Austrian Alpine Club (ÖAV)
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT OUR AIM IS
The Austrian Alpine Club [ÖAV] is a large and long established mountain club ─ and much more!
With more than 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.
AN ALPINE CLUB .........
As an Alpine Club, its most important function lies in the promotion and facilitating of mountain activities, such as mountain-climbing, ski-touring and many modern mountain sports with the associated training of experts. It owns and runs mountain huts, maintains footpaths and climbing routes. It is also an important provider of expert advice and information in this field, such as producing walking and climbing MAPS, training and qualifying GUIDES, providing services on the INTERNET.
... WITH A SOCIAL ........
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 and pensioners. We offer soundly based, well supervised active training for children and youth groups throughout the year. There are also holiday camps for disabled members and many youth centres for residential or day use.
... ECOLOGICAL ........
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 work on environmental sites for young people and for mountain forest maintenance and preservation.
... CULTURAL COMMITMENT ........
The Alpine club museum (Alpenverein Museum), winner of a Tirol museum excellence award in 1997, and its collections, illustrate the club’s cultural commitment. This is also reflected in exhibitions, creative programmes and printed materials produced.
... AND RICH TRADITIONS ........
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. For a long time it operated together with the German Alpine Club, as the German and Austrian Alpine Club. 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. In the whole of Austria today, there exists a network of 40,000 km of footpaths and 425 mountain huts. 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.
Very soon, the threat to the mountains from large-scale technical and mechanical development called for the widening of the club’s aims to include the “preservation of the original state and beauty” of the Alps.
So all the various currents of history have left their traces on the Alpine Club as it has evolved.
Some examples of developments currently leaving their mark on the Club are newer and more extreme mountain sports, the quest for more thrills and adventure, the wish for improving society , the ever-greater interweaving of nations and the effects of modern information and communication technologies.