March 8-10, 2019 @ San Francisco, CA

The Club’s largest gathering and celebration of the year, join us as we explore the triumphs and tragedies of speed climbing.

Historically, speed was equated to safety—you had to move efficiently in the mountains to ensure your return. Lately, speed climbing has been portrayed increasingly negatively. As climbers get faster, the risks get bigger. Or do they? Some make the case that speed climbers move more safely than novice climbers. No matter how you look at it, the pursuit of speed has become a polarizing topic and will affect the future of our sport.

The 2019 Annual Benefit Dinner, presented by Global Rescue, will be hosted by climbing’s power couple: Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington. The gala features a keynote talk from Colin Haley, an alpinist known for fast ascents of technical routes on mountains all over the world. He focuses on quickly ascending steep alpine faces, including- perhaps most notably- his traverse of The Torres, which took him less than 24-hours.

The weekend is jam packed with something for everyone! This year’s Send ‘n’ Social will be hosted at Mission Cliffs, complete with a celebrity climbing comp, libations, clinics, games, and more. Saturday morning enjoy presentations from the hottest stars in climbing and thought compelling panels. The 2019 Annual Climbing Awards recognize outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community. Hear more of their amazing stories at the Annual Dinner.

Tickets are limited and will sell out quickly.

All event proceeds benefit the Club’s work protecting public lands, education, and chronicling our history—so that our community will thrive for generations to come.

*A portion of ticket sales are tax deductible.*

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

Look Who’s Coming:

Check out the list of guests for this year’s event! Are you on it? Find out by clicking HERE.

Weekend Schedule:

March 8, 2019

Send ‘n’ Social
Time: 7pm - 10pm
Location: Mission Cliffs - 2295 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110
- Included with all Annual Dinner tickets
- FREE for AAC and Mission Cliffs Members

Shuttle Service to Send ‘n’ Social
Departs Westin at 6pm
Departs Send n’ Social at 9pm (early shuttle) or 10pm (late shuttle)
Round trip is $15 per person (compare to $30 one way for Uber!)
**Sign ups will open soon. If you are a registered guest we will send you an email with sign up information as soon as it opens. Seats are limited.

All Saturday events hosted at the Westin St Francis at 335 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Annual AAC's Member Meeting
Time: 9:30am - 10am
Location: Colonial Room

Brette Harrington Presentation
Time: 10am - 11am in the Colonial Room
Brette Harrington is a 26 year old climber and skier from Lake Tahoe, CA, who first became known for her trad-climbing and free-solo ascents. These include ascents of routes such as The Shadow (5.13a) in Squamish, and Grand Illusion (5.13c) in Sugarloaf, and the first free-solo ascent of Chiaro di Luna on Aguja Saint Exupery in Patagonia. She is a prolific first ascensionist, having put up a number of new routes across Canada, in the Costal Range, the Rockies, and Baffin Island, as well as new routes in southern Alaska. And now she is the 2019 recipient of the AAC's Bates Award. This is your chance to hear from this rising star of climbing!

Protect Our Winters
Time: 11:15am - 12:15pm in the Colonial Room

Speed: A Conversation
Time: 12:45pm - 2pm in the Colonial Room
A panel of some of speed climbing’s most notable names including Hans Florine, Adrian Ballinger, Emily Harrington, and more. They will discuss how the dynamic pursuit of speed has become a polarizing topic and how it will affect the future of our sport.

VIP Reception*
Time: 5pm - 6pm in the Italian Room
Remarks from AAC CEO, Phil Powers at 5:30pm
    * By invite only

Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
Time: 6pm - 7pm in the Italian and Colonial Rooms

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

2019 Host Committee:

Jen Bruursema and Hans Florine - Committee Co-Chairs

Frank Dean, Daniel Duane, Jerry Gallawas, Sebastien Levin, Bruce McCubbery, Samuel Nies, Krisitin Nute, Jeff Rueppel, Sarah Steele, Ken Yager, Alina Zagaytova

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

Start Planning Your Trip:

Room Block: The AAC room block with the Westin St Francis is now closed. Rooms may booked at their normal rates by calling (415) 397-7000. Note they do have a substantial discount for those aged 65+.

Additional nearby lodging options include The Inn at Union Square (approx $241/night), Handlery Union Square Hotel (approx $194/night), Post Hotel (approx $127/night), and Union Square Plaza Hotel (approx $118/night).

Flights: The closest airports are the San Francisco International Airport and Oakland Airport. To get to the Westin St Francis from either airport you can take public transit via the BART. The Powell Street Station will get you within 0.2 miles of the hotel.

Attire: Suit and Tie, Cocktail, Climber Formal

Presented by:


Supported By:


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

#AACdinner18 on Instagram:

2018 Annual Dinner 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

"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

"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

Banner photo: AAC member Jim Aikman