2016 Annual Benefit Dinner Recap

Over 400 people gathered in Washington, D.C., at the historic Mayflower Hotel for the American Alpine Club’s 2016 Annual Benefit Dinner presented by REI and The North Face. Legendary climbers of all generations, from Kai Lightner to Conrad Anker, mingled with politicians like Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, filling the room in support of the Club and climbing in America. The dinner celebrated the members of our community that we have recently lost and the enduring bonds that we create in the mountains and at the crag, serving as a powerful reminder of why we climb.

Secretary of the Interior Jewell took the stage to honor the memory of former AAC President Doug Walker, who passed away in a hiking accident in the Cascades in December. She praised Walker’s love of the outdoors and his dedication to creating ways for others to get outside themselves. Jewell concluded with the promise of expediting the permit process for those geared at getting kids outside. While she joked the lawyers called it the order for "Increasing Access to Extended Outdoor Experiences for Under-Resourced Youth," she said would affectionately refer to it as the Walker Permit.