2019 Climbing Awards Announced!

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Climbing Awards honoring the most impactful climbers and conservationists within the North American climbing community. Among this year’s award honorees are climbing legends Tom Hornbein, Michael Kennedy, and Jim Donini, and present-day activists and trend-setters including Jeremy Jones, Kate Rutherford, and Brette Harrington. Read the press release.

Meet the awardees!

Contribute to the 2109 AAC Guidebook to Membership

The 2019 Guidebook to Membership theme will be Climbers Uniting for Change. This can be change at a social level, an industry level, a personal level—however you interpret it.

We’re trying something new this year: giving you, our members, the chance to pitch what you’d like to write about (or see written about) through this form, by January 1st. As an additional incentive, if we pursue and feature your idea, you’ll receive a $100 gift card to Patagonia.

Keep in mind that volunteering to write a story will involve a couple months of drafting and polishing it.

For creative inspiration, take a look at stories we’ve published previously by browsing the Guidebooks online. Some of our favorite stories have included:

  • A member’s experience going with the flow when the 2013 International Climbers’ Meet unexpectedly changed location from Yosemite to Bishop

  • The story of a rescue during the first ascent of Saser Kangri II

  • How one member turned a tragedy into an opportunity to spread the word on rappelling best practices

  • Why the AAC library is what dreams are made of

We can’t wait to hear what you all have in mind for this year’s Guidebook to Membership!
Questions? Email [email protected]

Celebrate the Holidays With Us: A Climber Gift Guide

Photo: AAC member Tim Banfield

Photo: AAC member Tim Banfield

‘Tis the season! Let us make some recommendations for everyone on your gift list.

For the long-term partner-in-climb, who loves tracking miles and always gives a soft catch:

Treat them to a Limited Edition Suunto Ambit 3 AAC Watch— they deserve it.

For the cragging buddy who offers you a cold one after every send (or flail):


Repay the favor by gifting them this Mountainsmith Cooler with an AAC logo, stocked with their favorite brews.

For the old-school climbing geek:


Give them the gift of historical inspiration- and a beautiful centerpiece for their coffee table- with a collectible book from our library.

For that friend who’s always cold, at the crag or in the gym:


Keep them cozy with a mountains pullover hoody, and get bonus points for the sweet graphic.

For the climber pal who’s made you utilize your WFR training:


Make sure it doesn’t happen again by letting them learn from Accidents in North American Mountaineering.

For those who believe the descent can be as fun—or more fun—than the ascent:


Go big with a gift so your loved one or friend can go big on these custom skis (or, treat yourself—you deserve it!). We've partnered with Meier Skis and artist Noelle Phares to create a custom AAC ski built just for you.

For literally everyone:


There’s never been a better time to give the gift of AAC membership— the gift that keeps them safe, inspired, and climbing on. Learn more about why every climber should be part of the Club.

Annual Benefit Dinner Registration Now Open

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Registration for the 2019 Annual Benefit Dinner Weekend is now open! The Club’s largest gathering and celebration of the year, this event will explore the triumphs and tragedies of speed climbing.

The Annual Benefit Dinner raises funds vital to AAC programs like conservation, education, and grants. We couldn't do these things without the support of our amazing members like YOU!

The weekend is jam packed with something for everyone. This year’s Send n’ Social will be hosted at Mission Cliffs, complete with a celebrity climbing comp, libations, clinics, games, and more. Saturday morning, enjoy presentations from climbing’s stars and engage with compelling panels. The 2019 Annual Climbing Awards recognize outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community.

Tickets are limited and will sell out quickly—get yours now!


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.


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


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


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


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!

    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.

    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.

    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


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!



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


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.