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2011 Zach Martin Breaking Barriers Grant Winner

6/1/2011:

—Congratulations to 2011 Zach Martin Breaking Barriers Grant Winner: Asa Firestone—

The American Alpine Club and the Zack Martin Breaking Barriers (ZMBB) committee are pleased to announce the 2011 ZMBB grant recipient, Asa Firestone.

Asa and his team will work with CER "Centro da Escalada da Rocinha"—a community center in one of the ‘favelas’ (slums) of Rio De Janerio. They will build a climbing wall, develop an outdoor program, and take these impoverished children to a local climbing area presently under development by Asa and the team. The goal of the program is to enable a few children to escape their life of poverty though the character development and self-realization brought by climbing. Climbing requires focus, dedication, commitment, and perseverance. Lessons learned from climbing will, hopefully, transfer to life and allow the child to grow individually and escape the favela. This is much more than a climbing program; this is a personal development program to escape abject poverty.

For the alpine objective, Asa and team will take the kids climbing at a local crag, Sugarloaf—the famous peak in Rio that hosts a cable car to its summit for tourists as well as develop new routes on the Dois Irmaos formation. This unique alpine objective is critical to the success of the humanitarian objective as it allows easy and close climbing access for the personal development program.

Congratulations to Asa Firestone and his team.

About the Zach Martin Breaking Barriers Grant:

The Zack Martin Breaking Barriers Grant (ZMBB) awards funds for dual-purpose humanitarian and adventure expeditions. The primary objective is the implementation of a sustainable and ongoing humanitarian project. Projects that educate local people and provide a level of continued support and funding are ideal. The secondary objective is a focus on adventure and discovery in the natural environment. Special consideration is given to alpinism, ice climbing, rock climbing and bouldering, however, almost any activity that involves adventure and discovery will be considered, such as ski mountaineering, ski traversing, adventure trekking, paragliding over mountains, etc. Grants are not awarded solely to "bleeding" edge activities or projects. The salient requirements are humanitarian aid, adventure, and discovery. The ZMBB is generously supported by AAC Industry Partners Black Diamond Equipment and Petzl.

About the AAC:

The American Alpine Club is a 501-c(3) charitable organization dedicated to supporting American endeavors in mountain environments around the world. The AAC supports alpinists, rock climbers, ice climbers, boulderers, and mountaineers who are passionate about climbing, its community, its history, and conservation of the places we climb.

Together, through this collective passion and the AAC's programs, we inspire, create, partner, steward, and unite to have a stronger voice and lasting impact for future generations of climbers.