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Arizona Section
AAC Regional and Section News ____________________________________________________________________________________________

What can't you say about Arizona? This quintessential Southwestern state has boundless climbing on a varitey of rock and with a mostly arid climate, the members can climb year round. The historic Virgin River Gorge slashes through its northwest corner. Just a bit farther south, huge walls abound in the Grand Canyon. Bouldering, sportclimbing, and splitter columnar basalt in Flagstaff. Amazing granite at Cochise Stronghold. The desert sandstone spires in Sedona. And the list goes on and on. Your next climbing destination has practically chosen itself.


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Contact & Volunteer

Email Arizona Section Co-Chairs at arizona@americanalpineclub.org
Email Western Regional Coordinator Jeff Deikis at jdeikis@americanalpineclub.org
Email the Club's main offices in Golden at info@americanalpineclub.org
or Give the Club a call at (303) 384-0110

Check out the Western Region Volunteer Wall of Fame


Jeff bio.jpgJeff Snyder: Jeff Snyder grew up in the town of Gilbert, AZ–a small town on the outskirts of Phoenix. After learning to climb around the Phoenix area, Jeff moved north to Flagstaff, AZ where, for the past seven years, he has been cultivating his craft. When he is not working as a climbing guide for Flagstaff Climbing Center, organizing volunteer events, or working with the youth climbing team, he is exploring the endless potential of Northern Arizona climbing. Jeff's passion for climbing began with bouldering, but after a trip to Yosemite his climbing interests took a turn towards hard, traditional routes–the scarier the better. Jeff has developed routes and put up first ascents in Sedona, Paradise Forks, Mt. Elden, Kelly Canyon, and elsewhere. With his excitement and energy, Jeff is a great asset to the Northern Arizona climbing community. He is a committed member of the American Alpine Club and loves being a steward of our environment, educating new climbers and sharing his passion with others.

Ilan Berko: Ilan, also known as Eli, began looking for something challenging in his late 30's after accomplishing his career goals. On a whim, he and his buddies hired guides and climbed Mt. Shuksan in the Northern Cascades. After a great time, he decided to go deeper in the rabbit hole by learning how to ice climb. He was hooked and decided to fully commit to a life of climbing. In a few short years, he has filled his life with numerous alpine ascents including trad, sport, and ice. Testing the boundaries between passion and obsession, he balances his climbing life with his day job and a wife and three kids residing in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ben Watson: Born in Chandler, AZ, Ben grew up in a desert landscape with a knack for building things and observing systems, be it man-made or from the natural world. This curiosity for understanding the world propelled him into the field of mechanical engineering. Once the rigors of grad school subsided, he started working in the aerospace industry and began rediscovering his passion for the outdoors. Despite his desert roots, he pursues a love-hate relationship with the alpine environment, relishing in the suffering it takes to climb snow-capped peaks and glaciated ranges in mixed conditions. He has maintained annual visits to Mt. Rainier since 2011, with the intent of climbing its variety of routes among its many aspects. His studies have shown that climbing provides the much-needed balance to stressful work weeks.


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