Survey: Sexual Harassment and Assault in Climbing

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We're partnering with Alpinist and climbing organizations across the country to launch a survey on the occurrence of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the climbing world. Our goal is to quantify the extent of this problem in our community.

Your responses are important whether or not you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault. All responses will be kept anonymous unless you specify otherwise. The survey won’t require specifics, but you will have the opportunity to share details if you wish, or participate voluntarily in follow-up conversation(s). You may also have the opportunity to opt-in to journalistic reporting. The survey takes fewer than 5 minutes to complete, and should be done by 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on THURSDAY, May 31, 2018. (The deadline has been extended from May 6.) Take the survey here.


Responses gathered will be generalized for the purpose of reporting, and will be used to help us to impove policies to reduce incidents, increase understanding, and provide better support systems for all climbers. Analysis will be done by two independent data scientists: Dr. Callie Rennison, renowned victimologist, and leading expert in statistical and survey methods; and Charlie Lieu, trained computational biologist with nearly 25 years of big data and decision analytics experience, often in clinical context requiring HIPAA privacy and security.

Other than use for analysis purposes by the two data scientists listed above, the raw data will be inaccessible by anyone else without explicit consent. The final data set will be stored with the highest security method, on a password-protected air-gapped device.

If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, please contact Dr. Rennison, at [email protected].

 

Photo: AAC member Jason Gebauer

American Alpine Club and Access Fund Prepare to Climb the Hill

Some of the climbing representatives display their power after a successful day on Capitol Hill. From left to right are Sasha DiGiulian, Caroline Gleich, Libby Sauter, Quinn Brett and Katie Boue. Photo: Derek Franz.

Some of the climbing representatives display their power after a successful day on Capitol Hill. From left to right are Sasha DiGiulian, Caroline Gleich, Libby Sauter, Quinn Brett and Katie Boue. Photo: Derek Franz.

We're teaming up with Access Fund to tackle our next challenging ascent: Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill. On May 9-11th, we'll kick off the annual effort by meeting with law and policy makers and to advocate for public lands, outdoor recreation, and improved climbing management— and we'll bring an elite team of professional climbers, outdoor industry leaders, and grassroots partners to help.

Together, we'll advocate for balanced land management policy, with a focus on the Land Water Conservation Fund and Antiquities Act. Both organizations plan to pursue legislative and administrative efforts to increase access to public lands, defend environmental protections and pursue balanced energy policies on public lands.

To learn more, check out the Climb the Hill website and our press release. Stay tuned for more info on how you can get involved!


AAC Chicago Chapter Chair Savannah Buik Passes Away in Climbing Accident

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Our hearts are heavy with the news that Savannah Buik passed away in a climbing accident yesterday. Savannah was our charismatic Chicago Chapter leader, spent last summer interning with us here in Golden, and just graduated with her BS in Mathematics.

When, a few months ago, we asked her why she climbs, she wrote:
"I divert to climbing to help me experience ALL emotions: happiness, anger, frustration, sadness, excitement... the emotions combine to make me feel whole again. Climbing is my way of feeling."

Savannah was an inspiration in our community, and we miss her laugh ringing through the office and local crags. We continue to be inspired by her positive spirit.

*UPDATE: Savannah’s family has started the Savannah Buik Memorial Fund, which enables you to make a gift to the Club in her honor. Donate through the drop-down menu here. Thank you!

Membership Through the Lens: 2018 Guidebook Photo Contest Launches

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Calling all photographers! We're teaming up with Rab to feature your work in our annual Guidebook to Membership

Not only could you see your photo next to names like Keith Ladzinski and Andrew Burr in the 2018 Guidebook, but a couple lucky winners, drawn from submissions at random, will receive spring jackets from Rab! So start scrolling back through photos from your year—your sends, your flails, your campfires, your bivvies. Learn the contest rules and details, then send us those photos.

Deadline is April 10th. We can't wait to see your shots! 


2018 Research Grant Recipients Announced

2017 Research Grant Recipient Rachael Mallon collects a sample on the Gerdine Glacier while studying the biogeography of snow algae communities.

2017 Research Grant Recipient Rachael Mallon collects a sample on the Gerdine Glacier while studying the biogeography of snow algae communities.

We're proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 Research Grants, powered by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy (NREL) and supported by Icebreaker, Kavu, the Henry Gholz Memorial Fund, and the following endowments: Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Fund, Scott Fischer Memorial Fund, Arthur K. Gilkey Memorial Fund and the Bedayn Research Fund.

The AAC Research Grants program supports scientific endeavors in mountain environments around the world. Grant recipients’ research reflects AAC’s mission “to support our shared passion for climbing and respect for the places we climb” by contributing valuable information to our understanding of the world’s mountain ecosystems. Each grant recipient becomes an AAC Researcher, sharing their experiences, lessons learned, and findings with fellow climbers and the research community.

Check out our press release to see this year's Researcher's projects and learn more about the Grants here. Researchers: we can't wait to see what you discover!


AAC Celebrates Women's History Month

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Photo: climber Margaret Griffin, in camp and on Mount Baker, ca. 1920.

Women are sending the hardest routes out there and putting up first ascents worldwide. We couldn't be more excited to celebrate these feats this month and see where women lead the climbing community next!

Check out our Women Mountaineers exhibit, created in partnership with the Mazamas and Colorado Mountain Club Libraries, and our Women in Climbing Timeline.  

If you're in Colorado's Front Range, join us at the Women's HERstory Month gathering the evening of March 28th at our headquarters in Golden. 

Here's to the ladies who strengthen our community! 


2018 Guidebook to Membership Story Contest

The AAC’s Guidebook to Membership is all about celebrating you—the members that make the Club great. This year, we want to hear your stories. How have you made a difference in your local climbing community? Did you finally send that long term project that previously scared the crap out of you? Have you connected with a new climbing partner through your involvement with the Club? Did you have a great experience at your Craggin’ Classic? We want to hear it all!

Live Your Dream Grant Opens

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This is your climbing club. This is your climbing grant.

The American Alpine Club’s Live Your Dream grant, powered by The North Face, is currently accepting applications for the 2018 grant cycle—and this year we're awarding over $70,000 for climbers like you to live your dream trip!
 
Since 2012, the AAC and The North Face have awarded nearly 400 every-day adventures with over $200,000 to help take their abilities to the next level. 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.

The Live Your Dream grant is for individuals of all ages, all experience levels, and all climbing disciplines—from bouldering to big walls, alpinism to ski mountaineering, peak bagging to bolt clipping and everything in between.

Find more details and get your application in by March 31


The AAC is 20,000 Members Strong

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We’re proud to celebrate the 20,000 member milestone: 20,000 individual climbers believe supporting community, conservation, and education is a worthwhile investment. Woohoo! We asked 20 members to tell us about their dream climbs, their motivation, and how they give back—learn more about your fellow members here.

We're also offering a sweet Members with Benefits T-Shirt to anyone who joins or renews during the month of January, so there's never been a better time to join the community. 

We're grateful for every one of you!


2018 Cutting Edge Grant Recipients Announced

The AAC is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Cutting Edge Grant. This grant seeks to fund individuals planning expeditions to remote areas featuring unexplored mountain ranges, unclimbed peaks, difficult new routes, first free ascents, or similar world-class pursuits. Objectives featuring a low-impact style and leave-no-trace mentality are looked upon with favor.  For the 2018 grant cycle, the AAC received awarded $20,000 to four recipients:

Kurt Ross ($6,000) to visit a seldom traveled region within the eastern Pakistani
Karakoram to establish a first ascent on the unclimbed peak, Karmading Brakk via
the Lachit Valley. This 6000m peak is an untouched gem, so striking it certainly
would have been previously attempted had it not been for historically restrictive
military control in the area. With these military restricts lifted, and the government
currently granting permits to climbers, Kurt and his team are ready for action.

Alan Rousseau ($6,000) to attempt the remote north face of Chiling II (6400m), in
Zanskar-Kashmir- Kishtwar region of Himal India. With a difficult, mostly
unsupported approach and hard climbing at altitude, this objective represents a
step forward in Alan’s climbing and likely one of the harder north faces he and his
team have ever attempted.

Whitney Clark ($5,000) to lead an all-woman team to the Zanskar-Kashmir-
Kishtwar region of Himal India to attempt the main summit of Arjuna’s (6230m)
West Face. Their chosen route takes the team up a steep 1400m unclimbed buttress, which lies to the left of all current established routes. The peak is accessed via a complex icefall, followed by technical high-alpine climbing. It is their goal to climb the route free and operate in a fast, light ethic.

Ryan Johnson ($3,000) to travel to the Alaska Range to attempt the East Face of Mt. Hayes (4215m). Ryan attempted the line in 2013 but extreme cold and illness
shut down the expedition. The line on Hayes is primarily an ice hose, with a 600m
steep mixed section.

The Cutting Edge Grant is supported in part by Global Rescue, the world’s leading provider of integrated travel risk and evacuation memberships. CEG recipients are additionally awarded a one-year, full Global Rescue Membership—an upgrade to the standard AAC rescue coverage. Upgraded benefits include: $500,000 of rescue evacuation; repatriation back to the US; deployed Global Rescue Personnel; and more—a service intended to help AAC members climb hard and return home safely. For more information on Global Rescue and their memberships, visit: https://www.globalrescue.com/

View the full press release.

2018 Climbing Awards Announced

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We're delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 Climbing Awards honoring the most impactful climbers and conservationists within the North American climbing community. Among this year’s award honorees are big-wall free-solo pioneer Alex Honnold, teenage climbing prodigy Margo Hayes, and former US Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell.

Our Annual Climbing Awards are the longest running and most prestigious awards honoring climbing and conservation achievement in North America. The Awards recognize the most dedicated and prolific climbers of their generation as well as those who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to conservation issues.

Learn about this year's incredible cast of award winners. 


AAC Takes Action on National Monument Reductions

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After the December 4th, 2017 announcement by President Donald Trump to reduce and modify the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, our climbing community responded forcefully and quickly to oppose the decision.  Climbers joined Native American groups, conservation organizations, and many others to ensure that these treasured landscapes remain protected.  President Trump’s unprecedented actions constituted the largest reversal of federal land protection in the nation's history.

A variety of lawsuits have been filed to halt the changes to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Two of these lawsuits were filed by environmental and conservation groups to oppose the reduction and modification of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, designated by President Bill Clinton in 1996. The remaining three lawsuits are focused on preventing the reduction and modification of Bears Ears National Monument into two smaller units with different proclamation language. One of these lawsuits was filed by the five Native American tribes representing the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, and another was filed by an array of environmental and conservation groups, including our partners at the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society. Our partners at the Access Fund have also filed, joining a lawsuit by Patagonia, Utah Dine Bikeyah, and others.

The AAC supports the Access Fund and other plaintiff organizations as they legally challenge the reduction and modification of both monuments, particularly Bears Ears, where the proclamation explicitly acknowledged the region’s outstanding recreational values, including “world class” rock climbing as a basis for designation. As the monument litigation proceeds, the AAC will submit an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief to make clear our opposition of the reduction and modification of the monuments. We also oppose any action by the administration aimed at weakening the efficacy of Antiquities Act as a means to conserve mountain environments and to protect opportunities for climbing.

Photo: Jay Dash

Photo: Jay Dash

The AAC is actively engaged with appropriate congressional representatives and administration officials to respond to the broader legislative attacks on the national monuments that, if passed, could be even more detrimental to Utah’s desert and mountain environments and the interests of climbers than the December 4th proclamations. Presently, these threats are in the form of two bills introduced in the House of Representatives shortly after the December 4th proclamations: the Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act, and the Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act. If passed, these bills would legislatively affirm the proclamations that reduced and modified Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, effectively ending any lawsuits over these reductions because it is generally acknowledged that Congress has full authority to reduce or eliminate national monuments.

The Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act proposes to designate the two new smaller monuments Shash Jaa and Indian Creek. Unlike the original proclamation of Bears Ears National Monument, which explicitly recognized the importance of preserving rock climbing opportunities within the area, this bill makes no reference to climbing and only minimal reference to recreation in general. By legislatively affirming a new, smaller monument containing parts of what climbers know as Indian Creek, the bill would ensure the removal of national monument protections from roughly 40% of the climbing areas within Bears Ears. Furthermore, the Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act, like the December 4th proclamation, ignores the will of millions of Americans who spoke out in favor of protecting the original Bears Ears National Monument. This legislation undoubtedly poses a greater, more permanent threat to this area than President Trump’s December 4th reduction and modification. Therefore, the AAC is working with partners and policy makers to oppose this bill.

A similar bill has been introduced in the House regarding the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The Grand Staircase-Escalante Enhancement Act proposes to transform the three smaller units created by the December 4th proclamation into three national monuments, and create a national park and preserve within one of those units. Any land of the former Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument outside the boundaries of these new monuments and park, however, would be declared open to sale, disposal, mineral and geothermal leasing, and mining. These acts pose a significant threat to our public lands and to this incredible region in particular. Consequently, the AAC and many other conservation groups oppose this bill.

These legislative attacks would prevent the re-establishment of both the original Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, should any of the lawsuits against the President’s actions succeed. This is because the arguments of these lawsuits center on the limits of executive authority, and if they succeed, only Congress would then have the power to establish these new, smaller monuments. The AAC is working to oppose these bills and to push for new legislation to restore protections for these incredible areas and to ensure the integrity of our climbing landscapes.

The AAC is committed to working in collaboration with our partners to address critical public policy issues facing America’s mountain environments, the interests of climbers, and outdoor recreation. We advocate nationally for keeping public lands pristine, wild, and open to human-powered recreation. All of us at the AAC find a deep meaning in climbing, and we are committed to advocating for climbers and working to ensure our nation’s laws provide for thriving outdoor communities, sustained by healthy mountain environments and vibrant climbing landscapes for generations to come.

Your contributions and membership to the Club help us continue the fight for our national monuments and climbing areas. Stay tuned for more updates from your policy team.


AAC's 2017 Recap

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It's been quite a year here at the American Alpine Club, and we couldn't have done it without you. Your Craggin' Classic weekends, Sharp End downloads, letters to your representatives, lobbying efforts, research projects and grants and dreams— it all makes a difference. We're wrapping up 2017 feeling immense gratitude for all we've accomplished together and a whole lot of hope for everything to come. From all of us at the Club, thank you and happy holidays!


AAC & Jones Snowboards Team Up to Offer New Splitboarding Grants

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The American Alpine Club and Jones Snowboards are proud to announce two new grants that encourage human-powered exploration of the winter wilderness by motivated amateur backcountry snowboarders!

The Jones Backcountry Adventure Grant & the Jones Live Like Liz Award look to support multi-day 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 recieve a $1,500 cash award plus a Jones splitboard, skins and backcountry touring backpack.

The Jones Live Like Liz Award is open to only female applicants and honors Liz Daley, a Jones ambassador and aspiring mountain guide who was killed in an avalanche accident in Argentina in 2014.

The applications are accepted now through January 30th, 2018. Jones Snowboards company founder Jeremy Jones and Jones brand managers will review all applications and select the recipients. Applicants must be AAC members. 

Learn all the details and submit your application here. You can also check out the Jones blog.


On Sale Now: Gift Membership Packages

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Looking for that special something for your partner in climb? We're here to help.

The perfect gift starts at just $64 and includes all of the benefits of being an AAC member (including up to $12,500 in Global Rescue coverage), as well as a 1 year subscription to the best climbing publication available, Alpinist Magazine. You'll also get an AAC Trucker Hat and the most recent American Alpine Club annual publications. Total retail value is $205.00!

Learn more about AAC membership here and grab your gift membership package today