May 19, 2011, Golden, CO—As reported previously, on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 17, American Alpine Club (AAC) Executive Director Phil Powers (50) was injured in a climbing accident. He is presently in stable condition in the intensive care ward at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver, CO. Powers sustained multiple injuries to his torso region in the fall: including a broken arm, fractured ribs and vertebras, a punctured diaphragm, a collapsed lung, and substantial internal bruising.
Powers successfully underwent surgery Wednesday evening to repair his broken arm, which followed a Tuesday evening surgery to repair his punctured diaphragm. He is resting comfortably and doing quite well. As is common when multiple injuries are sustained, doctors are presently monitoring Powers’ condition closely and acting conservatively when making decisions regarding future procedures.
The American Alpine Club is focused on Phil, his family, and his recovery and is asking that well-wishers and concerned parties send their words of support to the AAC either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to American Alpine Club 710 10th St, Golden, CO 80305. The AAC will make sure that they get to the family.
No other information is currently available. As soon as any new information becomes available it will be shared and posted on the AAC’s website at http://www.americanalpineclub.org/p/status. Please do not contact Phil’s family at this time as they are dealing with many details important to his recovery.
About Phil Powers:
Phil Powers joined the American Alpine Club as executive director in May of 2005. His previous experience in the non-profit world includes service as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Naropa University and seventeen years with the National Outdoor Leadership School as Chief Mountaineering Instructor and Development/Partnerships Director. He remains an owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. Powers is author of Wilderness Mountaineering and Climbing: Expedition Planning. His essay, "The Importance of Pace", was aired on NPR's "This I Believe" in 2006. Powers has led dozens of expeditions to South America, Alaska and Pakistan's Karakoram Range, including ascents of K2 and Gasherbrum II without supplemental oxygen. He made the first ascent of the Washburn Face on Denali, naming it in recognition of the impact longtime AAC member Bradford Washburn's photos had in the planning and route research of many Alaska climbs. Powers also made the first ascent of Lukpilla Brakk's Western Edge in Pakistan, and the first winter traverse of the Tetons' Cathedral Peaks. He is an active climber and skier and lives with his wife and children in Denver, Colorado.
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.