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Western Region Live Your Dream Grant Winners Announced

June 4, 2012, Golden, CO—The Western Region of the American Alpine Club is pleased to announce the winners of the first Live Your Dream Grant. The grant—new this year—was born from the idea that the most important climbs are our own. It funds individuals or small teams in the pursuit of their climbing dreams. The Live Your Dream grants provide seed money to climbers—of all disciplines, ages, and abilities—who have ambitions to expand their climbing horizons.

The five grant winning teams from the Western Region plan trips to Washington, Canada, Utah, and Kyrgystan & Tajikistan with goals of mountaineering, ice climbing, aid climbing, and alpine rock climbing:

Lauren Montemayor—Mt. Rainier, Washington, Various Routes
Lauren Montemayor and teammates Joel Scheingross, Pratyush Tiwary, and BG Chirranjeevi share the same dream of standing atop the great peaks of the world–from Denali in the Alaskan Range to the peaks of the Himalaya. While these summits are currently beyond their reach, they strive to develop the necessary skills in order to travel safely across technical snow, rock, ice, and mixed terrain. To this end, the team will be traveling to the Cascades to climb Mount Rainer via Disappointment Cleaver, the Ptarmigan Traverse, and the South Face of the Tooth. Together they will cut their teeth, hone their skills, and develop confidence to take on future and larger projects in the greater ranges.

Ryan Huetter—Icefields Parkway, Canadian Rockies, Various Routes
From big wall ascents in Yosemite Valley to alpine climbing in the Torres del Paine and Fitz Roy Massifs of Southern Patagonia, Ryan Huetter is already a well accomplished climber and mountaineer. With long-term goals set in the larger ranges of Alaska, the Cordillera Blanca, and the mountains of Central Asia, his main objective is to develop the remaining skills necessary to become a well-rounded mountaineer–particularly in mastering long, steep, vertical ice. With sustained waterfall ice routes unheard of in California, Ryan will travel to one of North America’s premier ice climbing destinations, Banff and the Icefields of Parkway, where he will learn and build upon new skills, applying himself to harder and harder routes as he progresses.

Maura LaRiviere—Zion National Park, Utah, Various Routes
Maura LaRiviere and partner Stephanie Jim dream of traveling to the Utah desert—to the towering sandstone walls of Zion National Park—to practice and refine their aid climbing skills. Over a seven day period they will attempt Prodigal Sun (5.8, C2), Spaceshot (5.7, C2), Moonlight Buttress (5.8, C1), and Majesticus (5.8, A2+). For Maura, this will be an opportunity to re-attempt her first big aid climb and see it to completion–Prodigal Sun spit her off after an unsuccessful 8 hour push. For Maura’s partner Stephanie, this will be her first aid climbing experience. 

Hari Mix—Pamir Mountains, Kyrgystan & Tajikistan, Various Routes
In July 2012 Hari Mix will be fulfilling his dream of climbing all three 7000m peaks of the Pamir Mountains in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. With further aspirations of 8000m peaks, Hari will test his skills making fast and light, alpine-style ascents in a 21 day expedition. Not only will this expedition be an excellent stepping stone for him as an alpinist, it is also a key part of his academic progression. In pursuit of his PhD at Standford University, Hari will be collecting research on the climatic history of Central Asia and using his data to predict the effects of climate change on the region. In conjunction with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC), he will contribute to two studies in order to assess the role of weathering by microbial life in high alpine landscapes.

Vitaliy Musiyenko—Bugaboos, Purcell Range, Canada, Various Routes
Vitaliy Musiyenko and partner Bryan Bell will pursue their dreams of alpine rock climbing by traveling to the Bugaboos in the Canadian Rockies to attempt the Northeast Buttress (V 5.9 A2) of Mt. Slesse and the Becky-Chouinard (V 5.10) on South Howser Tower. Relatively new to climbing and mountaineering, Vitaliy has already amassed an impressive climbing resume with summits of Mt. Denali, the Liberty Ridge of Mt. Rainier, and an attempt of the Palisades Traverse in the Eastern Sierra. The category of climbing in which Vitaliy is lacking and looking to improve is ascents of alpine rock. Through an ambitious tick-list, Vitaliy and Bryan look to take their skills to the next level and gain the confidence to enter the mixed terrain of the larger ranges.

The “Live Your Dream” Climbing Grants are developed and administered locally with community support—each Region of the American Alpine Club has it’s own grant program.

In the Western Region, the “Live Your Dream” Climbing Grant seeks to support climbers from a range of ages and experience levels, as well as a range of climbing disciplines (sport climbing, bouldering, traditional rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, etc.). Climbers from California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii are eligible for the Western Region grant.

The AAC launched the program this year with $12,000, which will be distributed to at least a dozen individuals or small teams in pursuit of their personal climbing dreams. The emphasis of the grant is on projects that have significant positive impact on grantees’ progressions as climbers. Regions have been encouraged to supplement that funding with fundraising events in their own areas.

Western Regional Coordinator Jeff Deikis said, via email, “The Western Region Grant Committee consisted of Dylan Johnson, Tom Burch, Jim Pinter-Lucke, Erik Filsinger, Tony Yeary, and myself. With over 70 applications from qualified individuals the selection process was drawn out and very difficult. Many deserving applications were turned down due simply to a lack of funds. With that being said, the committee identified applications that distinguished themselves apart from the others. The strongest proposals demonstrated a clear progression in applicants’ personal climbing experiences as well as the ways in which the project will help them attain a long-held climbing dream.”

Deikis continued, “The committee would like to congratulate all of the grant winners and wish them safe and successful climbing adventures. We are already looking forward to reading next year’s applications for the Western Region Live Your Dream Grant. It is our hope to see even more applications outlining alpine, sport, trad, and bouldering projects. Let us help you live your dream!”

About the Live Your Dream Grant Program
Each Region of The American Alpine Club has its own local grants programs to support climbers in realizing their climbing ambitions and dreams. These grants are developed and administered locally with community support. 

The purpose of the Western Region "Live Your Dream" Grant is to fund individuals or small teams in pursuit of their personal climbing dreams. The emphasis of the grant is on projects that have significant positive impact on grantees’ progressions as climbers, as opposed to cutting-edge or exploratory objectives. We seek to support climbers from a range of ages and experience levels, as well as a range of climbing disciplines (sport climbing, bouldering, traditional rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, etc.). Climbers  from California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii are  eligible for the Western Region grant.

About The American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community. The AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world’s most sought-after climbing annuals, The American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world’s leading climbing library and country’s leading mountaineering museum; manages the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants to adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org. Join the AAC’s online community at facebook.com/americanalpineclub, americanalpineclub.org/news, or follow all the latest press on the Club’s Press Room RSS feed at americanalpineclub.org/prfeed.