The Alpine Club
Summer has finally stumbled its way in, and it’s time to swap the cobbled streets for the hills, to skip the Albertina for the alpine breeze. Vienna’s Alpine Club gathers together English speakers from in and outside Austria to tackle the trails, the rocks and of course, the mountains.
The club is a branch of Austria’s Alpine Federation (OeAV, Österreichischer Alpen-verein), with a wide range of events all year round, from hiking to biking to climbing to ski touring, all led by Chicago native Jack Curtain, who has been director of the club for seven years. This is a club of "friends inviting friends", he tells us on the website, with the collective aim to "get outside and get involved". It’s spontaneity with style, something Curtain calls "flying by the seat of our pants, with grace."
Hallooo your name to the echoing hills
The club’s events are divided into the "light" and the "serious". The serious ones can involve multi-day challenges and some technical requirements, while a light event may be as simple as a wander through the Christmas markets. (I couldn’t help but notice December’s highly intriguing Glühwein marathon!)
The club’s website shows photographs from a range of past outings. Here we see the highly athletic – one man suspended from a sheer cliff face, smiling serenely at the camera – to the more social, ‘refuelling’ after a day out, with a group gathered around several giant, thick-crusted pizzas.
Meeting up and joining in
The club holds meetings every month in the 1st District, at the Austria Alpen-Vereinshaus. Anyone is encouraged to come and get a feeling for what the club might offer, and if you like, contribute ideas for the next adventure.
For the "serious" events, you need to become a member of the Austrian Alpine Federation, which costs €55 for a year (with discounts available for seniors and juniors).
Your wild future
The club members are soon to embark on a grill party on the new Danube, an evening at the Rathausplatz, and a three day hike in the Julian Alps in Slovenia – and there are plenty of other activities to come. So meet some fellow English speakers and go explore the Edelweiss, ogle the oaks, or clamber up the cliffs. It’s the perfect moment to escape the tourists, and delve into the real outdoors.
The Alpine Club Vienna
Jack Curtain, Dir.
Alpenvereinshaus, Alpenverein Austria
1., Rotenturmstraße 14
Future meeting dates and other details can be found on the website: