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2012 AAC Award Winners Announced

2/8/2012:

—Award Presentation in Boston Will Honor Climbings' Luminaries and Rising Stars—

Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) is proud to announce this year’s Award recipients. Every year, during the Annual Benefit Dinner, the AAC awards outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community. This year, seven climbing greats will receive awards: Mark Richey, John Stannard, Laura & Guy Waterman, Bernadette McDonald, Kyle Dempster, and one individual yet to be announced. All have displayed monumental drive, courage, and commitment in the mountains and in their lives.

The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award is given annually to that person who, in the opinion of the selection committee, has demonstrated the highest level of skill in the mountaineering arts and who, through the application of this skill, courage, and perseverance, has achieved outstanding success in various fields of mountaineering. This year’s winner, Mark Richey, has achieved lasting recognition and admiration for his imagination, persistence and dedication to the mountain lifestyle. This year he, along with climbing partners AAC President Steve Swenson and alpine master Freddie Wilkinson, will be the keynote presenters at the Annual Dinner. They will discuss and premiere their film showcasing the alpine style first-ascent of Saser Kangri II—until their ascent, the second-highest unclimbed peak in the world

The Angelo Heilprin Citation is awarded annually to that person who has, in the opinion of the citation committee, shown exemplary service to the Club. It is specifically understood that service to the Club itself can be differentiated from outstanding mountaineering accomplishment or service through the Club to the climbing community. The purpose of this citation is to recognize those who have worked to maintain and strengthen the organization and thus further its ability to serve its fundamental purposes. This year’s winner will be announced at the dinner

The David R. Brower Award, created in 1991, is an annual award recognizing leadership and commitment to preserving mountain regions worldwide. This year’s three awardees, John Stannard, and Laura & Guy Waterman have all contributed much of their lives to protecting the alpine environments that we all call home.

The Robert Hicks Bates Award’s purpose is to recognize a young climber who—in the judgment of the selection committee—has demonstrated exceptional skill and character in the climbing or mountaineering arts and has outstanding promise for future accomplishment. Kyle Dempster, a multiple AAC grant winner, has displayed mastery in the alpine environment, with notable ascents around the world.

The Literary Award was established to recognize excellence in alpine literature. This year’s winner, Bernadette McDonald has numerous books, articles, and journals to her name—focused on mountains: mountaineering, history, culture and environment. She has also lectured and consulted on mountain cultural issues, worked with start-up festivals and mountain institutes, and lectured on a variety of mountain topics for universities, festivals and alpine clubs—and has curated many mountain-related exhibitions. Her commitment to the mountains has filled her life, and is evident in her works.

 About the Annual Benefit and Dinner

 The 2012 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner features a presentation from the summit team of the until-recently second-highest unclimbed peak in the world—Saser Kangri II. The main event, on March 3, is open to the public. The evening features waterfront dining, cocktails, and silent and live auctions in Seaport Hotel in Boston. Seat reservations are required, and space is limited. AAC members and non-members alike are invited to attend. New this year is a deeply discounted youth ticket for those 28 and younger.

Additional weekend events include slideshows, a climbers’ party, award ceremonies, and the annual AAC member meeting. Full schedule details are available at americanalpineclub.org/2012dinner.