*Information below is from the 2019 Celebration. Stay tuned for announcements about 2020!
Kick off the summer climbing season! June 1, the community will gather in the home of the American Alpine Club for a festival celebrating all things climbing. Complete with climbing workshops, carnival games, tours of the American Mountaineering Museum, an open air vendor village, artist market, food trucks and local beverages—the Excellence in Climbing Celebration has something for everyone!
The highlight is inducting inspirational climbing heroes, Ken Yager and Laura Waterman, into the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence. And to cap it all off acclaimed author and climber Kelly Cordes will be presenting!
2019 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence
Laura Waterman - As a climber, conservationist and author, Laura Waterman climbs and writes about the mountains. Together with her late husband, Guy, the Watermans’ authored books covering climbing, hiking, environmental ethics, and mountain history. In 2002, Laura founded The Waterman Fund grants program to support trail work, stewardship, education, and research.
Ken Yager - Ken Yager, a climbing guide and founder of the Yosemite Climbing Association loves Yosemite. In 2004, he started the Facelift, a non-profit responsible for removing over 1 million pounds of garbage from the park. The event continues to be the largest volunteer cleanup in park history.
2019 H. Adams Carter Literary AWArd
The H. Adams Carter Literary Award was established to recognize excellence in climbing literature by North American writers. Recipients of the award have contributed extensively and over many years to mountain and climbing literature.
Kelly Cordes - Kelly Cordes has made it his mission to maximize outdoor time. This focus strongly influences his climbing, which includes new alpine-style routes in Alaska, Peru, Patagonia and Pakistan. He’s also been known to put pen to paper, writing many climbing articles, serving as longtime editor of the AAJ, and authoring the book, “The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre.”
3pm - 7pm: Block Party
Carnival games including dunk tank and mechanical bull, open air vendor village, artist market, food trucks (Wheels on Fire Pizza and Ba-Nom-a-Nom), Elevation Beer Co and Upslope Brewing beer, Golden Moon Distillery cocktails, raffle, and silent auction
Climbing workshops with the AAC’s Education Team
Tours of the Mountaineering Museum
Kids under 10 get in FREE!
6pm - 7pm: Patron Reception
Cocktail reception with a VIP behind the scenes tour of the AAC's Museum and Library and locally crafted treats from Picaflor
Open to Patron Ticket purchasers
7:30pm - 9pm: Presentations
Honoring the 2019 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence inductees: Ken Yager and Laura Waterman
Presentation: Kelly Cordes, acclaimed climber and writer
Block Party Only Ticket - $20
Includes access to the Block Party, climbing workshops, tour of the Mountaineering Museum, plus 2 drink tickets
Kids under 10 get in FREE!
Block Party AND Presentations - $50
Includes access to the Block Party and Presentations including Kelly Cordes keynote
Dinner, 2 drink and 3 game tickets
$33 is tax deductible
Patron Supporter - $300
An easy way to support the Museum and Library, the Patron Supporter is an opportunity for you to help preserve and share climbing history.
Includes access to the Block Party, Presentations, and Patron Reception.
Also includes dinner, 2 drink and 5 game tickets, slideshow recognition, and VIP seating for presentations.
$270 is tax deductible
Why We Gather
While it’s an opportunity to celebrate, the Excellence in Climbing evening also serves to raise funds vital to the two organizations in the United States charged with preserving climbing history: The Henry S. Hall American Alpine Library and the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum. Established in 1916, the AAC Library has long been a launchpad for expeditions, a place to share stories, and a resource to inspire the future and protect the past. With the addition of the American Mountaineering Museum in 2009, these artifacts found a home where anyone — from the most seasoned Everest climber to the third-grader with her first harness — can soak in the stories of the past.
Together the AAC Library and American Mountaineering Museum keep our mountaineering history alive by preserving and sharing over 100,000 artifacts, photographs, publications and historical papers.
Event proceeds benefit the library and museum.
2019 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Selection Committee
Thank you to these volunteers for giving their time and expertise to help identify and recognize the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Inductees.
Chair: Charley Mace
Committee Members: Alison Osius, Libby Sauter, Michael Wejchert, Freddie Wilkinson
Event Proceeds Benefit:
True Heroes of Climbing
"The word hero gets thrown around a lot in climbing. But as impressive as summiting K2 or bouldering V15 might be, the genuine heroes of climbing are those whose achievements help make the world a better place..."
Women Are On The Rise In The Climbing World
"It was a giant stepping stone,” said Libby Sauter, the award recipient and also the keynote speaker of the night. Sauter is the youngest climber to be added to the Hall, and only one of five women in its history, since the club’s birth more than a century ago..."