Introducing: AAC Skis!

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We’ve teamed up with eco-friendly, Denver-based, high-performance manufacturers Meier Skis to create these limited-edition handmade skis, which feature beautiful mountain graphics by Denver-based artist Noelle Phares.

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AAC Offers Veterans New Membership Options and Outreach

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We’re proudly expanding our efforts to engage active-duty military and veterans through new membership options and proactive outreach. The effort—led in large part by active-duty military AAC members—seeks to engage the veteran community by offering discounted Club membership, hosting veteran-focused climbing events, and promoting wellness and camaraderie through the pursuit of climbing.

Last spring, we launched a new grassroots public lands advocacy initiative, “Hill to Crag”, to take elected officials and their staff rock climbing. The event quickly expanded in scope once AAC’s Salt Lake Chapter Chair Byron Harvison became involved. Harvison, a life-long climber and active-duty US Army Major, saw the events as an opportunity to share his and other veterans’ experiences with rock climbing and public land with lawmakers.

“After returning home from an intense deployment in Afghanistan, I found climbing not only to be a retreat back to what I loved, but a good place to settle my thoughts,” says Army Major Harvison, “In my role in the Armed Forces, I’ve seen many people deal with substance abuse and depression post deployment. Climbing facilitates positive community engagement, healthy lifestyle, and connection to wild landscapes.”

Together with Major Harvison, the AAC we’ve organized four “Hill to Crag” events in 2018 and are rolling out a new AAC Veteran Chapter, which Harvison will Chair. We also plan to extend a special membership discount to active-duty military and veterans starting in early 2019.

Check out the press release to learn more, and tuned for updates!

AAC's Plans for November Outdoor Retailer

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We’re looking forward to another Outdoor Retailer in Denver, CO November 9-11th! Again this season, we’ve got a great lineup of clinics, panels, and opportunities planned.

  • From 9am to noon each day, come by the High Altitude Den climbing wall to tackle your burning climbing education questions. Do you want to know more about anchoring? Rappelling? Belaying? Do you want to get a personalized AAC Universal Belay Card? The wall will be staffed with AAC educators ready to indulge your questions, have the tough conversations about best practices, and introduce you to products and manufacturers on display at the show.

  • There will be educational chats at the High Altitude Den at specific times about a variety of topics, including a Carabiner Colloquium from 1 to 2pm on Thursday, November 8th and a Rope Referendum at the same time on Friday, November 9th.

  • On Friday, November 10th, we’re having a fireside chat about our Climbing Grief Fund at the High Altitude Den. Come grab a cup of joe from Goodhart Coffee and join panelists that include pro climbers, grief specialists and AAC staff to hear their stories, and talk about how we are making efforts to confront grief in our community.

  • We’ll be selling memberships, showcasing our work and publications, and chatting all things AAC at our booth (42086-UL) throughout the whole show. We’ll also be selling the very last of our inventory of Packs for Public Lands and AAC-branded Suunto watches! Come say hi; we’d love to meet you.


REEL ROCK 13 Coming Soon!

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We're proud to sponsor REEL ROCK 13, which delivers jaw-dropping action, soulful journeys and rollicking humor in a brand new collection of the year’s best climbing films. From Olympic training centers to the frozen landscape of Antarctica, explore the cutting edge of climbing with four new films.

REEL ROCK 13 will be touring the country this fall & winter—watch the trailer, then get your tickets!

Introducing: 57hours, the New Guiding App

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Our Education Director Ron recently told us about two AAC members doing long-awaited work for our community: they’re streamlining both the process of hiring a guide and the process of guiding with their free new app, 57hours. If you're making a gym-to-crag transition, experiencing outdoor climbing through a professional facilitator, or hiring guides or instructors regularly, think of this as your go-to resource. AAC members, get 10% off all guiding services through 57hours with the link in your profile!

$10,000 In Grants to Replace Aging Bolts

 Photo: Craig Hoffman

Photo: Craig Hoffman

The American Alpine Club and Access Fund are excited to announce the 2018 Anchor Replacement Fund grant awards with funding going towards nine worthy anchor replacement projects across the country:

  • Rocky Pass/Gallatin Canyon, MT - Southwest Montana Climbers Coalition

  • Red River Gorge, KY - Red River Gorge Fixed Gear Initiative

  • Slab Camp, KY - Morehead Tourism Commission

  • Shawangunk Mountains, NY - Mohonk Preserve

  • Obed, TN - East Tennessee Climbers’ Coalition

  • Smith Rock, OR - High Desert Climbers Alliance

  • Boulder Canyon, CO - Boulder Climbing Community

  • Spearfish Canyon, SD - Black Hills Climbers Coalition

  • Ten Sleep Cayon, WY - Bighorn Climbers Coalition

Read more about each project in the full press release.

Public Land Recreational Opportunities Improvement Act Introduced

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Introduced October 2018, The Public Land Recreational Opportunities Improvement Act (PLROIA) is a big step in attempting to fix the recreation permitting system. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)'s bipartisan legislation improves the permitting systems to help more Americans gain access to the outdoors through facilitated recreation experiences. This legislation was developed and advocated for by the Coalition for Outdoor Access, of which the AAC is a member organization.

We’re all for PLORIA, and hope the bill will move by the end of the year. Learn more by reading the full press release.


Climbing & Splitboarding Adventure Grant Updates

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We’re excited to announce the following climbing and adventure grants are now open for applications, meaning we’re awarding over $40,000 to climbers and backcountry snowboarders in the next few months!

  • CUTTING EDGE GRANT
    The Cutting Edge Grant seeks to fund advanced and capable climbers planning expeditions to remote areas featuring unexplored mountain ranges, unclimbed peaks, difficult new routes, first free ascents, or similar world-class pursuits. Awards will typically fall in the $5,000 to $15,000 range, however award amounts will vary based on project and budget. Open through November 30th—learn more & apply.

  • JONES ADVENTURE GRANTS
    The Jones Backcountry Adventure Grant & the Jones Live Like Liz Award support splitboarding expeditions with strong exploratory and adventure components. The project objective may focus on a single descent/summit or a tour/traverse of a region. Each grant recipient will receive a $1,500 cash award plus a Jones splitboard, skins and backcountry touring backpack. 

    The Jones Live Like Liz Award is open only to our female riders, while the Jones Backcountry Adventure Grant is open to all AAC members. Open through November 30th—learn more & apply.

  • COPP-DASH INSPIRE AWARD
    EXTENDED DEADLINE! Established in the memory of Jonny Copp and Micah Dash, the Copp-Dash Inspire Award provides $20,000 in climbing grants to assist small teams tackling difficult climbs in the great mountains of the world and multimedia instruction to help them to share their ascents through a blend of storytelling elements. Open through November 30th—learn more & apply.

    Not a fit for these grants? The Live Your Dream Grant and others will open for applications this winter and spring, so stay tuned.


LWCF Passes Out of House Natural Resources Committee

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Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee passed an important conservation bill that, with your help, the AAC supported. This is a huge testament to what we can accomplish together! Thank you to everyone who responded to our action alerts and made your voices heard.

This bill is a crucial step to permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (H.R. 502), a conservation program set to expire at the end of the month. You can learn more about LWCF and climbing here.

As Outdoor Alliance writes, “[The passing of this bill] is proof that repeated, insistent public outreach does make a difference. We can get good bills across the line eventually, and after years of having outdoor enthusiasts reach out to [representatives] about outdoor recreation issues, we have started to see real results.”

We still have work to do to permanently reauthorize LWCF, so let’s keep this momentum going. The current LWCF expiration date is still 17 days away— take action by telling your member of congress to continue to prioritize the reauthorization.

United we climb, and united we stand for our public lands!

#CLIMBLIKEAGIRL

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This is our effort to bring more women into the AAC community and bring attention to the need to support women in climbing. These shirts, with art by AAC member Brooklyn Bell, are designed to mean more.

What does #climblikeagirl mean to you? Wear your shirt proudly, snap a photo, use the hashtag, let us know. Then go crush it out there. 

Use PROMOCODE: CLIMBLIKEAGIRLSHIRT when you Join or Renew from Sept. 14th to Oct. 15th and receive a free #climblikeagirl tank or Tee!


2019 World Cup Youth Team Applications Open

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Athletes interested in the Ice Climbing Youth World Championship February 28 - March 2 in Oulu, Finland, must complete the google form application by 11:59PM MST on October 4, 2018.  

 The American Alpine Club will make their selections and athletes will be notified by October 18.

 The USA can send 6 men and 6 women in each of 3 age categories. Athletes must turn 12 (or older) in 2019 to participate.

Photo by M. Garcia, USA Youth Ice Team. 


AAC is Accepting 2019 World Cup Ice Climbing Team Applications

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As a Member Federation to the UIAA, the American Alpine Club is responsible for selecting the 2019 USA World Cup Ice Climbing Team. 

Athletes interested in competing in any of the Ice Climbing World Cup & World Championship events must complete the google form application by 11:59pm MST on September 25, 2018.  

The American Alpine Club will make their selections and athletes will be notified by October 5.

Register Now For All Craggin' Classics!

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Registration is now open for all seven of our Craggin' Classic events this fall! 

The Craggin’ Classic Series, powered by CAMP Technical Adventure Equipment and supported nationally by Adidas TerrexScarpaArc'TeryxSterling RopeBlack DiamondCotopaxiKlean KanteenPetzlAdventure Film Festival, and Rock & Ice, is the country's only nationally-touring, grassroots climbing festival.

Come join us at Smith Rock, the New River Gorge, Rumney, Devil's Lake, Shelf Road, Moab, and/or Bishop for a weekend of clinics, parties, music, local crag stewardship projects, and high-fives a'plenty. 

Get your tickets before they sell out!

AAC Responds to the Sexual Harassment Survey

This past summer we helped launch a survey to better understand the results of sexual harassment and sexual assault (SHSA) in climbing. Over 5,000 climbers took the survey around the world and the results are staggering. 

About 40% of women and 9% of men answered “yes” to the question “Have you experienced SHSA while engaged in a climbing activity?” 

The survey also asked about more specific behaviors: have respondents experienced specific types of SHSA (e.g., unwanted touching, forced kissing, etc.). These more detailed questions revealed that 47%  of women and 16% of men have experienced interactions that could be classified as SHSA while engaged in a climbing activity, even if they do not report it as such. 

Looking at data from the United States alone, the numbers are similar in range as the global data: 

42% of US women and 9% of US men answered “yes” to the question “Have you experienced SHSA while engaged in a climbing activity?” 

50% of US women and 15% of US men reported experiencing behavior that that could be classified as SHSA while engaged in a climbing activity, even if they do not report it as such. 

At the American Alpine Club, we know safety means more than a good belay. We strive to maintain a safe and non-hostile work environment for our employees, volunteers, and all participants at AAC events. We also acknowledge that our role as a leader within the climbing community extends our responsibility to promote a safe and harassment-free environment among the entire climbing community.

AAC members and volunteer leaders are expected to serve as role models in the community. American Alpine Club will appropriately screen all staff and volunteer leaders prior to granting leadership positions. Reports of discriminatory and inappropriate behavior will be dealt with swiftly, seriously, and judiciously. Violations of our harassment and assault policy will include discipline up to and including termination of membership or employment at the AAC.

Hear what your Board President Deanne Buck and CEO Phil Powers have to say in an op-ed to Alpinist.

Learn more about what the data is telling us. and how climbing and outdoor communities around the world are doing to collect data, drive conversation, share best practices, provide press coverage and address the issues.

 

Speak Up For LWCF

 Photo by AAC member Brian Payst of LWCF-funded climbing area Stone Mountain. “Climbers have already reaped the rewards of the visionaries who established the LWCF and we’re set to see further gains in the future, but we won’t be able to unless it is reauthorized,” Payst writes.

Photo by AAC member Brian Payst of LWCF-funded climbing area Stone Mountain. “Climbers have already reaped the rewards of the visionaries who established the LWCF and we’re set to see further gains in the future, but we won’t be able to unless it is reauthorized,” Payst writes.

Action alert! The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provides funding dedicated to the protection of national treasures, and has been used to purchase and improve some of our most beloved crags. Without timely action from Congress, this extremely important bipartisan program will expire September 30th. Learn more, then take action!

United we climb.

Packs for Public Lands

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AAC has joined forces with Cotopaxi and Utah-based artist Samantha Zim to create limited edition packs

The packs feature side panels with custom art inspired by the Utah desert. 

The Cotopaxi Luzon Del Día also features a top drawstring closure, front zippered pocket, ultralight mesh shoulder straps, large main compartment, internal hydration sleeve, and lightweight ripstop nylon shell fabric. The pack is available in two colors: blue & purple.

Proceeds from the sales of these packs will support AAC's Policy & Conservation Program. We only created 600 of these; get yours before they're gone!

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The 2018 Guidebook to Membership is Here!

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The 2018 Guidebook to Membership is here! The Guidebook is our Club’s collective yearbook. This year’s issue, “the changing faces of the AAC”, features stories and photos by some incredible changemakers in our community as well as information about AAC programs and opportunities. We hope you find it inspiring and informative! If you’ve opted to receive our print publications, you should see it in your mailbox any day now. You can also view the Guidebook online.

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Cover photo by Austin Siadak. 


Registration for Smith Craggin' Classic Opens; Others Coming Soon

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We're topsy-turvy with excitement—registration for the Smith Rock Craggin' Classic is now open!

Join us and CAMP USA in historic Smith Rock State Park September 14th-16th for films, slideshows, clinics, parties, community and local stewardship and conservation projects in celebration of the Pacific Northwest's climbing and climbers.

Registration for the six other Craggin’ Classics will open soon; keep an eye on this page.

Photo: Trúc Nguyen Allen