Mountains need stewards now more than ever.

Please step up to protect our wilderness landscapes.

It has never been more important for the ACC to have the resources to lead initiatives to ensure Canadians can access alpine environments – safely, affordably and responsibly – while providing leadership in conservation, responsible use, education and scientific studies.

Read the Access and Environment case for support.

The ACC's Statement of Environment Values and Principles

As Canada’s national mountain organization, The Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) promotes mountaineering while being committed to conservation of mountain environments. As ACC members we recognize that access to the mountains obligates us to understand and protect these unique environments. To this end, we, ACC members, are guided by the following environmental values and principles of action.

Our Values

Leadership: We believe that we must act as stewards of the integrity of mountain environments and seek the knowledge and understanding required to do so effectively and responsibly.

Responsibility: We believe that we are accountable for our impacts on the mountain environments we travel through.

Human Development: We believe that access to mountain environments is essential to the full development of the human spirit, and that such access should not be unduly constrained, except where it is essential for the protection of these environments.

Sustainability: We believe that future generations should have access to similar experiences and personal challenges as those we seek in the mountains, and that we have an obligation to protect their interests.

Culture: We believe that communities and cultures that live within mountain environments deserve our understanding and respect.

Our Principles of Action

We will act to ensure that our activities in the mountains are carried out in accordance with our values. We will utilize “leave no trace” practices.

We will act on our individual and collective responsibility to ensure that this standard of practice is met.

We will act as stewards of the mountains, seeking to reduce human impacts that threaten the integrity and sustainability of mountain environments.

We will act to increase our knowledge and understanding of mountain environments, and our impacts upon them, so as to inform and guide our mountain practices and stewardship efforts.

glacier alpine ridge Mummery

Donate to the Environment Fund

Canada’s wilderness is a diminishing and irreplaceable resource of great intrinsic value, not only to those who recreate in its spaces, but to everyone on our planet. 
The Environment Fund provides financial support each year to projects related to the preservation of alpine and Arctic environments, and climbing areas in Canada. Your donation goes directly to these projects.


We affirm the intrinsic value of mountain regions and mountain sports to the human spirit. We advocate for self-propelled, low impact public access to wilderness areas and climbing locations when such access can be maintained without undue degradation of the alpine environment.

We strongly believe that access is best achieved through respectful collaboration and open dialogue. Through our 22 sections located across the country, we work in close collaboration with government, private landowners, and other user groups to develop access management plans and agreements that ensure responsible use of climbing and backcountry areas by our members. We ask all our members to set an example by respecting access agreements and by leaving no trace.

Access Organizations

Across Canada there are regional access groups that represent the interests of self-propelled outdoor enthusiasts. A list of some of these groups with whom the ACC has collaborated can be found below:

Access Partnerships

Conservation and Advocacy

The preservation of mountain regions and their flora and fauna is one of the key objectives of the club. Canada’s mountains are an incredible natural and cultural heritage. They are also extremely vulnerable to human impact and to climate change. We support the conservation of alpine environments and regularly advocate to protect the places we love.

We encourage all our members to be stewards of the mountains. We promote responsible & sustainable recreational use of wilderness areas that is respectful of the Kathmandu Declaration and the 7 principles of Leave No Trace.

Environmental Organization and Partnerships

There are a wide variety of environmental organizations across Canada. Some are local to a certain area, provincially focused and some are national organizations that have a wide spectrum of topics they cover. The list below are organizations that have a more national outlook. Any organization that has its logo is an official partner of the ACC.


As part of our original club constitution, we are committed to the promotion of scientific study of alpine and glacial regions, and to the dissemination of knowledge concerning mountains and mountaineering. We partner with Canadian mountain research initiatives such as the Canadian Mountain Network and provide financial and in-kind support to many scientific projects and expeditions in alpine environments through our Environment Fund.

The State of the Mountains Report

This first annual collection of expert summaries describes the abrupt effect of retreating glaciers on the flow of mountain rivers and watersheds.

Follow the link to download your free copy (English and French available).

“In times of change, mountains need stewards more than ever.”
– Lael Parrott, ACC VP Environment & Access.

Huts & the Environment

ACC huts play an increasingly important role in reducing the environmental impact of backcountry travel in wilderness areas and the ACC is an acknowledged leader in the environmentally responsible operation of backcountry facilities. Through ongoing research efforts, the Club seeks ways to further reduce the footprint of backcountry visitors through the use of environmentally-friendly technologies.

The Environmental Benefits of ACC Huts​

ACC huts provide an environmental option for a growing number of people who want to experience the majesty of Canada’s mountain backcountry by offering reliable protection from the elements, communal cooking and sleeping areas and access to water and toilets. Hut users do their own cooking, fetch water from nearby streams or by melting snow, and sleep in their own sleeping bags in common areas. They contribute to keeping the hut clean during and at the end of their stay, and they pack out all trash and food wastes.

Conversely, backcountry camping, whether in developed or undeveloped sites, is land intensive and can lead to degradation of flora and fauna over time. Unless privies are provided, human waste can also pose a significant environmental and health issue. Where privies are provided, removal of human wastes can be difficult. As well, backcountry camping involves ongoing potential for human/wildlife conflicts.

By centralizing and managing these impacts, ACC huts significantly reduce the environmental impact of backcountry travel in a number of ways.

  • Considerably less land is required for huts than for equivalent capacity camping, reducing impacts on flora and fauna.
  • Huts reduce the potential for human/wildlife conflicts by separating people, food and wastes from wildlife. This is safer for both.
  • Huts minimize environmental damage by concentrating and controlling human use.
  • Huts reduce the use of fossil fuels by providing more efficient, centralized cooking, water purification and lighting systems and eliminating the need for users to haul in fuel containers.
  • Huts provide for more environmentally sound management of black and grey water. The ACC’s fly-out privy barrel system removes human wastes from the backcountry, where the land has very limited capacity to absorb wastes without pollution of the local watershed.
  • Huts provide safe emergency shelter for backcountry travelers stranded by poor weather conditions or injuries.
  • When a hut is constructed in a backcountry area where camping has been permitted, this provides land managers with the opportunity to reduce or eliminate campground use and rehabilitate the land.

The ACC has collaborated with Parks Canada to develop best practices and environmentally sustainable technology for mountain huts. 

Case Study: Louise and Richard Guy Hut

In the summer of 2015, the ACC and a number of our partners and volunteers constructed the Guy Hut, incorporating many technologies intended to reduce its carbon footprint and increase the longevity of the facility.

The walls and ceiling of the hut are constructed of structurally insulated panels (SIPs) which provide excellent insulation and reduce interior condensation.

The hut runs on solar, wind and propane. The solar and wind energy is stored in a bank of batteries that power the lighting, fans, and control room. The stoves and heating are propane powered and while there are propane lights, we ask guests to use electrical lighting as much as possible to conserve propane, which has to be flown to the site.

The power for the internal systems and fans is generated onsite by solar and wind systems. Each of the 12 solar panels on the south side of the hut has the capacity to generate 240-260W of power and they even generate electricity in overcast conditions.

The wind turbines are capable of generating 200W of power each and typically shut down during the day as the battery bank is being charged by the solar panels. The hut’s electrical systems can be remotely monitored from the ACC’s office in Canmore.

Building a Greener Future

The ACC’s huts also allow for the introduction of new, more environmentally-responsible energy and waste management systems, as new technology becomes available. Ongoing research being conducted by the ACC and government land managers is examining other options including remote wind-power and micro-hydro systems, as well as methods for reducing the mass of black water residues that need to be removed by helicopter.

In short, the ACC provides backcountry travelers with environmentally responsible access to the wilderness through commitment to reducing the environmental impact of it’s hut system through the development and use of appropriate backcountry technology and management practices.

Aspects - the ACC Blog

Aspects is where you’ll find the most current stories about our efforts on creating, maintaining and fighting for access to our mountain environments.

The national club and our 22 regional sections are working in all corners of Canada on issues that affect our access. Keep up on the latest and find out where you can help by checking out the ACC blog.