March 8-10, 2019 @ San Francisco, CA

**Registration opens November 13, 2018**


Hundreds of AAC members gathered in Boston, MA, for a whirlwind weekend. We climbed and cheered at Central Rock Gym as Margo Hayes and Hans Florine took to the wall. We shed a few tears as Quinn Brett shared her brush with death, and how her life has since changed. We listened in awe as the 1978 American K2 team recounted their harrowing expedition to the summit of K2. We raised our glasses to the 2018 Climbing Awardees. We raised over $300,000 to support AAC programs like the new campground at Rumney. We felt inspired by Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and this incredible community!

THANK YOU to all who attended, supported, and made this event a success, especially our co-title sponsors LOWA and Global Rescue & all the volunteers who helped along the way. 

"I left the dinner feeling thankful to the AAC for helping to nurture the next generation of climbers, mountaineers, benefactors, and activists."
Read the full story from College Outside

Photos: Vince Schaefer of Cold House Media

Press Room:

"The American Alpine Club has announced the recipients of its 2018 Climbing Awards, given annually to distinguish individuals for their service, leadership and accomplishments."  - Read the full article from Alpinist

"There are very few red carpets in the world of climbing, a sport whose best take great pride in how little they need to pursue their greatest passion. But the American Alpine Club’s Annual Benefit Dinner is a bit of an exception."  - Read the full article from REI

#AACdinner18 on Instagram:


The 2018 Annual Benefit Dinner featured a keynote from Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the first woman to climb all 14 8,000-meter peaks—including K2—without supplemental oxygen or high altitude porters. But her story goes far beyond her accomplishments.


Each year the AAC recognizes outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community. This year is no exception!

Look Who Was In Boston:

Click HERE to see which stars of climbing, industry leaders, and friends of yours went to the Dinner!

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Join the Annual Dinner Facebook Event Page to receive the most up to date event announcements.

2018 Host Committee:

Mark and Theresa Richey - Committee Chairs

Bruce Franks, John Kascenska, Garry Menzel, Rick Merritt, Vanessa O'Brien, Louis Reichardt, Dianne Roberts, Nancy Savickas, Steve Swenson, Graham Vickowski, Pete Ward, Jim Whittaker, Jim Wickwire, Freddie Wilkinson, Jed and Perry Williamson

Weekend Schedule:

February 23, 2018

Climbers' Gathering
Time: 7pm - 10pm
Location: Central Rock Gym - Watertown, 74 Acton St, Watertown, MA 02472
- Included with all Annual Dinner tickets.
- FREE for AAC and Central Rock Gym Members.

Shuttle Service to Climbers' Gathering
Departs Fairmont at 6pm
Departs Climbers' Gathering at 9pm (early shuttle) or 10pm (late shuttle)
Round trip is $15 per person (compare to $50 one way for Uber!)
**Seats are limited. Reserve your spot here: http://bit.ly/2Ezolpw

All Saturday events hosted at the Fairmont Copley Plaza at 138 Saint James Ave, Boston, MA 02116

Annual AAC's Member Meeting
Time: 9:30am - 10am
Location: Oval Room, Fairmont Copley Plaza at 138 Saint James Ave, Boston, MA 02116

Saturday Sessions
Time: 10am - 2pm in the Oval Room
   * FREE to the public.

Margo Hayes
10am - 11am
Her North Face athlete profile begins, "Margo is not to be underestimated." Since she began climbing in 2008, Margo has repeatedly demonstrated her skill and courage on rock. With her ascent of La Rambla in Spain, she is the first woman to climb a confirmed 9a+/5.15a. Hear more from this teenage dynamo!

The Sharp End Live with Quinn Brett
11:15am - 12:15pm
Each month, the Sharp End brings to life stories from the pages of the AAC's Accidents in North American Climbing. Host Ashley Saupe interviews the climbers and rescuers involved in life-threatening incidents and shares their lessons, helping all of us become safer climbers. For the first time, the Sharp End will record LIVE with Quinn Brett's story of survival and perseverance. In October of 2017, Quinn, an accomplished big-wall climber and Climbing Ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park, fell 100-feet on Yosemite's El Cap and sustained life-changing injuries. 

Lunch Break
12:15pm - 12:45pm
Lunches will be available for purchase for $20 per person.

40th Anniversary of Americans on K2
12:45pm - 2pm
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the first American ascent of K2, the world's second-highest mountain. Remote and steep, it does not see many ascents. Mountaineer George Bell said it was a "savage mountain that tries to kill you". Jim Whittaker led the 1978 expedition that put the first Americans— Jim Wickwire, Louis Reichardt, Rick Ridgeway, and John Roskelley—on the summit. Hear more of their incredible story as they defied the odds to stand atop the "Mountain of Mountains".

VIP Reception*
Time: 5pm - 6pm in the Venetian + Oval Rooms
Remarks from AAC CEO, Phil Powers at 5:30pm
    * By invite only

Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
Time: 6pm - 7pm in the Venetian + Oval Rooms

Dinner, Awards and Keynote by Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner
Time: 7pm - 10pm in the Grand Ballroom

February 25, 2018

VIP Brunch with 1978 K2 Team, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, and Award Winners*
Time: 10am -11:30am
Location: Fairmont Copley Plaza at 138 Saint James Ave, Boston, MA 02116
    *Included with VIP Tables and Patron Tickets only

Start Planning Your Trip:

Room Block: The deadline to reserve a room in the AAC's discounted room block at the Fairmont Copley Plaza has passed. If you have a room at the Fairmont, check in is 3pm and check out is 12pm.

Interested in saving money and sharing a room in Boston? Try Pineapple Pair and enter "AAC Annual Dinner" under "Name of Conference/Event" to be matched up with a fellow AAC member looking for a room.

Flights: The closest airport is the Boston Logan International. To get to the Fairmont Copley Plaza from the airport, you can take public transportation via the Back Bay Logan Express for just $7 (credit or debit card only). More info HERE.

Attire: Suit and Tie

Presented By:

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Supported By:

Official Media Partner of the Annual Benefit Dinner:

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To learn more about the unique and dynamic event sponsorship opportunities email Heidi at [email protected]

 The North Face Team posing for a family photo.  Photo: Tegra Nuess

The North Face Team posing for a family photo.

Photo: Tegra Nuess

Wow, I had such an amazing time last night! I feel so lucky to have been in that room, seen the inspiring presentations, and had the opportunity to talk with all those crazy awesome people.

One surreal moment blurred into the next.
I really can’t get over how cool it was!
— AAC Member Hannah Malvin

2017 Recap:

The record setting 2017 Annual Benefit Dinner was truly a night to remember. The climbing community gathered and great things happened: inspiring panels discussed problems facing the growing sport of climbing, old friends reunited, a record amount of money was raised for our conservation and advocacy program, Washington's Senator told us to "go get a dog", and we honored 5 very deserving climbers. All in one day!

 Photo: Jim Aikman

Photo: Jim Aikman

Get the full 2017 Annual Benefit Dinner Weekend Recap here!


Press Room:

Climbing legend Conrad Anker tells of ‘out-of-sorts’ year, what climbers could teach Trump
"I participate, I talk to people — I’m not going to run for office. I’m an atheist and I think football is dumb."
      - Seattle Times interview

Alpinist Article on the 2017 Award Winners

Banner photo: AAC member Jim Aikman