The Spirit of Alpinism

(360) 671-1505

Coronavirus Policy

Updated Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Following Whatcom County's approval to begin limited reopening, AAI has begun running its regular Cascade programs as of June 20, including public group courses, private trips, and vocational school programs, with revised operational policies and procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Our administrative offices have resumed regular business hours, 9 – 5:30 (Pacific time), Monday – Friday.

All Cascades programs starting through June 19, 2020 have been and remain cancelled. In addition, Denali National Park has cancelled all permits for the 2020 season.

Please call our office for more information on reopening, as our many permit areas in North America are each subject to individual federal, state, and local reopening guidelines and changing public health conditions.

AAI is closely monitoring developments in the continuing coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).  Our first responsibility will always be to public health and the safety of our participants and guides. 

Please check back regularly for updates.

Cancellation & Postponement Policy

It remains difficult to predict how the coronavirus outbreak may affect the program for which you are registering or have registered. To help reduce your financial risk, and to reduce pressure on you to attend a trip when public health conditions pose a high risk to yourself or others, we have adopted a policy that will allow you to plan your trip with the assurance that you can postpone if necessary.

If international, federal, state, or local health directives, regulations, or closures, or your own personal health concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) prevent you from attending a program for which you have made the required payments, or prevent the Institute from running it, your deposits and payments may be converted to a credit toward a program at a later date.  To qualify, you need to keep up payments and notify us in a timely way to request a postponement. The credit could be applied to any future AAI program (subject to AAI’s normal Terms and Conditions). There will be absolutely no restriction on what programs you choose or the dates of those programs.

Travel Insurance

As with any significant investment, an investment in travel plans should have some form of insurance to limit your financial risk.  A travel insurance policy from a reputable company such as Ripcord is one way to do this.  Some people may prefer instead to self-insure, or absorb possible losses themselves.  Travel insurance is an integral component of AAI’s financial model.  We expect our participants to choose carefully whether to purchase travel insurance or to self-insure, and to bear the cost either way.  Financially, we feel it is the safest, most prudent thing to do.

A note for those who choose to purchase a travel insurance policy:  At the time of this writing, AAI’s recommended travel insurance provider, Ripcord, offers a "cancel for any reason" option that will cover trip cancellation due to “personal reasons”, even if those reasons are related to Covid-19. Many policies without a “cancel for any reason” rider may not cover Covid-19 cancellations if the policy was purchased after December 31, 2019.  As always, there are many differences between travel insurance policies, products, and exclusions, and it is important for you to consult your insurer for further details.

For More Information

For authoritative information about the COVID-19 outbreak and coronavirus disease, please see the resources on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, including


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