AAC EIC 2017


A Celebration of Climbers Who Give Back

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Join the American Alpine Club for a fun-filled evening of climbing, community, and celebration!

The Excellence in Climbing Awards will include a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, entertainment, scrumptious food, awards, and an after party with live 80's music by The Goonies.

The highlight of the evening will be inducting the 2017 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence (HoME) awardees: Sean Patrick, David Morton and Melissa Arnot Reid, Sean and Timmy O’Neill, and former AAC President Doug Walker. These deserving climbers have achieved greatness in the mountains and returned home to give back to their communities. We will also be recognizing the 2017 Cutting Edge Award winners: Scott Bennett and Graham Zimmerman.

Proceeds benefit the American Alpine Club Library and Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum.

Photo: AAC member Michael Lim

Photo: AAC member Michael Lim

Host Committee

Chair: Kevin Duncan
Malcolm Daly, Mason Daly, Asa Firestone, Collin Holt, Maegan Holt, Tom Hornbein, Lacy Konieczka, David Landman, Sherry Richardson, Libby Sauter, Cody Smith

See which of your friends are already coming!

2017 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence

Six highly accomplished climbers from a variety of backgrounds will be inducted into the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence. Inductees come from all disciplines; mountaineering, rock, ice and mixed. Inductees have had a significant impact on climbing history, but have also made contributions of meaning in other areas relating to the mountains and their vibrant communities. The multi-dimensional inductees have made lasting contributions in the areas of culture, environmental responsibility, community, the arts and sciences. And now we celebrate the sense of teamwork and selfless giving these amazing people have demonstrated!
Sean Patrick

Sean Patrick (1951 - 2009) - For being a recognized leader in the cancer treatment and research community. Sean Patrick spread awareness, compassion and inspiration to other women by founding HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation, all while continuing to climb. More on Sean and her legacy.

Melissa Arnot_Dave Morton

David Morton and Melissa Arnot Reid - For starting The Juniper Fund, which provides assistance to individuals, families, and communities in underserved countries adversely affected by their work for the mountain-based adventure industry. More on David and Melissa's work with The Juniper Fund.

Sean and Timmy ONeill

Sean and Timmy O’Neill - For their work with Paradox Sports, a community that provides inspiration, opportunities and specialized adaptive equipment so that anyone is able to be an active participant in human-powered sports. More on the O'Neill's work with Paradox Sports.

Doug Walker

Doug Walker (1950 - 2015) - Former AAC President, committed conservationist, and a true climber’s climber, Doug Walker dedicated his life to the preservation of the outdoors he loved so dearly through his service on a variety of boards and generous giving. More on Doug's lifelong work.

2017 Cutting Edge Award

Photo: Scott Bennett

Photo: Scott Bennett

The American Alpine Club is proud to announce Graham Zimmerman and Scott Bennett the recipients of the 2017 Cutting Edge Award, honoring excellence in climbing achievement, for their first ascent on the Southwest Ridge of K6 West, a 7,040-meter (23,097-foot) peak in the Karakoram. The team was supported by the American Alpine Club’s Lyman Spitzer Grant.

The AAC’s Cutting-Edge Award, paying homage to the deep traditions of style, ethics, and the “Brotherhood of the Rope,” recognizes one climbing team each year who, with the aid of an AAC climbing grant, demonstrated excellence in climbing, upheld the values of the American Alpine Club, and acted in a manner befit a world-class ambassador to American climbing both domestically and abroad. 

For more information on the teams successful climb, see Alpinist article, “Passing the Torch: Bennett and Zimmerman’s First Karakoram Expedition,” by Chris Van Leuven and Holly Blanchard.



Westin Downtown Denver
1672 Lawrence Street
Denver, CO 80202

Plan Your Trip:

We have partnered with The Westin to offer a discounted room rate for event attendees for the nights of June 2nd and 3rd. To reserve your room at the discounted rate of $159 per night,  please follow THIS LINK.

Presented by:

Proceeds Benefit:


For more on sponsorship opportunities, please see our SPONSORSHIP PACKAGE. If you're interested or have questions, contact Heidi at [email protected]

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2016 Recap:

May 7th has come and gone, and what a day it was!

The room was full for the AAC’s first ever Excellence in Climbing Awards Dinner at the History Colorado Center in Denver. The night, presented by Adidas Outdoor, celebrated the inspirational 2016 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence inductees, the Alpina Cutting Edge awardees, raised critical funds for AAC programs and institutions, and was capped off with a lively 80’s themed after party.

We were honored and humbled to have hosted this event, bringing the community together to eat, drink, and support the preservation of climbing history.

Thanks to our generous donors and supporters $75,000 (gross) was raised to support the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum and American Alpine Club Library.

We hope to see you next year!

Press Room:

True Heroes of Climbing
"The word hero gets thrown around a lot in climbing. But as impressive as summiting K2 or bouldering V15 might be, the genuine heroes of climbing are those whose achievements help make the world a better place..." 

Women Are On The Rise In The Climbing World
"It was a giant stepping stone,” said Libby Sauter, the award recipient and also the keynote speaker of the night. Sauter is the youngest climber to be added to the Hall, and only one of five women in its history, since the club’s birth more than a century ago..."
-Gear Junkie.com

Banner photo: AAC member Luke Humphrey