A Bit of Our History

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Club Founder and first ACC President, A.O. Wheeler

The ACC was formed in 1906 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by Arthur Oliver Wheeler and Elizabeth Parker, among others. It’s a bit of a long story as to why an alpine club was formed on the prairies but it has to do with a movement at the time to have Canada become a chapter of the already-formed American Alpine Club and a patriotic reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press (Parker) who would have none of that.

The Club’s first mountaineering camp was held that summer on the shores of Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park and we’ve been doing that (and much more) every year since.


The ACC Today

In our hundred-plus years, we’ve spread to all ends of the country, introduced scores to mountain environments, established a network of backcountry huts, competed and won gold medals, fought the good fight to protect mountain environments and done our best to record the mountain experience in words and images and preserve it for future generations. Here’s some of what we do:


22 Local Sections Across Canada

From our prairie beginnings the ACC has grown to be a truly national club. Local sections extend from Newfoundland and Labrador, through our largest cities and mountain ranges, to Vancouver Island and the Yukon.

These local sections are the strength of our club, each running their own slate of trips and courses and social events. Novices join local sections and learn. Experienced climbers join to meet up, and to pass on what they know. Everyone has fun.


Backcountry Huts


30 backcountry huts – the largest network in North America

We run the largest network of backcountry huts in North America: 30 in total. Huts ranging from remote bivi shelters at the base of distant mountains to log cabins with casual approaches in the Rockies and Interior ranges of Alberta and BC.

ACC sections also have huts in BC, Ontario, Quebec and in the Adirondacks of New York State, a short trip from Montreal. Our front-country facilities include hostels in Lake Louise and in Canmore.

All of our facilities offer rustic hospitality in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Find solace in a storm, respite after a long day’s hike, or simply a quiet mountain refuge. Everyone is welcome.


Mountain Adventures

GMC 2006 155

Basecamp of the 2006 Premier Range GMC

Our Mountain Adventures Program offers something for everyone — from first-time hikers to experienced alpinists.

The annual General Mountaineering Camp (GMC), is our signature event and unique in North America, if not the world. Every summer 30 participants arrive for each of the five weeks of camp and along with guides, cooks and amateur leaders, climb, hike and live in a spectacular mountain camp.

Our other adventures offer opportunities to climb, hike and ski in classic areas of western Canada. Special camps are offered annually for women, youth and 55+ groups.

We offer international expeditions to some of the great ranges of the world.

Mountain Culture

Passion for climbing and alpine environments is expressed in different ways, with one of the most long lasting being the films and writing that recall our experiences.

The ACC publishes journals and newsletters, blogs and e-bulletins. We archive vital written works and promote mountain film.

This is our Mountain Culture.




Sports Action

Competing in mountain sports isn’t for everyone. But for those that train like Olympians and put themselves out there in Sport Climbing, Skimo Racing and Competition Ice Climbing, the ACC is the governing body and support network for their sports.

And some who wear the Canadian Flag are among the best in the world.

The ACC proudly supports and encourages our athletes and their development in many disciplines.