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American Alpine Institute, Ltd.

Recognition of Hazards and Acknowledgement of Risk

DO NOT INITIAL OR SIGN THIS FORM WITHOUT READING IT CAREFULLY.  IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE INQUIRE.

I. Purpose of this Form

As used in this acknowledgement of risk (hereinafter “Agreement”), “AAI” means American Alpine Institute Ltd., its directors, officers, instructors, guides, employees, medical advisors, and agents.

In this Agreement, you agree to comprehensively acknowledge and accept the hazards and risks involved in mountaineering and travel in any the backcountry and/or mountain environment.

This form makes your acknowledgement of hazards and risks and your acceptance of them complete since it applies to all your activity with and related to AAI, including instruction; practice climbing; skiing; snow shoeing; belaying; ascending, descending and traversing terrain; camping; rescues; and the learning, practice, and application of other climbing and protective system skills, as well as travel to and from particular destinations, whether on foot or otherwise.

I UNDERSTAND THE ABOVE DESCRIPTION AND THAT THIS DOCUMENT DECLARES MY COMPREHENSIVE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HAZARDS AND RISK AND MY ACCEPTANCE OF THEM AS CHARACTERISTIC OF THE ENVIROMENT THAT I WILL BE ENTERING AND SPORT OF CLIMBING THAT I WILL BE PURSUING.

2. Recognition of Hazards and Risks

All climbing involves hazard and the risk of injury and/or death.  The climbing you will do with AAI is no exception.  Your climbing will involve objective hazards that may include the movement or fall of rock, snow, ice, and water, none of which can necessarily be controlled or accurately predicted.  There is always the possibility of rapid weather deterioration with rain and snow and sub-freezing temperatures.

There are additional risks involved in your climbing because of the potential of falling and being injured.  Especially in rugged terrain or in any terrain with crampons on and/or an ice axe in hand, even a slip or short fall can cause a serious injury.

There is additional potential hazard due to failure of equipment, failure of belays, failure of anchors, and failure of other climbers to take needed actions or perform certain skills.

Because this is a physically intense sport, it includes the possibility of exercise-induced or sport-induced injuries, including but not limited to fracture, sprain, dislocation, muscle pull, altitude sickness, snow blindness, general or specific strain.  You may experience negative psychological and/or physical effects from the stresses inherent in travel and climbing.

In the case of injury or illness in the mountains, there may be a need for evacuation or medical treatment when none is available on a timely basis.  Because evacuation and/or medical treatment may not be available, there may be a need for your guide or instructor to give you such treatment as the cleaning and closure of wounds; the splinting of strains, sprains, or breaks; the dispensing of prescription medicines; and other medical practices or first aid without the direction or supervision of a physician.

I UNDERSTAND AND RECOGNIZE THESE HAZARDS AND RISKS, AND I FULLY ACCEPT THEM AS A PART OF THE TRAVEL AND CLIMBING THAT I AM UNDERTAKING WITH AAI.

3. Authorizations and Agreements

I understand and recognize that there is a significant element of danger and risk in climbing, and I accept those dangers and risks as characteristic of the environment that I will be in and of the sport of climbing which I am pursuing.  I accept full responsibility for my own actions or lack of actions in response to those risks.  Knowing the inherent dangers and risks involved in this activity, I certify that I and all my family members who are participating, including any minor children, are fully capable of participating in the activities, both mentally and physically. I assume full responsibility for my family, and myself including any minor children, for bodily injury, death, loss of personal property, and expenses thereof.

In the event that injury or illness renders me unconscious or if I am otherwise unable to make judgments or decisions on my own about whether to accept first aid treatment, I hereby authorize my instructor, guide, and other AAI personnel to administer first aid to me without the supervision of a physician and according to their own judgment, and including but not limited to any or all of the following:  the dispensing and administration of prescription drugs; the cleaning, closure, and bandaging of wounds; the splinting and bandaging of strains, sprains, and breaks; the administration of cardio/pulmonary resuscitation; the administration of artificial respiration; the application of tourniquets; and moving me to another place in hopes of improving my safety and/or that of the person(s) helping me, notwithstanding my injured condition.

I understand and accept that having first aid and/or medical attention provided by a non-physician involves some hazard and risk.  Because of the location and nature of my activity with AAI I fully acknowledge and fully accept these risks. 

In the event that my actions or omissions bring harm or damage to another person in the group other than my AAI guide(s), I agree to indemnify and defend AAI from any claims or demands arising from my actions or omissions, whether negligently or otherwise) in connection with the activities described here and/or with the other arrangements provided for me.  In defending against any such claims, I will employ competent lawyers of my choosing on behalf of AAI, subject to AAI’s consent (which will not be unreasonably withheld), and I will keep AAI apprised of all significant developments regarding such claim.  The terms hereof shall also be binding on my heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, and members of my family.

I understand that AAI acts not as agent but only as co-coordinator between myself and the companies providing transportation, accommodations, and other services used in conjunction with my program, and that all these services are subject to terms and conditions set by those companies.  In accepting such services I agree that AAI shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims, damages, liability, expense, or cost of any kind that may arise out of those services.

If AAI incurs attorney’s fees or costs to enforce this agreement (whether or not suit is brought), I agree that AAI shall be entitled to recover from me all such fees and costs.

I agree that in the event any part or portion of this agreement is found to be void or unenforceable, then such part or portion will be stricken but the rest of the agreement will be given full force and effect.

In any legal action arising out of this Agreement and/or my participation in this program (including all supervised or unsupervised activity in preparation for, during, following, or resulting from it), I agree irrevocably to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the Superior Court of the State of Washington for Whatcom County.  Any such action shall be governed by the laws of the State of Washington.

I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD ALL OF THE FOREGOING BEFORE SIGNING.  I HAVE RECEIVED NO OTHER PROMISE OR AGREEMENT REGARDING MY RESPONSIBILITIES OR THE HAZARDS AND RISKS INVOLVED IN THE ACTIVITIES THAT I AM GOING TO PURSUE WITH AAI.

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