Changes to ACC Hut Fees and Policies

If you’re planning a trip to an ACC hut, there are some policy and fee changes that might affect your trip: we’re increasing our overnight rates, extending facilities benefits to all ACC members and opening up our hut benefits to members of other nations’ alpine clubs.

Hut fees going up – our first increase in eight years

Our hut fees, which are presently $25 and $36 per night (for members/non-members), have been unchanged since 2007. The ACC is a non-profit organization and we want people to get into the backcountry – we figure the more people know and love the wilderness the more they’ll value and want to protect it. So we do our best to keep our rates as low as possible.

But costs increase. Everything from firewood and propane to helicopters and staff wages factors into our day-to-day running of the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. There are also capital costs – some of our huts have been around for 90 years and we take seriously our stewardship of them. We also have a commitment to responsible policies for water, energy and waste management in the backcountry with the goal of coming as close as possible to zero impact on the areas in which we operate facilities.

The rate increase, our first in eight years, will go into effect immediately and apply to overnights at huts from November 1 onward. The new rates will be $30/night for members and $40/night for non-members. Overnights between now and November 1 will be charged the current rate. Overnights that have already been booked for November and beyond will stay at the current rate. Beginning today, all new bookings for November 1 and on will be charged the new rates.

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Taking care of our things – new roof on the Abbot Pass Hut. Photo by Dave Preissl

 

Membership changes – extending facilities benefits to all ACC members

Getting the preferred rates (and advance booking privileges) at ACC huts presently requires a Facilities Upgrade to a membership which is a $24 add-on. Years ago, the idea was to provide a modular membership. Now, to simplify our membership structure we’re removing that surcharge and extending our facilities benefits to all members. Beginning November 1, all members of the ACC will receive the huts benefits of lower rates and the one-year advance booking without having to purchase an upgrade.

For our members who regularly purchase the Facilities Upgrade, this amounts to a savings of $24 per year. For our members who do not regularly purchase the Facilities Upgrade, this means additional benefits for the same membership price.

This membership change will also take place on November 1. So, if you’re booking a hut between now and November 1, you’ll still need a Facilities Upgrade if you want the lower rates and advance booking privileges.

All ACC members will be able to book huts one year in advance. Photo by Tanya Koob

All ACC members will be able to book huts one year in advance. Photo by Tanya Koob

 

Welcoming UIAA members

The ACC is a member of the UIAA, the international union of alpine clubs. Our third adjustment to hut policies is to officially extend our hut benefits to these other federations. How this affects ACC members is that we are actively pursuing reciprocity with those federations, looking for discounted rates for ACC members at their huts. This will be ongoing and we’ll update our members with our progress.

Let us know what you think

As of November 1 this year we’ll be simplifying our membership structure and giving more benefits to more members; we’ll be making our hut system stronger by ensuring we’re covering the costs of servicing and major upgrades; and we’ll be connecting with other alpine clubs, trying to add further benefits to ACC membership. We’d love to hear what you think of these changes, or about anything else related to the Club. You can leave a comment below or contact Rick Gardiner, Facilities Director directly.

 

  1. Steph Reply

    The ACC huts are great, but I am sorry to say that the rising costs result in a fair amount of poaching, particularly of the less accessible and less fancy huts. This drives up prices for those who do pay. $30 a night seems reasonable for a hut like Asulkan or Bow with all the amenities, but $30 a night for a hut with no heat, propane, water… I dutifully paid for a night at the Glacier Circle cabin last year, and it came to >$100 by the time my partner and I paid for our Parks Pass, Wilderness Camping Permit, and hut fee. Oh, and we had to carry in sleeping mats as well as fuel. No wonder so many people don’t bother paying. I don’t think locking more huts is a good solution, but what about a two tier hut fee? If it were $10, there might be more people who actually pay for a bed in the less cushy huts.

  2. Pattie Roozendaal Reply

    I just received my notice of membership renewal and it is the same cost as last year, which included the huts upgrade. Where is the $24 saving?

    • Alpine Club of Canada Reply

      Hi Pattie. The changes to the membership fees take effect on November 1. Up until that time all of our membership fees are the same as last year. If you just received your renewal notice then it makes sense that the cost hasn’t changed. Feel free to call our reception (403-678-3200 ext 0) for more info.

  3. Kevin Reply

    Increase in hut fees is perfectly reasonable, and I don’t have strong feelings about removing the facilities upgrade, although I’m not sure the reasoning is valid – I didn’t see any problem with the old structure where if you wanted to use the facilities you paid a bit extra.
    However, I do wonder about opening the huts to other UIAA members on the same basis. There are some UIAA clubs (the British Mountaineering Council as an example, and which I was a member of until I immigrated to Canada), who have few huts that anyone from the ACC is likely to be interested in visiting. So you are giving them access to the ACC huts (for which ACC members largely pay for the upkeep) with little chance of any worthwhile reciprocal benefit. I’d like to understand the rationale for this change especially with reference to this imbalance.
    Also interesting to note that reciprocity from other UIAA clubs is not yet agreed and may not be agreed. Is there any timeline on our generosity – along the lines of if fair reciprocal agreements aren’t agreed within a year then the ACC huts will not be available to members if those UIAA organisations who haven’t provided ACC members with reasonable access to their huts?

  4. John Henoch Reply

    Ditto to Mary Anns’s concern.

    I just renewed my membership and went for the upgrade not knowing about the policy change.

    Why not include a note on the application form indicating the change so that the applicant can make an informed decision on whether to iclude – or not include – the upgrade?

  5. Juergen Schmidt Reply

    A very reasonable rate increase by an organization that provides such great value to members and non-members alike. Based on what the ACC has to offer, we deserve a good deal from foreign affiliates for reciprocity.

  6. Chris Reply

    Seven years without an increase is totally reasonable, and it’s worth it for the benefits upgrade. Cheers!

    • Mary Ann Rombach Reply

      I just purchased the Upgrade for renewal of my membership for June 1, 2015 to June 1, 2016.
      So are you going to credit me for the period of Nov 1, 2015 to June 1, 2016; since I have prepaid the Upgrade for the entire year?

      • Alpine Club of Canada Reply

        Hi Mary Ann,

        Thanks for your comment. The short answer to your question is no, we’re not partially crediting membership upgrades. All of our members who purchase a Facilities Upgrade between now and November will receive the full value of what they purchased – which is one year of hut benefits. The only difference to our membership structure is that as of November 1, all of our other members will get those benefits as well.

        We understand that there may be members, like yourself, who would have considered delaying their purchase until the fall, but we felt that six months notice for the price reduction was as good as we could do. We apologize if this has caught you off guard and we really hope that you get out to a hut this summer and make the timing of your renewal pay off.

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