Many of you that have attended the Michigan Ice Fest in the past few years know that we do a membership drive for the American Alpine Club. The American Alpine Club provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community. The AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world’s most sought-after climbing annuals, The American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world’s leading climbing library and country’s leading mountaineering museum.
What you might not know is that the AAC, working with the Mountain Fund, has a brand-new lodging option for its Members—two AAC Member Clubhouses in central Kathmandu, Nepal. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of this benefit on a recent trip to Nepal. I can’t tell you how easy this was to set up through Scott at The Mountain Fund. One call and boom- it was done. An airport pick up, and a great hook up in a Nepali family home and I was all set! The home features several bedrooms with multiple single beds in each room. The bathroom is shared and the house offers free internet access. After my trek I was surprised to see Benjamin Erdmann, a fellow AAC member and personal friend just in from the long flight from the states! What a small world! Benjamin was there with his girlfriend planning an adventurous 2.5 months of climbing and volunteer work.
The clubhouse provides the perfect setting as it offers a quite, relaxed atmosphere with internet and hot tea- ideal for expedition logistics! The staff at the clubhouse was unbelievably friendly and hospitable and prepared traditional Nepali meals twice a day. My Nepali “sisters” danced around the house signing Nepali songs and were quick to whip up my favorite meal- Dal Bhat! Did I mention all of this special service runs $15.00 per day for AAC members! It was by far the best deal in all of Nepal!
Certainly no house would be complete without a mascot and the Kathmandu Clubhouse is no exception. Always on the patrol and looking out for those pesky squirrels and birds was “Jimmy”. It was always a pleasure to be greeted by Jimmy’s wagging tale when coming home from shopping for supplies.
What made my trip so memorable was being able to interact with many of the locals. I will always cherish my time spent at the Kathmandu Clubhouse with my Nepali Sisters! I look forward to the day when I can return to Nepal and a stay at the Kathmandu Club house will defiantly be in the plans! Thank you AAC and Mountain Fund for providing this valuable benefit!