Mountain Hut Exchange

Courtesy of a reciprocity agreement, member federations of the UIAA are currently entitled to use over a thousands mountain huts in Europe in addition to the largest network of backcountry huts in North America, thanks to the support of the Alpine Club of Canada’s extensive network.

Image credits: SAC/Franziska Gwerder/Silvana Uhlmann/Martin Stoehr/Michael Caflisch

Europe

A vast network

Members of UIAA member associations (see directory here) are entitled to use about 1,200 mountain huts offering accommodation for up to 70,000 people in the entire alpine region – from Slovenia to Spain.

Those eligible to benefit from reciprocity are offered the same overnight rates as members of the hut-owning associations; in some huts, these special conditions are up to 50 per cent of the regular rate.

Use of the huts is government by the International Reciprocity Agreement on Mountain Huts (also available in French, German, Italian and Spanish) which has its goal, the improvement of mountaineering through the promotion of the use of huts in the Alps and Pyrenees ranges.

The agreement is based on all members of the associations applying the same discounted rates for use of the huts, according to each national rule.

Member Associations

The founding associations, other hut-owning associations and non-hut-owning associations participate in the International Reciprocal Agreement on Mountain Huts.

The founding associations: DAV (Germany), OeAV (Austria), FFCAM (France), CAI (Italy), FEDME (Spain) and SAC (Switzerland).

Hut-owning associations: AVS (Italy), PZS (Slovenia), LAV (Liechtenstein), Academic Alpine Clubs in Switzerland (Basel, Bern, Zurich, Geneva), FAT (Switzerland).

Non hut-owning associations: CAB (Belgium) GAL (Luxemburg), NKBV (Netherlands).

EUMA, the European Union of Mountaineering Associations, offers an excellent resource detailing a huge number of mountain huts across Europe.

HOW TO ACCESS HUTS WITH YOUR RECIPROCITY STAMPS

Common questions for individuals wanting to receive member benefit discounts:

Who can benefit from these discounts?

Individual mountaineers of a federation belonging to the UIAA benefit from this agreement and should contact their national federation in order to purchase Reciprocity Stamps. These stamps are valid during one calendar year and will offer discounts when staying in huts around Europe and Canada. Click here for more information about International Reciprocity Agreement on Mountain Huts

Where can I buy Reciprocity Stamps?

Your local member federations. UIAA member federations can buy stamps from the Reciprocal Agreement Secretariat, currently managed by the Swiss Alpine Club. The stamps are delivered to the associations upon receipt of payment.

My federation has no stamps, how do they purchase them?

Member federations of the UIAA may purchase Reciprocity Stamps from the SAC. The stamps cost 50 euros each and are valid for one year.

My federation still has stamps from the past year, are these still valid?

No, however, unused stamps may be exchanged for stamps valid the following year. Your federation needs to contact the SAC to validate the exchange.

What are the proceeds of stamp sales spent on?

Stamp sales are refunded to the founding and hut-owning clubs for maintaining or renovating the huts. This ensures that they continue to meet the needs of the guests and the requirements authorities. In essence, your contribution goes directly back into the huts and improving the experience of all future hut visitors.

May I also get discounts when visiting Canadian huts?

Yes, discount benefits also apply to the largest network of back country huts in North America thanks to the support of the Alpine Club of Canada. UIAA members are able to use the huts at ACC member rates without a supplemental annual upgrade hut fee. Please click here for more information on how to book a backcountry hut managed by the Alpine Club of Canada. A full catalogue of the mountain huts operated by The Alpine Club of Canada is detailed below.

Credit: ACC/Leigh McClurg, Pebbleshoo.ca

Canada

The Alpine Club

The Alpine Club of Canada operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. Access to these family-friendly huts in alpine meadows, backcountry powder paradises and remote climbers’ refuges will now be cheaper for UIAA members.

UIAA members are able to use the huts at ACC member rates without a supplemental annual upgrade hut fee.

The move is part of the ACC’s goals of helping to increase mountain fraternity, increase UIAA member benefits and hopefully gain more reciprocal rights for its members with other UIAA members around the world.

Please click here for more information on how to book a backcountry hut managed by the Alpine Club of Canada.

A full catalogue of the mountain huts operated by The Alpine Club of Canada can be found here.