can all be traced back to the work of the Alpine Club.