Education, Counterculture & Mentorship: Annual Dinner Panels Announced

Left to Right: Kai Lightner, Sasha DiGiulian, Libby Sauter at last year's Annual Dinner. 

Left to Right: Kai Lightner, Sasha DiGiulian, Libby Sauter at last year's Annual Dinner. 

We're excited to confirm three panels and presentations that will take place on February 25, 2017 at our Annual Dinner in Seattle, WA.

The Education Crux: Together We're Smarter...or we should be
Time: 10am - 11:15am
AAC Education has been endeavoring to educate climbers for over a century, but rarely have all the disparate voices in climber education coalesced into a single mediated conversation. Today, more than at any point in climbing history, the American climber hungers for information, and a myriad of voices presume to fulfill their appetites.  At this special moment in climber education, the AAC will convene key voices, thinkers, educators, writers, to explore its historic vision of competent climbers and healthy landscapes.

From Counterculture to Mainstream
Time: 11:30a - 12:45pm
We are drawn to climbing because it provides adventure and fulfillment and uncovers the best in our partners and ourselves. The sport has grown significantly as the number of climbing gyms has increased and more people have access to the sport and lifestyle. 

As climbing transitions from its counterculture heritage in natural settings to urban and indoor environments, how does the climbing community build on its legacy as a foundation for inclusivity? What influence does social media, climbing gyms, coaches and the Olympics have on the way climbers transition from the gym to natural climbing landscapes?

We're partnering with Camber Outdoors to open this dialogue; see their description for more information. 

Melissa Arnot Reid - Partnership & Mentorship in the Mountains
Time: 1pm - 2pm
In 2016, Melissa Arnot became the first American woman to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen. Rather than rest after this monumental achievement, she sought her next adventure. With a friend she set her sights on the speed record for summitting the highest point in each of the 50 states state - completing the challenge in just 41 days! Melissa will share stories and photos from a year of challenge, record setting and mentoring the next generation of explorers. 
See you there!

Learn more about the 2017 Annual Dinner. 


Four Mountain Clubs Unite for Climbing Education and Public Policy

We're proud to be joining forces with the Colorado Mountain Club, the Mazamas, and The Mountaineers to promote improvements in climbing safety, coordinate stewardship and advocate for climbing areas in the United States. The four organizations have formally agreed to a working partnership to develop and implement shared standards for climbing and related mountain sports. The standards, lead by the AAC, would apply to volunteer instructors and remain consistent across the country. 

The partners represent four of the largest and longest-standing organizations dedicated to conserving mountain environments, providing quality outdoor education, and advocating for climbers throughout America. 

“We all care about introducing the next generation to the great outdoors and we have a responsibility to do it safely and effectively,” AAC CEO Phil Powers said. “This partnership, with four prominent U.S. mountain clubs, promotes the AAC’s vision of a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. In the vertical world, combinations of seemingly insignificant errors add up quickly—competence matters.”

“We have the opportunity to extend the impacts of our organizations by working together,” The Mountaineers CEO Tom Vogl said.

Read the full press release.

Live Your Dream Grant Opens for Applications

The American Alpine Club’s Live Your Dream grant, powered by The North Face, is currently accepting applications for the 2017 grant cycle.

This grant is about personal progression—about supporting each other to push our limits. Be it transitioning out of the gym or establishing a first ascent in the greater ranges, the purpose of this grant is to support and promote unforgettable experiences for climbers—to dream big, to grow as a climber, and to inspire others.

New this year: We set up a separate reserve, sustained by the Hans Saari Memorial Fund, to support our grant applicants with projects specific to ski and snowboard mountaineering.

 Learn more.

AAC Announces 2017 Cutting Edge Grant Award Winners

The American Alpine Club is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Cutting Edge Grant award. The Cutting Edge Grant, a new evolution of the AAC’s historic Lyman Spitzer Award, continues the Club’s tradition supporting climbing athletes in pursuit of world-class climbing and mountaineering objectives.

The Cutting Edge Grant is supported in part by Global Rescue.

View the 2017 Recipients and learn more in our press release.  


AAC Gift Memberships

Give the gift of membership this holiday season. 

Here's just a few of the benefits you'll be giving:

✓ $12,500 of rescue coverage.

✓ Discounts on gear, lodging, events, and more.

✓ Access to publications, grants, and digital resources.

✓ A chance to make a difference in your local climbing community.

✓ A national network of more than 17,000 climbers in support of education and healthy climbing landscapes.

BMC International Climbing Meet Calls For Participants

AAC member Shay Skinner on Fear of Infection E4 6a, Llanberis Pass. Photo: @Alexmessengerphoto

AAC member Shay Skinner on Fear of Infection E4 6a, Llanberis Pass. Photo: @Alexmessengerphoto

We have the opportunity to send two (one female and one male) experienced trad climbers to this exciting British Mountaineering Council event in May. Preference will be given to climbers who have not attended a BMC International Meet before. 

The 2017 BMC International Summer Climbing Meet will be located at the Count House in Cornwall, a 200-year-old building perched above Cornwall’s finest granite cliff, Bosigran. Participants will get access to presentation, clinics, and climbing with diverse local partners. 

Check out the application (due January 30) and more information.


Will You Go Out With Us? AAC to #OptOutside

Dear AAC members,

We have a great opportunity that we would like to offer to you! As you may have heard, our friends at REI are closing again on Black Friday to #OptOutside and we are joining them and our friends at Camber Outdoors—a nonprofit looking to bring more diversity into the outdoor industry and to the outdoors. The intention is to encourage our friends and networks to join us by opting out of shopping and opting into getting outside.

We are giving out a small number of grants on behalf of REI and Camber Outdoors between $50 - $250 to support your outdoor adventures on Black Friday. 

If you are interested, please fill out this brief application by November 6.

Program Details:

  • Must be a Camber Outdoors Community Member (don't worry, it's free) and encourage all your friends to join. Events or outings on November 25, 2016
  • Application dates: October 31 - November 6; Notified by November 10
  • Event date: November 25, 2016
  • All grant recipients required to sign the terms agreement.

Selection Process:

  •  We will select applications in which at least least 50% of the group participants are women. Preference given to women-led activities
  •  Any size group is acceptable
  •  Preference will be given to events that h
  • ave a wide audience reach
  •  There are no restrictions on what outdoor activity you choose.

Grant details:

  • Use the funds to enable your friends, colleagues, community to celebrate, participate, activate in an outdoor activity on November 25, 2016
  • Funds may be used to directly support the activity
  • Applicants will need to provide a high - level budget in application
  • Funds will be distributed via check once you are accepted
  • Please keep the details of the grant confidential.

Social Media Promotion:

  • Must utilize and promote the #OptOutside hashtag and “Will you go out with me?” campaign call-to-action in all of your social channels between October 31 and November 25, 2016 only
  • Read through social media toolkit and use to assist with promotional content (we will share with winners)
  • Include "#OptOutside@ REI@ CamberOutdoors” on all social media posts
  • Keep Camber Outdoors updated on your great stories or activation plans.

After the event:

  • Provide an estimated number of individuals that Opted Outside through their micro-grant to Camber Outdoors no later than December 5, 2016
  • Submit recap of participation highlights to Camber Outdoors no later than December 5, 2016.

AAC Annouces 2016 Cornerstone Conservation Grant Recipients

The American Alpine Club (AAC) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Cornerstone Conservation Grants, powered by REI, Clif Bar and CamelBak. Our Cornerstone Grants support our vision of healthy climbing landscapes with annual awards to organizations, landowners, and individuals to fund projects such as human waste solutions, climbing trail restoration, and related infrastructure projects. "The Cornerstone Conservation Grant has helped us with many projects over the years— composting toilets, graveled parking lots and a graffiti removal initiative,” said Southeastern Climbers Coalition Executive Director, Cody Roney. “We greatly appreciate the American Alpine Club for providing this grant to make our LCO projects come to life."

A big thanks to our corporate partners and to our Cornerstone Conservation Grant Committee members. Congratulations to our 2016 Cornerstone recipients. 


2016 Anchor Replacement Fund Recipients Announced

The AAC and Access Fund are pleased to announce the 2016 Anchor Replacement Fund grant awards. Now in its second year, the Anchor Replacement Fund was launched to address the growing concerns of anchor failure, and the access issues that could result from these incidents. Across the United States, bolts installed in the 80s and 90s are aging, and there is an immediate need to address inadequate fixed anchors and increase support for the growing number of local organizations and national partners that are tackling this problem. We are pleased to have awarded $10,000 again this year, to support fifteen fixed anchor replacement projects across the country.

This program is made possible by the generous support of Climb Tech, Petzl, and Trango. We are pleased to announce funding for the following worthy projects.

New AAC Grant for Advanced Athletes

We're proud to announce a new climbing grant, the Cutting Edge Grant. The Cutting Edge Grant, an evolution of the Lyman Spitzer 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. 
Cutting Edge awards are intended to more significantly contribute towards total expedition costs. Awards will typically fall in the $5,000 to $15,000 range. Learn more.