Swiss Alpine Club

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Swiss Alpine Club (SAC)
Logo of the Swiss Alpine Club
sport Rockclimbing
Founded April 19, 1863
Chairperson Françoise Jaquet
societies 111 sections and 22 subsections
Members 150,000 (as of 2018)
Association headquarters Bern SwitzerlandSwitzerlandSwitzerland 
Official languages) German , French , Italian

The Swiss Alpine Club SAC ( French Club Alpin Suisse CAS , Italian Club Alpino Svizzero CAS and Romansh Club Alpin Svizzer CAS ) is the umbrella organization for mountaineers in Switzerland and is a member of Club Arc Alpin (CAA) and the UIAA . The association was founded in 1863 on the initiative of Rudolf Theodor Simler in the Olten railway station buffet . Its 111 sections operate 153 mountain huts in the Swiss Alps .


With around 150,000 members (as of 2018), the Swiss Alpine Club SAC is one of the largest sports associations and the most important Alpine club in Switzerland. His activities are very diverse and are divided into the following activities:


At the initiative of Rudolf Theodor Simler from Zurich, 35 gentlemen from Aarau, Basel, Bern, Buochs, Glarus, Lucerne, Olten, St. Gallen and Zurich met on April 19, 1863 in the Olten station buffet and founded the Swiss Alpine Club SAC. Simler was a lecturer in chemistry and geology at the University of Bern. He warned against leaving the then booming conquest of the Alps to foreigners. The Alpine Club was founded in London in 1857 and the Austrian Alpine Club in 1862 . At the end of 1863 the SAC already had 7 sections with a total of 358 members. In the year of foundation, the Grünhornhütte in the Glarus Alps was the first SAC hut to be built.

The main goal at the time was to promote alpinism - namely mountaineering - and to explore the Alpine region . In the 19th century the club saw itself as an association of the bourgeois elite.

In 1900 the SAC had 43 sections with 6,000 members. As a result of the improved transport connections in the Alps, the growing number of SAC huts and the emergence of winter alpinism - namely ski mountaineering - the SAC grew into a mass club in the first half of the 20th century. The number of members rose to 44,500 by 1963.

In 1977 the office in Bern was opened. She is the service center and responsible for public relations.

As a founding member, the SAC participates in the multilateral agreement on reciprocal rights to huts , which was introduced in 1978.

The SAC is a member of the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA).

Since 1964, Charles Egmond d'Arcis years UIAA President , since 1968 Edouard Wyss-Dunant former UIAA President, since 1995 Pietro Segantini and since 2001 Carlo Sganzini UIAA honorary member .

In 1996 the central board was established. So far, the Central Committee has been alternately perceived by an SAC section (on-site principle). In the same year the youth organization (JO) was integrated into the SAC.

In 2006, SAC Mountain Rescue was outsourced to the independent Alpine Rescue Switzerland Foundation .

The SAC and the women

In 1880, the association was asked whether or not women were allowed to enter the association. The arguments of the conservative opponents predominated and it was ultimately left to the sections whether they wanted to accept women at least as passive or honorary members. In 1907 women were completely excluded from the SAC. However, this did not apply to the youth organizations (JO) affiliated to the sections. As a result, several alpinists founded their own club in 1918, the Swiss Women's Alpine Club . It was not until 1980, nine years after the introduction of women's suffrage in Switzerland at the national level, that the SAC merged with the Swiss Women's Alpine Club. From then on the women were welcome in the SAC and the number of members skyrocketed to 69,201. Since 2013 the SAC has been presided over by a woman.



The SAC has 111 sections , with one or more sections per canton . The sections form the foundation of the club. These are organized as associations and determine their club life largely autonomously. The sections build and operate the huts, organize tours and courses for their members and provide delegates for the assembly of deputies, which presides over the central board and the office. Members are free to choose which section in Switzerland they want to belong to. The section with the largest number of members is the Uto section in Zurich. By becoming a member of a section, you are automatically a member of the central association. Direct membership in the central association is not possible.

Central Association

The central board is the actual management body of the association. Ten specialist commissions support the central board in its work. The activities in the central board and in the technical commissions are carried out on a voluntary basis.

SAC huts

The sections of the Swiss Alpine Club SAC currently operate 153 huts in the Swiss Alps with around 9,000 beds. The huts offer simple accommodation for mountaineers, climbers, hikers, nature lovers and, increasingly, for families with children. The Solvayhütte on the Matterhorn is the only hut that belongs to the SAC Central Association itself. The first SAC hut, the Grünhornhütte , was built in 1863. In the course of time numerous other huts were added. Initially they were used for geographic and natural history exploration of the mountains as well as alpinism, later also for the emerging mountain hikers and skiers. Existing huts are constantly being renovated, expanded or replaced by new buildings.

In addition to the Alpine huts, many SAC sections also have so-called section huts. These often hosted and open to non-members huts on the hills of the Central Plateau , the Jura mountains or in the foothills of the Alps . There is no list of these huts.


Youth promotion

Membership is possible from the age of 6. For children up to 14 years of age, the sections offer a special tour program called Children's Mountaineering ( KiBe for short ). Individual sections also have a family mountaineering group ( FaBe for short ). In contrast to the KiBe, the children are accompanied by their parents in the FaBe. The young members of the SAC between the ages of 14 and 22 are looked after by the SAC youth organizations ( JO for short ). Camps and weekend tours are carried out in Switzerland and also in neighboring countries.

Alpine rescue Switzerland

In 2006 the SAC founded the Swiss Alpine Rescue Foundation together with the Swiss Air Rescue . Alpine Rescue Switzerland is responsible for rescuing people in the Swiss mountains and looks after 98 rescue stations with 3,000 mountain rescuers and 80 helicopter rescue specialists (RSH) in the Alpine region and in the Jura.

SAC Central Presidents

The SAC has been working with volunteers according to the militia system since it was founded . Until 1999, the members of the Central Committee (CC) came largely from a section (“suburb”) which provided the CC and the central president for three years. Claude Krieg (1992–1995) was the first central president with a four-year term.

Term of office President Section «Suburb»
1863 Rudolf Theodor Simler  1 Bern
1864 Christian Meyer-Bischoff Basel
1865 Johann Wilhelm Coaz Rätia
1866 Friedrich von Tschudi St. Gallen
1867-1869 Melchior Ulrich  1 Uto
1870-1872 Albert Hoffmann-Burckhardt Basel
1873-1875 Hermann Zähringer Pilate
1876-1878 Albert Freundler Geneva
1879-1881 Johann Rudolf Lindt  1 Bern
1882-1884 Eugène Rambert  1 Diablerets
1885-1887 Johann Emanuel Grob Uto
1888-1891 Rudolf Gallati Tödi
1891-1895 Heinrich Baumgartner, Johann Friedrich Michel Interlaken
1896-1899 Frédéric Auguste Monnier, Eugène Colomb Neuchâtel
1900-1903 Emil Bosshard Winterthur
1904-1907 Robert Creator Weissenstein
1908-1910 Jules Répond Moléson
1911-1913 August Herme Rätia
1914-1916 Arnold Janggen St. Gallen
1917-1919 Alphonse Bernoud Geneva
1920-1922 Albert Tschopp Aarau
1923-1925 Georg Leuch Bern
1926-1928 Henri Faes Diablerets
1929-1931 Emil Erb Uto
1932-1934 Felix Gugler to bathe
1935-1937 Alphonse de Kalbermatten Monte Rosa
1938-1940 Adolf Spring Olten
1941-1943 Rudolf Campell Pontresina
1944-1946 Robert Furrer Montreux
1947-1949 Hugo Kistler Biel
1950-1952 Mathias Jenni Glarus
1953-1955 Pierre Soguel Neuchâtel
1956-1958 Robert Wenck Basel
1959-1961 Georg Calonder Chur
1962-1964 Edouard Wyss-Dunant Geneva
1965-1967 Albert Eggler Bern
1968-1970 Hector Meier Uto
1971-1973 Robert Virchaux Diablerets
1974-1976 Ernst Geissbühler Lucerne
1977-1979 Hanspeter Wenger Blümlisalp
1980-1983 Carlo Sganzini Ticino
1983-1985 Hermann Milz Neuchâtel
1986-1988 Jakob Hilber St. Gallen
1989-1991 Franz Steinegger Gotthard
1992-1995 Claude war Yes you
1996-1999 Hanspeter Schmid Basel
1999-2005 Franz Stämpfli Bern
2005-2013 Frank-Urs Müller Obersdorf
2013– Françoise Jaquet Friborg
1 Co-founder of the Swiss Alpine Club


The SAC publishes various ski touring, hiking and climbing guides. To simplify the tour, but also improve the safety of the SAC so that created different rating scales, SAC mountain and high alpine scale , the SAC walking scale , the SAC-ski scale , the SAC hedge scale and the SAC snowshoe scale .


Web links

Commons : Swiss Alpine Club  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b About us
  2. History of the SAC ( Memento of 29 November 2013, Internet Archive )
  3. NZZ of April 19, 2013: May the club part you
  4. ^ Observer: SAC history - Club der Patrioten; dated March 18, 2013
  5. Homepage SAC section Uto, Zurich
  6. sections of the SAC
  7. Everything about the 153 SAC huts
  8. SAC: Claude Krieg, Central President 1992–1995
  9. SAC: Fresh wind in the central board
  10. was elected federal judge in 1896