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General => Climbing NOT (Bitch & moan, Politics) => Topic started by: DLottmann on June 09, 2013, 09:29:03 pm

Title: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 09, 2013, 09:29:03 pm
So Ken, why the hate? I think Strand has a beef too so I’m up for some respectful educated debate...

First, anyone contributing should at least know their mission statement: http://www.outdoors.org/about/mission.cfm

Second, I admit they had their head in their asses during the golden age of Eastern Climbing, aka, Vulgarians, especially in the Gunks (I get my history from Yankee Rock & Ice)

And, yes, their luxury huts are expensive compared to European huts, but the Whites offer many other options if you wanna avoid them... but....

You can’t deny they educate & introduce shit loads of people to the mountains in a responsible way stressing environmentalism and conservation constantly. Their publications are pretty much the only hiking guidebooks of any regional worth, and they fight polically stronger than any organization I know in the East to protect our wild lands...

So... what’s the issue?
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: kenreville on June 09, 2013, 09:48:48 pm
This is a direct quote of mine taken from another thread:

"Let's see.
A "not for profit" organization who's director commands a $250,000/yr salary.
Operates a 4 star hotel at the top of Crawford Notch- that competes directly with other "for profit" org's (like the Mt.Washington Hotel, a mere 2 miles up the road). The "Highland Center"- chock full of Hummers and BMW's. Can you say hypocrisy?
Last time I actually went into the AMC "Headquarters" in Pinkham Notch was probably 10 years ago- and at that time you could quite literally show up in shorts and flipflops in mid January, and equip yourself for a weekend up at Tuck's. The AMC "not for profit" that competes directly against my friend Rick Wilcox.
There member list, which includes many "pro bono" lawyers, are always willing to take up the Clubs cause.
It's basically a group of people from Joy St. in Boston who have decided to make the National Forest in my backyard, their own personal playground."

Were you around Dman when the AMC was teaming up with the Green Party in an effort to stop cutting of ALL trees in the White Mtns? Not in just the WMNF but in the ENTIRE area? Sorry to say but the forest provides a living for the people that live here. And YES it is sustainable AND renewable.
But that didn't fit the agenda of the AMC. Not in OUR playground.

Do you wanna know what quieted them? It was found that their septic system in Pinkham was found to be grossly inadequate for the number of guests they were staying. So they tucked their tales and whimpered away.
And talk about pollution. Have you ever been on the mountain when the AMC flies in with their helicopter drops? F*** THAT S***.

I've been here long enough to know that the area would be none the worse (significantly better IMO) without the AMC.

Again- BAN THE AMC!



Title: Re: AMC
Post by: kenreville on June 09, 2013, 09:55:13 pm
Also, it's a "club".

Personally, i dislike clubs. Clubs are for people who aren't smart enough to figure things out for themselves.

Wannabees.

Did you ever think that if the AMC wasn't putting wannabees into the Whites, there wouldn't be anywhere near as many incidents?
You know, searches, body drags etc.?
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: kenreville on June 09, 2013, 10:08:06 pm
Oh yeah, and one more thing- talk to anyone that has worked for them. From what I've resoundingly heard, they treat their employees like shit.
 
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 09, 2013, 10:12:35 pm
Ok, try to respond point by point here;

Not aware of the director’s salary, wouldn’t mind a link or something but even if it is true, it is a huge organization and I would expect a director with that kind of responsibility to be compensated, at-least as much as your least favorite pro-sports athlete...

RE: Highland Center “Hummers & BMW’s” = total exaggeration BS. I park there at least 20 weeks a year, can’t remember the last Hummer I saw there but I did see an RV take up way to much space last week...

RE: PNVC equipping people for “Tucks”... sorry the folks there are constantly trying to educate the morons showing up and absolutely reduce the amount of incidents and rescues with their advice at the front desk. I have often over heard them talking tourons out of doing something stupid. People will come to Mt. Washington with or without PNVC, but at least some might listen to the staff recommendations regarding gear, current conditions, etc.

RE: “Competing with your friend Rick Wilcox”... really? IMCS has quite a history partnering with AMC to help run their more technical rock & ice programs. As far as I know Rick isn’t really interested in giving nature walks around Lost Pond, so I don’t really see that as competition...

RE: Stopping all logging. No, I was not aware of that, and would side with you that WMNF is a “Land of Many Uses”, and responsible logging is absolutely acceptable. I would not have rallied for the AMC on that argument.

RE: Helicopter drops... many times. Never bothered me.... cool, look a helicopter... there it is... now it’s gone... carrying on with my hike.... I do remember one day hiking on Willey that it was making multiple trips and I guess that could get annoying... one day out of hundreds enjoyed in that area... guess I can handle that...

I have been here long enough to know that no AMC = more uneducated buffoons without the great mentors you grew up with to introduce you to the mountains...

Do you have any comment on their political power rallying people to stop Northern Pass? Or their watershed protection efforts?

Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 09, 2013, 10:15:11 pm
Oh yeah, and one more thing- talk to anyone that has worked for them. From what I've resoundingly heard, they treat their employees like shit.

I personally know folks that work at both HLC and PNVC, and have met many hut crew over the years. Trail builders, educators, naturalists, hospitality managers, etc... all seem to love their jobs, and many have been their 5+ years...
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: kenreville on June 09, 2013, 10:38:35 pm
Ok, try to respond point by point here;

Not aware of the director’s salary, wouldn’t mind a link or something but even if it is true, it is a huge organization and I would expect a director with that kind of responsibility to be compensated, at-least as much as your least favorite pro-sports athlete... First, I don't have a favorite athlete. And what responsibility? Not buying it.

RE: Highland Center “Hummers & BMW’s” = total exaggeration BS. I park there at least 20 weeks a year, can’t remember the last Hummer I saw there but I did see an RV take up way to much space last week... Regardless of what cars you've seen in the parking lot (BTW, I drove back and forth for 7 years, 5 days a week, past the Highland Center- I know what I saw), that doesn't address the clubs not for profit tax status.

RE: PNVC equipping people for “Tucks”... sorry the folks there are constantly trying to educate the morons showing up and absolutely reduce the amount of incidents and rescues with their advice at the front desk. I have often over heard them talking tourons out of doing something stupid. People will come to Mt. Washington with or without PNVC, but at least some might listen to the staff recommendations regarding gear, current conditions, etc. If the Pinkham Base wasn't there/never at all, would there be more or less incidents? Kinda to late now I suppose as the cat's outta the proverbial bag.

RE: “Competing with your friend Rick Wilcox”... really? IMCS has quite a history partnering with AMC to help run their more technical rock & ice programs. As far as I know Rick isn’t really interested in giving nature walks around Lost Pond, so I don’t really see that as competition...IMCS is the climbing school. I know it is not very profitable for Rick as a whole. As a matter of fact, my close friend Maury McKinney was the first director of the climbing school to actually turn any profit. Can't say where things are today but I don't think it's turned into a profit center. I was speaking of IME. Retail. Seems kinda unfair that the AMC can offer similiar products with tax free status. 

RE: Stopping all logging. No, I was not aware of that, and would side with you that WMNF is a “Land of Many Uses”, and responsible logging is absolutely acceptable. I would not have rallied for the AMC on that argument. And yet they got their horde of pro-bono lawyers to expand "their" playground.

RE: Helicopter drops... many times. Never bothered me.... cool, look a helicopter... there it is... now it’s gone... carrying on with my hike.... I do remember one day hiking on Willey that it was making multiple trips and I guess that could get annoying... one day out of hundreds enjoyed in that area... guess I can handle that... We agree to disagree on this one.

I have been here long enough to know that no AMC = more uneducated buffoons without the great mentors you grew up with to introduce you to the mountains... I never had a mentor. Quite honestly, I read alot, and taught myself how to climb.

Do you have any comment on their political power rallying people to stop Northern Pass? Or their watershed protection efforts?
Can't say I'm for it, but IMO there is no clout that will stop NP. Certainly not the AMC.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 09, 2013, 10:50:31 pm
Well, who knows... but atleast they tried.

My last thought, AMC Volunteers & Paid employees give more time to S&R in the Whites than any one I know, and many pulled out had zero affiliation to “the Club”... just sayin’... lots of good folks in the AMC
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: kenreville on June 10, 2013, 07:12:05 pm
Well, who knows... but atleast they tried.

My last thought, AMC Volunteers & Paid employees give more time to S&R in the Whites than any one I know, and many pulled out had zero affiliation to “the Club”... just sayin’... lots of good folks in the AMC

I know that DMan. There are many solid peeps that have aligned themselves with the AMC. I'm just concerned that they've been "sucked in". I have serious questions when it comes to TODAY’S leaders of the organization. Money and the pursuit of it makes for strange bedfellows. I don't question that the AMC has been a steward in the Whites for many years. However, in recent years (the last 20 IMO), they've become synonymous with the greed and exploitation that is rampant throughout much of the US. By people that just happen to be (with little or less skillsets than most) in a "position" to f*** the rest of us. 
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 11, 2013, 05:20:51 pm
I've never been a fan of the AMC for various reasons. Just the fact that they don't pay any property tax for the Highland Center or Pinkham Notch - and all the money they make off of those is enough of a reason (plus that Beacon Hill Joy Street address).

What really irks me is they think they own the mountains and have the rights to dictate the use of them. Just this past Sunday I went to Artist's Bluff with my partner thinking that it might be a good place to find dry rock and have an easy day. When coming down from the top we decided we would drop a rope somewhere on Little Monalisa. When we got there it was being gang roped by a beginner AMC class. When I asked the leader if he minded if we dropped a rope on an open section he replied "this is our rock today and no one else can climb here!"

Are you freaking kidding me! Talk about elitist! My blood boiled but instead of getting into any sort of confrontation (other than saying, uh OK) we decided to do something even better - go have a cold beer at the truck.

Neither one of us could believe it - "this is our rock today." Since when did the AMC become stewards of who gets to use the mountains? Their tax exempt status should be revoked!
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 11, 2013, 05:35:35 pm
I would have gotten his name and formally complained. Would have been hard not to get confrontational with that kinda BS.

I agree the should pay property tax & boarding tax at HLC and PNVC.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: slink on June 11, 2013, 06:02:00 pm
I agree with Ken on this. Here is another thing that has been overlooked. Remember when the forest service fees were being discussed? The AMC was up for renewal on the agreement for the huts and the new highland center was being discussed so what did they do? They sent multiple mailings to all of thier members to support the fees. You have to love politics
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 11, 2013, 06:15:51 pm
What fees are u referring to Slink?
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: slink on June 11, 2013, 07:12:16 pm
The annual national forest fees that you have to pay every year to park your car.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 11, 2013, 07:54:49 pm
Guess that could be another topic but I find the fee nominal for what I get out of it. Would be nice if they could find funding elsewhere though.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 11, 2013, 11:03:05 pm
DMan - I have to say that I really had to bite my tongue not to get confrontational with the AMC leader. It wouldn't have accomplished anything. He came across as really believing it was his "right" to take ownership of the rock that day.

I thought of calling the AMC in Boston on Monday and decided that was probably as much a waste of time as any attempt at reasoning (or more likely confrontation) would have been on Sunday.

I may be a "newbie" here at NEClimbs but I've been climbing for 30 years now in NH - and can't remember once when I've not been able to "make a crowded crag scenario workable" with other "real" climbers.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 11, 2013, 11:11:41 pm
I hear you man, there are shit heads working for every organization in the world. If I experienced that I would still call and complain, but I am a “letter writer”, as my wife puts it.

How else will someone who actually has say in the organization make a change if you don’t complain directly to them? I can promise it is less of a waste of time than complaining here...

So they may have hired some 22 year old moron to lead a top-roping program somewhere. Doesn’t discredit the whole organization, but certainly hurts their image. But if no one speaks up (other than complaining on a very small online forum) no corrective action is taken.

I don’t work for them, but I think you should at least write an email or something. I would expect a thoughtful response and follow-up with the “leader” would occur. Maybe I’m wrong, but you should at least try. If that happened to me I would certainly be reaching out to them.

Did the AMC leader really say “No one else can climb here?”

I really find that quote amazing, and applaud you for not dropping his anchors on the spot...
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: Jeff on June 12, 2013, 07:39:06 am
Most AMC "trip leaders" are volunteers for the AMC local section mountaineering committee and not paid or governed by the Club. I would have "nicely" asked what section they represented, and contacted that section's mountaineering chairperson (listed in the monthly newsletter). The Club at Joy Street is way too far removed from any weekend climbing trip to take any action in a case like this. I ran into the exact same problem once in CT where an AMC group from out of state had 6 top ropes set up. When I asked if I could move one rope to the side (it wasn't currently in use) to lead the pitch, I was told by the "leader" that if I wanted to climb that climb, I should get up earlier, at which point we pulled their rope through, coiled it neatly, and led the climb, before moving on to another part of the crag. As stated on the "Al's rope @ Humphreys" thread, there are some assholes among us. I'm not usually that confrontational, but at the time I saw no more effective  (and peaceful) way to make my statement.

Full disclosure: 40 years ago I was the mountaineering chairperson for the CT AMC, which gave me the "huge power" of consulting my friends as to where & when they wanted to climb before sending the season's schedule to the printer of the bulletin 3 months in advance!! I lasted one year in the job. :-[
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 12, 2013, 07:50:28 am
DMan - great points and thanks for the perspective. I will call the AMC today and voice my complaint of what transpired and the hypocrisy in it. With that and this may surprise you but it wasn't a young guy who didn't know better - the leader was probably my age (53) if not older.

As for the quote - that was it! Incredible!

Yeah I have to admit if I'd not walked away there would have been confrontation and it may have led to "dropping their ropes." But you know that cold beer in the truck was calling and was a much better option!
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 12, 2013, 07:58:27 am
Jeff - i will talk to Boston about what transpired and see if I can find out who may be "closer" to the group in question to discuss with them.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 12, 2013, 08:31:17 am
Let us know how it goes. I’ve know some folks I could get info from if you come up empty handed.

Jeff, I think you told me that story once... would love to have been there to see you calmly just pull & coil.... awesome!
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: steve weitzler on June 12, 2013, 11:27:49 am
The "it's our rock today" attitude is not only inherent at the AMC. I have been to numerous top-rope areas over the years and been subjected to the same mentality. Whether it be the local college or high school outing club, rock gym or now even youth programs, there are a number of "climbing instructors" that feel they own the area because they were there first and have 10-15 people in tow. I always found that it doesn't make much sense to argue. You are not going to change their attitude that day.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: WharfRat on June 12, 2013, 11:39:32 am
Hate to say but it have even seen this with EMS school not just AMC. Have they come out and said this is our piece of rock or ice "no" but they sure act like it when they have ten ropes dropped on a ten rope crag and don't offer to take any down or let you use their ropes.

I have seen some other pretty hanus stuff with EMS guides like setting up top ropes for beginners on delicate hard to form WI4+5 routes in the Cat's huge chunks the size of coffee tables and five gallon buckets raining down all the while the other clients not belaying are hanging out right in the line of fire with no idea it is a bad idea while the guide or guides are not paying attention at all but talking on the phone or eating a sandwich or watching someone who can climb climb something hard on the other side of the crag.

Not that i am or am not a fan of the AMC but it is not just the AMC doing this stuff. Just the way it is if you ask me. If you don't like it don' climb.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 12, 2013, 12:11:22 pm
WharfRat, if a TR is not being used please ask the guide if they can pull it aside. Every EMS Guide should be able to easily oblige.

We try to go out of our way to accommodate recreational climbers. If you see anything dangerous or that effects your enjoyment of a climbing area please email schools at ems dot com with the date/area/description of guide and what the offense was. We'll certainly take action.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 12, 2013, 12:53:48 pm
I gave the AMC a call today in Boston. Said I wanted to talk to someone about a concern I had with an AMC led group to the person that answered the phone who told me who I needed to talk to - but that person was in a meeting. I left a message and received a call back a couple hours later.

With that I explained the situation, what was said, how I've been in scenarios in the past where other larger groups of climbers have been that was manageable for everyone to have access and more importantly how I thought it was hypocritical to be stewards of the outdoors and yet essentially "restrict" access to using them. He took my concerns seriously in regards to the fact that he said he would look into what chapter, etc it might have been and would do his best to make sure it was communicated to that days leaders that the situation as I explained was unacceptable.

I thanked him for his return call, his time and for listening to my gripe.

Thanks again DMan for the suggestion earlier about getting in touch with the AMC - it was certainly the right thing to do.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 12, 2013, 01:31:47 pm
Your welcome, and thanks for speaking up. Through respectful complaints to businesses, non-profit or not, change can happen.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: strandman on June 12, 2013, 06:31:50 pm
I've never been a fan of the AMC for various reasons. Just the fact that they don't pay any property tax for the Highland Center or Pinkham Notch - and all the money they make off of those is enough of a reason (plus that Beacon Hill Joy Street address).

What really irks me is they think they own the mountains and have the rights to dictate the use of them. Just this past Sunday I went to Artist's Bluff with my partner thinking that it might be a good place to find dry rock and have an easy day. When coming down from the top we decided we would drop a rope somewhere on Little Monalisa. When we got there it was being gang roped by a beginner AMC class. When I asked the leader if he minded if we dropped a rope on an open section he replied "this is our rock today and no one else can climb here!"

Are you freaking kidding me! Talk about elitist! My blood boiled but instead of getting into any sort of confrontation (other than saying, uh OK) we decided to do something even better - go have a cold beer at the truck.

Neither one of us could believe it - "this is our rock today." Since when did the AMC become stewards of who gets to use the mountains? Their tax exempt status should be revoked!

Fuck this.. i was holding out but.. I would have shit down his throat and thne get mad.. The 'ownership" thing is fucked.. I OWN the WMNF,, not the AMC They did this shit at Quincey and rattlesnake for years.. you can't solo here !  Sure i can, watch

The only reason the beginners program existed was to score fresh meat........slim pickens indeed.

i hate people
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 12, 2013, 06:43:41 pm
Your welcome, and thanks for speaking up. Through respectful complaints to businesses, non-profit or not, change can happen.

or you can take Strand's approach  ;)
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: strandman on June 12, 2013, 06:59:58 pm
Whatever works IMO... sometimes you just can't be nice

Let's see. i tried to introduce sticht plates to the beginners program around '80--no go
figure 8 instead of bowline on coil ? nope

Not one of my regular partners went through this program.. not one.. we did OK
Climbing is black and white.. no grey.. right and wrong.... i don't care....Ya i have a superior atittude to fuckers like this, 'cause i'm right and they are wrongN

i guess no routes for you and me Dman ??
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: WharfRat on June 12, 2013, 09:43:45 pm
Way to go Strand you broke out the "I hate people" Glad to know i am not alone....

I think deep down more people feel the same way they are just too sissy to admit it.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: steve weitzler on June 13, 2013, 07:24:02 am
I don't remember the pickings to be slim John..... :'( :'(
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 13, 2013, 09:37:16 am
...the "Strand Approach" or a slight variation did rattle around in my head when this happened however as I've mentioned - that cold beer waiting at the truck seemed like a much better and easier option at the time!
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: Jeff on June 13, 2013, 11:20:10 am
I certainly can understand the call of the cold beer in the truck! 8)
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: pappy on June 13, 2013, 04:54:06 pm
It's worldwide. Sporty's first deployment in the Teams was to Europe, and one day he went to Buoux (pre 9/11, when the seals still got to fuck off). There were bunches TRs set up, an unattended one on a route he wanted to lead, so he pulled it off to one side and led the route. When he got down he said, "this Frenchie runs up and starts shouting French in my face, I don't know what he's saying. Then he pokes me in the chest with his finger. I say, 'Don't do that'. He's still shouting gibberish and pokes me again. I say a little more forcefully, 'Don't do that.' He goes to poke me again and I clock him and he rolls down the talus (note to self, don't poke a seal in the chest). Another guy comes running up and I'm ready to clock him, too, but he shouts in English, 'What did do you that for? He didn't want to fight, he just wanted to argue!'"

How French.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 13, 2013, 05:36:40 pm
Pappy, classic LOLs.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: eyebolter on June 13, 2013, 08:43:11 pm
Friend of mine wanted to climb They Died Laughing maybe 15 years ago, when it was "women's day."  Topropes set up on all the cracks, but nobody climbing.  They started to rope up and somebody said "Hey-you can't climb this. WE PAID!"  He said this is a freaking state park, whaddya mean? So she said OK you can climb, but there are 100 people in line in front of you.

It is not just the appies who are assholes.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: darwined on June 13, 2013, 09:25:28 pm
Friend of mine wanted to climb They Died Laughing maybe 15 years ago, when it was "women's day."  Topropes set up on all the cracks, but nobody climbing.  They started to rope up and somebody said "Hey-you can't climb this. WE PAID!"  He said this is a freaking state park, whaddya mean? So she said OK you can climb, but there are 100 people in line in front of you.

It is not just the appies who are assholes.

I agree with this 100%.  Not all the peckerheads at the crags are AMCers,  and not all the AMCers are peckerheads.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 13, 2013, 10:14:02 pm
Hopefully these stories remain as the rare exception rather than the norm. I certainly wouldn’t love the sport as much if that stuff happened daily. Those kind of occurrences certainly make an impact though and you don’t forget them, even 15 years later.

Not to belittle the issue, but I would coin a friend’s phrase “First World problems right?”

We’re lucky the Aholes are the vast minority in the climbing world. For every jerk I’ve met I’ve met 100 cool people... probably better odds than other hobbies...
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: OldEric on June 13, 2013, 10:49:19 pm
Ignoring the climbing context - where admittedly The AMC has a very questionable legacy - how about a couple of other issues that were mentioned far up stream:

1.  The salary of the CEO.  I doubt that the AMC's is out of line with other similar sized orgs.
2.   Non payment of property taxes for Highland and Pinkham because they are none profit.  I am totally ignorant on NH laws but I would hazard a guess that educational institutions and religious orgs enjoy a similar benefit.  How much real estate does Dartmouth own in NH (those of you that enjoy throwing around the 1 -per-center stereotypes (the secretly jealous ones who would trade places in a heartbeat) should have a field day with the "Ivy League"-isms)?  And we all know how much "good" the Christian religion has done.
3. Those helicopters hauling out the crap - damn much better to have poop and TP spread far and wide - like they do in the real mountains of Europe.  But I already remove my hat and sing the Star Spangled Banner whenever one of those National Guard flyboys performs his treetop stunts spewing more solution in 30 seconds then the AMC helos do in a decade.

Yup.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: slink on June 14, 2013, 07:59:22 am
The best thing the AMC created was the Vulgarian F******* Mountain Club  8)
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 14, 2013, 09:08:00 am
This will open your eyes a bit - it did mine! For year 2011:

Operations
American Alpine Club - Revenue-$1,575,000   Expenses-$1,980,000   Income/Loss-$405,000 loss
Appalachian Mountain Club - Revenue-$29,541,000   Expenses-$20,181,000   Income/Loss-$9,360,000 profit

Highest Salary
American Alpine Club - $130,554
Appalachian Mountain Club - $272,110

Net Assets (property, etc)

American Alpine Club - $6,842,000
Appalachian Mountain Club - $105,000,000

Look at those assets! And most likely no property taxes paid on any of them. Though in NH the do pay PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) for the Highland Center. I looked for an article online that I had read once - couldn't find it - and from memory they pay less than 10% of what property tax would be for the Highland Center. Yet the town is responsible for providing all necessary public safety services (police, fire, etc). Plus I don't believe they have to pay NH "room and meals" tax either.

In regards to salaries you might say the American Alpine Club is out of line based on revenue. I'd pay that position twice that! It's our national mountaineering organization. And along with the Access Fund do more for climbing than the AMC probably has ever done.

With that and after having looked at these numbers - I'm ashamed of myself. Although I'm a a 20 year AAC member I think the next time they ask for a separate donation during fund raising - they'll be getting a donation from me. I can afford it.

But even more bothersome to me - why aren't more climbers supporting the AAC?

Title: Re: AMC
Post by: steve weitzler on June 14, 2013, 09:33:42 am
I won't do the research (I will let someone else do it) but my guess is the profits of the oil industry are much higher than those of the AMC or the AAC. I would also venture a guess that the taxes the oil industry pays are not in line with the profits (offshore accounts, executive pay, dividends, etc.).  Non-profit status is only a tax classification not a statement that an organization or business is there not to make a profit. As previously mentioned religious organizations which run summer camps, colleges, and own quite a bit of property are exempt from taxes. Most people don't realize that even YMCAs are tax exempt.  Health clubs have been complaining about this for years. Health clubs are paying their taxes while many YMCAs are nothing more than health clubs that don't pay taxes. Not sure my rant really matters but our tax system is unfair and inequitable at best. I guess this opens that can of worms. >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 14, 2013, 09:56:49 am
That whole tax equality issue is another conversation - and wouldn't be surprised if the small company I work at pays more in taxes than ExxonMobil!

What surprises me is that the AMC is as big as it is. I really had no idea that it was a $29,000.000+ "company." I look at non-profits as organizations that "give back to the community" in some way, shape or form. Like the Salvation Army or American Red Cross (though we all know that these organizations pay huge salaries - that's not my point for comparison). I'm not sure what the AMC is giving back? To me they seem like a "hospitality" company.

My gripe with the AMC and "Little Monalisa" situation from last Sunday in my OP, when I followed up with the AMC was taken seriously and as I've commented previously - I thanked them for the return call and their time to listen to my gripe. And willingness to do something about it.

Even though I was comparing the ACC and AMC from a business perspective as non-profits what it led me to in my ending comment is possibly another thread and I'm off topic now - why don't we do a better job as a climbing community to support the AAC?
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: frik on June 14, 2013, 10:43:19 am
Mark just to be clear, i think most climbers do support our national alpine organization. Many of us consider that to be the Access fund rather than the AAC. I suppose there are many folks who see no benefit from joining the AAC.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 14, 2013, 11:15:47 am
Frik - both the AAC and the Access Fund get my membership dollars as I'm in a position to do so. And hopefully most climbers do support at least one of these organizations - like you say.

I was just surprised at the "size" of the AAC in comparison to the AMC. And at a quick glance the Access Fund is even smaller.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 14, 2013, 11:45:34 am
I support all three, AMC, AAC, and AAA, because I believe in each organizations missions. The reason for the difference in size is directly related to the proportion of climbers/hikers. I'm not surprised at all.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 14, 2013, 12:28:46 pm
DMan - I certainly expected the AMC to be bigger based on the larger demographic of hikers and general outdoor enthusiasts. Was just surprised how much bigger!
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: frik on June 14, 2013, 01:45:46 pm
Mark; Revenue for the Access fund is pretty close that of the AAC.... do people actually "join" the access fund?
Anyhow for a long time, membership in the AAC was very... "selective", something i think many ex-dirt bag climbers may still have an issue with. A lot more hikers, canoeists, & woods walkers out there than "alpinists" so it shouldn't be surprising the AMC membership dwarfs that of AAC..... There aren't  a lot of good reasons for joining the AAC.  IMO there aren't a lot of good reasons for joining the AMC either, but most folks feel differently.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: pappy on June 14, 2013, 04:48:24 pm
That whole tax equality issue is another conversation - and wouldn't be surprised if the small company I work at pays more in taxes than ExxonMobil!


I'm going to hijack this.

I get into this argument all the time, because there are lots of ignorant people in the PRV: The only 'subsidy', tax or otherwise, that the oil companies get specific to oil involve an accounting rule that lets them expense drilling costs immediately, which has a rational basis I'm not going to get into here. They do receive the same breaks all other manufacturers do, so Exxon had an effective tax rate in '10 of 17.2%. When you include all taxes paid by the oil industry, they pay more in taxes than they earn in after tax profit.

Their profit is a big number, because their sales is a big number. But their profit margin, which is the only thing that matters, is nothing to write home about, in the 6-8% range as I recall. Remember that this is a very capital intensive and risky business, and a smaller return would mean they simply could not raise the capital needed to operate. The other thing to remember is that it is mostly the little people who benefit: some 50% of American families own Exxon stock either directly or indirectly. If you have a pension or a mutual fund, you almost certainly are one of them. The executives get paid a lot, but you try running a $250 billion company with fortunes of hundreds of thousand of employees and millions of shareholders depending on your decisions. People who bitch about that kind of executive pay, as opposed to what the heads of many non-profits get--are simply clueless (and often envious, and envy is the most contemptible of all the sins).

I'm not really here to defend Exxon--they certainly don't need my help--nor do I have any connection to the oil industry. But there is a strain of anti-oil and anti-big business in this country that grates on me when it is based on ignorance and a desire to feel good through a cheap and easy assumed moral superiority. Just think the next time your rope keeps you from splatting on the ground: 'Ummmm, petroleum.' (Although most polymer feedstocks these days are made with natural gas, of which come to think of it Exxon is now the US's largest producer.)

Let the flames begin.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: markvnh on June 14, 2013, 06:02:43 pm
Pappy - my ExxonMobil comment was a bit "toungue in cheek" in regards to my small company paying more taxes then they do. And as you point out - I can bet if you have any sort of retirement account you most likely own a piece of ExxonMobil and other big companies. 

Frik - yeah I looked and saw that the Access Fund is about the same size as the AAC. And agreed the AAC was selective at one point in getting in however that was eased about the time I became a member. While I'd some some nice climbs in a few different mountain ranges up to that point if having a "special climbing resume" was required I probably wouldn't have gotten in. As for me, the AAJ, ANAM, library access and insurance are reason enough to be an AAC member.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: eyebolter on June 14, 2013, 07:28:09 pm
Well Pappy, I wish I didn't have to pay any tax either, LOL, Exxon paid ZERO in 2009, I don't know about other years.  But i'm sure it was all perfectly legal since they help write the laws.

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/04/06/90299/exxon-tax/

If making billions of dollars, having your tankers defended by a multi-billion dollar military, and paying ZERO in taxes isn't a subsidy, then I don't know what is.


Title: Re: AMC
Post by: DLottmann on June 14, 2013, 10:07:47 pm
As for me, the AAJ, ANAM, library access and insurance are reason enough to be an AAC member.

Ditto. Benefits are more tangible then Acsess Fund but I feel the AF does alot of good at the national level so I joined them too.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: JBro on June 15, 2013, 04:14:11 pm
I get into this argument all the time, because there are lots of ignorant people in the PRV: The only 'subsidy', tax or otherwise, that the oil companies get specific to oil involve an accounting rule that lets them expense drilling costs immediately, which has a rational basis I'm not going to get into here. They do receive the same breaks all other manufacturers do, so Exxon had an effective tax rate in '10 of 17.2%. When you include all taxes paid by the oil industry, they pay more in taxes than they earn in after tax profit.

As far as I know, taxes are paid on taxable profit not on sales. If their tax rate was 17.2% that means 82.8% of their taxable profit was "take home."

82.8 > 17.2

How exactly do they pay more in taxes than they take home in profit? 
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: frik on June 17, 2013, 10:31:46 am
Pap - is the oil depletion allowance no more?
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: terminusnout on June 17, 2013, 02:04:37 pm
As someone who worked for the AMC for a good stretch I got to experience extreme highs and lows of working for a non profit.

1. The AMC does not pay shit for the people who do the most work. Seasonal employees even though full time are paid overtime only after 50 hours a week, total fucking bullshit. The only reason I survived up there was because of tips and the fact they held a contract with REI Adventures. Guiding a 12:1 ratio for 9.75 per hour is fucking thievery to the highest.

2. The Highland Center is a total and complete plastic facade and an insult to sustainable engineering. Their GARN heating/hotwater system was only used when visitors wanted a "green tour" of the building. Their composting unit was barely ever turned on and 90% of the food waste end up in the trash.

3. Most of the seasonal employees come from Eastern Europe or South America, they make at least 2 dollars less an hour than the stateside employees. Not only is this completely asinine they only stay for two to three months at a time and very little is put into training for these people, making it EXTREMELY stressful for anyone with a permanent position.

4. I have never in my whole life found more elitist people than in the AMC. I was very happy to have a job guiding at the Highland Center but I was ridiculed by people working in the Huts, PNVC and Teen Adventure Programs. Such superiority complexes should be left other types of employment. I found less social discrimination being a framing laborer.

on the bright side the people I got to meet and the situations with them in the backcountry were totally priceless, Met some of the coolest folks and climbing partners that took me from mexico to north carolina.

and for real strando......dont know what it was like in the 80's but the pickens were anything but slim up there in Crawdaddy......
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: pappy on June 19, 2013, 03:58:25 pm
I get into this argument all the time, because there are lots of ignorant people in the PRV: The only 'subsidy', tax or otherwise, that the oil companies get specific to oil involve an accounting rule that lets them expense drilling costs immediately, which has a rational basis I'm not going to get into here. They do receive the same breaks all other manufacturers do, so Exxon had an effective tax rate in '10 of 17.2%. When you include all taxes paid by the oil industry, they pay more in taxes than they earn in after tax profit.

As far as I know, taxes are paid on taxable profit not on sales. If their tax rate was 17.2% that means 82.8% of their taxable profit was "take home."

82.8 > 17.2

How exactly do they pay more in taxes than they take home in profit?

Note that I said all taxes--including sales, property, royalties, etc. And that is US profits, US taxes. Too many people, like the ones quoted by eyebolter, want to distort things for ideological reasons by comparing worldwide profits to US taxes so they can shriek about how corporations don't pay their 'fair share'.

Guess what, economically speaking corporations don't pay taxes, they just collect them for the government. A corporation exists to produce goods and services useful enough that someone wants to buy them and then make a return by doing so that justifies the cost of capital and the risk incurred. That's it, and the after tax return required to justify the continued existence of the business does not change regardless of how much it is taxed. Therefore, most taxes are rolled into the price of the product (some also comes out of reduced pay for employees, but most just goes into increased prices), so when the dopes scream to increase taxes on evil corporations they are really just screaming to increase the price of the goods they buy. Because they are stupid, which is one of the reasons why I referred to the "Occupy" movement as 'The Temper Tantrum of the Economically Illiterate.'

The US actually has the highest corporate income tax among developed countries at 35%. Few big businesses actually pay all of that (and most small businesses are organized as pass through entities so that income taxes are paid personally by the owners) because the politicians understand that the these businesses would be at a huge competitive disadvantage. But they love the tax rate because they can point to it and say they are sticking it to big business while they cut deals with corporations for the specific tax breaks they need to compete (in return for campaign donations and other considerations). When the loons over here in the PRV were freaking out about the Citizens United decision I told them that if they wanted to reduce the influence of corporate money in politics then cut the corporate tax rate to 20% or less, which would be about the worldwide average. Most corporations would rapidly lose interest in politics because they are really only interested in their business. Of course, this was a concept that escaped the bozos completely. We just saw Apple get an education in how this system really works: Apple operated as we would like all big businesses to operate, they focused on their business and didn't even have a Washington office, because they didn't think that politics was their business. You can bet they're establishing a big Washington presence now. We saw Microsoft make they same mistake in the '90s, when as the most valuable company in the world they had exactly three employees in Washington, and then got mugged by the government for billions for somehow harming consumers by offering a free product.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: kenreville on June 19, 2013, 10:20:31 pm
Very nice factual well thought out response pappy.

And still, IMO, the AMC pretty much overall sux the bag.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: rbirk on June 20, 2013, 09:17:05 am
I just want to add something as someone who has volunteered a lot for the local AMC Bostson committees.

There's a HUGE difference between what I called "corporate" AMC and the local chapters/committees. Please don't mix them up. Corporate AMC is what you see in the glossy magazines and have trips, hotels and classes that charges a lot of money. I have not much to say about that.

Then you have the local chapters in Boston, NH, CT etc and each chapter have local committees for climbing, hiking, biking etc. Each committee is totally independent from any other committee and chapter. They don't even know what others are doing and are purely run by volunteers without any pay.

So when you meet an AMC group, its very important to know if its a corporate group or a local committee as its' very different and you cannot lump they all into one group. Again, each committee is an entirely different entity from another committee. If you see one group behave a certain way, it has nothing to do with another group. They may as well be a group called XYZ. They just happen to have the same three letters at the front.

As someone who led many climbing and hiking trips for local Boston committees I would say that most leaders (if not all) in our committees are very accommodating with people outside the group. There is no such thing as "ours". Sometimes, yes, the group for the location got big, but we always tried accommodate other parties. We also continuously have discussed among us how to make that smoother and really respect other people as the locations is for everyone.

We also focus on teaching people about the outdoors and what proper behavior and etiquette is out on the cliff and mountains. As someone who didn't know any climbers before I started climbing with AMC Boston, I thought I learned a lot from the people there about being respectfully for others, about the nature, mountains and the area.

Please don't lump all of AMC all together and when you find an issue, find out which committee had the trip and contact their chair. They will most likely take the issue seriously and take care of it. I know the local Boston committees always do that.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: steve weitzler on June 20, 2013, 01:24:24 pm
Guess what, economically speaking corporations don't pay taxes, they just collect them for the government. (Pappy)
 

Guess what Pappy, I owned a business for 17 years and paid lots of taxes.  Local taxes, state taxes and federal taxes. Sure, I collected taxes (payroll) for the government but I also paid social security taxes equal to what was deducted by law. I also paid property taxes on things owned by the business. Although I agree with much of your thesis, businesses do pay taxes.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: pappy on June 20, 2013, 02:18:36 pm
Guess what, economically speaking corporations don't pay taxes, they just collect them for the government. (Pappy)
 

Guess what Pappy, I owned a business for 17 years and paid lots of taxes.  Local taxes, state taxes and federal taxes. Sure, I collected taxes (payroll) for the government but I also paid social security taxes equal to what was deducted by law. I also paid property taxes on things owned by the business. Although I agree with much of your thesis, businesses do pay taxes.

Yes, you sent money to the government, and you included that into the cost calculation when you priced your product. If you and your competitors had not had to pay those taxes, then the price of your product would have been reduced through competition by roughly the same amount. Your customer paid the tax, you just had to deal with the aggravation (and cost) of passing it through to the government. Likewise, the amount of social security you 'matched' gets lumped into the compensation you budget for your employees, at least that's what I've done in my companies (now working on my third). The reality is the employee pays the whole nut, the government structures it the way they do to make the employee feel like they are getting something 'more' from you (and hide how much they are actually paying in SS taxes). Just as we keep the rigamarole of 'corporate taxes' so that the pols can tell the ignorant that they are sticking it to business and avoid the outrage that would occur if each taxpayer actually had their true tax liability laid out transparently (even though doing so would be far more efficient).

But I've hijacked this enough Yeah AAC, boo AMC.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: steve weitzler on June 20, 2013, 02:42:43 pm
I used to belong to both the AAC and AMC Pappy but i let both memberships expire as I had to pay my taxes. :'( :'(
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: kenreville on June 26, 2013, 08:07:02 pm
So it's decided then.

F**K the AMC.

Cool.
Title: Re: AMC
Post by: kenreville on July 22, 2015, 12:13:04 pm
Bump to the top.