You have climbing dreams, and we have Live Your Dream Grants! These grants are designed for you, the every-day adventurer, and you don’t need an elite outdoor resume (or even much experience) to apply. Live Your Dream Grants seek to fund unforgettable experiences that give you the skills and confidence to realize your climbing ambitions and allow you to dream even bigger next time. We encourage you to gather a friend or three, build your dream trip or experience, and then send us an application.
We like making dreams come true for everybody. We fund climbers of all ages and experience levels, as well as a range of climbing disciplines (including but not limited to: bouldering, sport climbing, traditional rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, ski mountaineering, peak running, exploration, you name it). There are no limits to your dreams, and there are no limits to the kinds of applications we will review. Impress us with your dream, and we just might fund it.
Founded in 2012, Live Your Dream is the AAC’s newest grant. Last year we awarded 41 Live Your Dream grants ranging from $100 to $800—totaling $14,000.
Funds for the Live Your Dream Grants are made possible in part by the Clifton Maloney Memorial Fund.
Here are a few extraordinary examples of grant winners who got to live their dreams:
John Chipouras and Kevin Ziechmann were experienced climbers who had never traveled much outside of the Southeast to climb. They dreamed of testing their mettle on classic sport routes at Smith Rock in Oregon—specifically targeting Spank the Monkey (5.12d) as an objective. After their trip, Kevin added: "I can sincerely say that this trip was transformative for me as a climber and a recent college grad. I hope it can inspire some other people to chase similar goals and apply for LYD grants in the future."
Alison Criscitiello and Lauren Peritz both dreamed of being well-rounded climbers. Criscitiello described herself as “a mountaineer comfortable on ice and snow” while Peritz was “primarily a rock climber with less experience in the big mountains.” Together, they visited the Little Switzerland area of the Central Alaska Range and climbed long rock routes off the Pika Glacier. The trip required their combined skill sets and allowed them to teach and learn from each other.
Lloyd Bolton and Steve Gore are newly commissioned Marines who dreamed of completing the Grand Traverse in the Tetons together before their future deployment. The American Alpine Club is proud to support these men who support us all through their service.
Hari Mix dreamed of climbing all three 7000-meter peaks of the Pamir Mountains in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan while also making a contribution to science. In pursuit of his PhD, Hari collected microbe samples from extreme elevations to predict the effects of climate change on the region. Read more about Hari’s Live Your Dream Grant expedition.
If you have a clear and strong desire to explore the outdoors and progress your development as a climber, please submit your application between January 1 and March 1. Each of six AAC Regions has a committee that reviews and awards Live Your Dream grants locally, so make sure you download the appropriate application for your Region (see below).
APPLICATION PERIOD: January 1 - March 1.
Grant winners will be announced 4-6 weeks after application deadline.
Rocky Mountain Region:
Climbers from Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah are eligible for the Rocky Mountain Region grant.
Download Rocky Mountain Application.
The Western Region “Live Your Dream” Climbing Grant is supported in part through a partnership with Touchstone Climbing & Fitness. Grant awards will vary according to prospective project. Climbers from California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii are eligible for the Western Region grant.
Download Western Region Application.
Southeast Region grant awards typically range between $200 and $500. Climbers from West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida are eligible for the Southeast Region grant.
Download the Southeast Region Application.
Central Region grant awards typically range between $200 and $500. Climbers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are eligible for the Central Region grant.
Download the Central Region Application.
Northwest Region grants will be dispersed in these amounts: $500, $400, three grants at $300, and $200. Climbers living in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska are eligible to apply.
Download the Northwest Region Application.