American Alpine Club & Access Fund Award $10,000 in Grants to Replace Aging Bolts

October 16, 2017, Boulder, CO— The Access Fund and American Alpine Club are pleased to announce the 2017 Anchor Replacement Fund grant awards. Now in its third year, the grant program was launched to address the growing concerns of anchor failure and the access issues that could result from these incidents. This year, we are thrilled to announce funding for eight worthy anchor replacement projects across the country.

Sam’s Throne Anchor Replacement, AR - Arkansas Climbers Coalition
Arkansas Climbers Coalition (ARCC) was awarded funding to replace fixed anchors at Sam’s Throne in Northern Arkansas. ARCC’s volunteers will use the grant funds to replace old hardware and retire tree anchors to preserve and protect the cliff top environment. ARCC is a longtime Access Fund Affiliate and a grassroots climbing non-profit working to steward and protect Arkansas climbing.

Wichita Mountains Anchor Replacment, OK – Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition
Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition (WMCC) was awarded funding to replace aging fixed anchors in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma, including Quartz Mountain, Mt. Scott, The Narrows, Elk Mountain, The Meadows, Echo Dome, and Lost Dome. The existing hardware was installed 30-40 years ago and includes many Leeper and SMC hangers. This effort will be the largest anchor replacement project undertaken in the Wichitas to date.

Lost Crag, PA - Southwest Pennsylvania Climbers Coalition
Southwest Pennsylvania Climbers Coalition (SWPACC) was awarded funding to replace aging bolts and top-anchors at Lost Crag in Southwest Pennsylvania, using long-lasting glue-in bolts. SWPACC is an Access Fund Affiliate and local climbing organization that leads stewardship and protection of crags and boulderfields in Southwest Pennsylvania.

Hidden Cliff/Skunk Cave, ID - Southern Idaho Climbers Coalition
Southern Idaho Climbers Coalition (SICC) was awarded funding to replace aging fixed anchors at Hidden Cliff/Skunk Cave climbing area. SICC will upgrade routes with bomber, longlasting ½” stainless steel bolts and hardware. SICC is an Access Fund Affiliate local climbing organization working to protect climbing areas in the Twin Falls area.

Tierrany Wall, TN - East Tennessee Climbers’ Coalition
East Tennessee Climbers’ Coalition (ETCC) was awarded funding to replace oudated bolts at the Tierrany Wall, located inside the Obed National Wild and Scenic River area. ETTCC is an Access Fund Affiliate local climbing organization working to steward and protect East Tennessee climbing resources.

Bolton Valley, Smuggler’s Notch, and Wheeler Valley, VT - CRAG- VT
CRAG-VT was awarded funding to replace aging fixed anchors in the Bolton Valley, Smuggler’s Notch, and Wheeler Mountain areas. Many bolts at these areas have been found to be unsuitable for the rock type and have corroded. CRAG-VT will replace these bolts with stainless steel hardware that is suitable for the rock type. CRAG-VT is an Access Fund Affiliate localclimbing organization focusing on protecting climbing resources in Vermont.

Castle Rock State Park, CA - Bay Area Climbers Coalition
Bay Area Climbers Coalition (BACC) was awarded funding to upgrade aging hardware at Castle Rock State Park in California’s South Bay, replacing old button head bolts with stainless steel glue-in anchors and hardware. BACC is an Access Fund Affiliate local climbing organization focused on climbing advocacy and stewardship in the California Bay Area.

Stone Hill, MT - North West Montana Climbers Coalition
North West Montana Climbers Coalition (NWMCC) was awarded funding to replace old hardware at the Stone Hill climbing area in Northwest Montana. In many cases these bolts are over 30 years old and in dire need for replacement. NWMCC is a new local climbing organization that recently attained 501(c)3 status and is seeking to further it’s engagement in climbing access and conservation work in Northwest Montana.



About Access Fund
Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, Access Fund supports and represents millions of climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Six core programs support the mission on national and local levels: climbing policy and advocacy, stewardship and conservation, local support and mobilization, land acquisition and protection, risk management and landowner support, and education. For more information, visit www.accessfund.org.

About American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at www.americanalpineclub.org.

American Alpine Club Secures Campground in Rumney, New Hampshire

August 28, 2017, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) has purchased a 15 acre campground in Rumney, New Hampshire, within walking distance of Rumney Rocks Climbing Area.

"Rumney is one of the country's finest sport-climbing destinations,” said AAC CEO Phil Powers. “With visitation on the rise, and with more than 22 million Americans and Canadians within weekend striking distance, the American Alpine Club is proud to participate in a sustainable long-term camping solution for this popular spot.”

The Rumney Campground will build upon the success of the current campground and create a place for climbers to stay and for the climbing community to gather near the popular Northeast climbing area. The beautiful 15-acre property sits along the Baker River in Rumney, NH and was previously owned and operated by Tom and Marsha Camara. The AAC will continue the good work of the Camara’s by providing a communal first-come first-serve camping option. Look for a few private reservable sites to be added soon for those wanting a guaranteed spot before arrival. Porta-potties and access to potable water at the barn will remain the same through the end of 2017.

The AAC plans to open the existing barn to campers and climbers as a community space and a place to gather when the weather turns. In addition, the AAC will add bathrooms and showers to the barn.

The campground is located across the street from the Meadows and Parking Lot Wall areas on the east side of the crags. Rumney Rocks, mainly known as a sport climbing destination, has close to 1,000 routes for all ability levels (from 5.3 to 5.15) and also offers traditional climbing and bouldering options.

“With the Rumney Campground now part of the AAC's growing lodging network, we are looking forward to welcoming climbers from around the Northeast and the world to experience this wonderful place, learn, challenge themselves, and meet old and new friends," said Powers.

For information on the Rumney campground and progress updates, visit our website at: https://americanalpineclub.org/rumney-rattlesnake-campground.

 

About American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at www.americanalpineclub.org.

American Alpine Club Showcases Utah’s Climbing Resources

American Alpine Club Hosts Utah Delegation for a Day of Climbing

August 9, 2017, Golden, CO— Celebrated Utah athletes Caroline Gleich and Stacy Bare will join the Utah chapter of the American Alpine Club (AAC) on August 9, 2017 to climb with Utah’s Congressional staffers and showcase the state’s rich climbing resources. The state of Utah attracts outdoor enthusiasts from around the globe, particularly rock climbers. Utah’s 54 million acres of public land—especially its National Parks and Monuments—offer premier rock climbing on world-class shale, sandstone, quartzite and granite.

The AAC and athletes will use the day of climbing in Big Cottonwood Canyon as an opportunity to share their experiences on public lands with staffers and to celebrate Utah’s rich outdoor recreation heritage. Climbers will also discuss public lands, the outdoor recreation economy and climbing management in Utah.

“Climbers have a vested interest in policy decisions. Showing up to make our voice heard and to share our passion for climbing is key to the future of the sport,” stated Adam Peters, Utah resident and AAC staff member. “By working together with industry and partner organizations, we form a stronger united front to share the climbing community’s priorities and support of public lands with our representatives.”

Public lands are not only the backbone of outdoor recreation; they also support a healthy economy. According to The Outdoor Recreation Economy Report, 2017 by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in Utah alone generates $12.3 billion in direct consumer spending and 110,000 jobs annually. That’s a lot to celebrate.

About American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at www.americanalpineclub.org.

AAC Announces 2017 Research Grant Recipients

May 1, 2017, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Research Grants, powered by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy and supported by 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. As climbers, we have a responsibility to understand how our outdoor resources are being affected in changing world. Part of the AAC’s mission is to respect and support the areas we enjoy, one of the most important ways to do that is by funding research to better understand such environments.

A big thanks to our corporate partners and to our Research Grant Committee members (listed below). Congratulations to our 2017 Research Grant recipients:

Kate McHugh – $1,500
Wilderness Rock Climbing Indicators and Climbing Management Implications in the National Park System, Grand Canyon National Park and Joshua Tree National Park
Kate McHugh is pursuing a Masters in Applied Geospatial Analysis, Geography, Planning, and Recreation at the University of Arizona. She is conducting a study that will determine what variables or indicators should be monitored and measured for climbing management strategies in National Park Service wilderness.

Cristian Rios – $1,000
Ecology and conservation of Polylepis ecosystem and its bird community, Peru
Cristian Rios is a Peruvian Ph.D. student at Cornell University in Conservation Science, entering his fourth year of field work. He is investigating the possible link of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation to the population declines of several threatened bird species in the Polylepsis forests of Huascaran National Park.

Rebecca Finger – $1,000
Limits to shrub expansion in a warmer Arctic, Greenland
Rebecca Finger is a Ph.D. student and NSF Fellow in Ecology at Dartmouth. She is examining the response of shrubs in the Arctic tundra to global warming and its effect on the permafrost over the past 50 years. In addition to conducting research, she will spend some of her time in Greenland helping teach and mentor local high school youth.

Kaitlyn Hanley – $1,000
The persistence of American pika in the Greater Yellowstone Region under a warmer future climate, Montana and Wyoming
Kaitlyn Hanley is a Masters student in Biological Sciences at Clemson. She is investigating both how and why pikas are surviving at lower elevations than previously reported in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Nathalie Chardon – $750
Disturbance impacts on alpine plant populations at elevational and climatic limits, Colorado
Nathalie Chardon is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Studies at University of Colorado, Boulder. She is researching human impacts on biodiversity competition at limits of moss campion’s range, (e.g. hiker disturbance and trampling, and how effects change with elevation).

Chris Cosgrove – $750
Open-source automated weather stations for wireless sensor networks in high altitude/latitude environments, Oregon and Alaska
Chris Cosgrove is a 1st year Ph.D. student at Oregon State University’s Mountain Hydroclimatology group. He is developing and testing a prototype open-source automated weather station that will be integrated into a long-range wireless sensor network. If successful, it should be robust enough to endure winter-long deployment in a remote backcountry site.

Jess Gilbert – $500
Assessing the impact of anthropogenic activities on high altitude biodiversity in Huascaran National Park, Peru
Jess Gilbert is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. She is exploring the spatial use of habitat by mammalian carnivores in both ‘pristine’ environments and areas affected by livestock grazing or tourism activities in Huascaran National Park, Peru.

Emily Schultz – $500
The importance of within-patch heterogeneity for metapopulation dynamics of a high elevation pine, Oregon
Emily Shultz is a Ph.D. candidate and NSF fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Rice University. She is developing models predicting the heterogeneity of whitebark pine and impact of heterogeneity on resilience. This research elevates the predictive analysis possible for metapopulations of the endangered conifer.

Win McLaughlin – $500
Initiation and timing of uplift of the Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan
Win McLaughlin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Oregon. He will conduct field work to collect and compare fossils and rock cores from two basins in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan to constrain the timing and rate of their uplift.

Anya Tyson – $500
The Clark’s Nutcracker Citizen Science Project: Engaging young adventurers in research and conservation, Wyoming
Anya Tyson is a Masters student in the Conservation Ecology and Field Naturalist Program at University of Vermont and the coordinator of the Clark’s Nutcracker Citizen Science Project. She is an active science communicator who specializes in training instructors from NOLS, Teton Science Schools, and other organizations on how to educate their students about the whitebark pine ecosystem.

Daniel Winkler – $500
Biodiversity collapse: how a keystone species mediates biodiversity of Ecuadorian alpine areas responding to climate change, Ecuador
Daniel Winkler is a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of California, Irvine. He is conducting research to test if climate change-induced range shifts of the vulnerable X. rigidum (a keystone nurse plant species) have occurred on the dry western slopes in the rain shadow of Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador.

Alison Criscitiello – $500
Histories of Arctic climate and environmental contaminants from a shallow ice core, Grant Ice Cap, Ellesmere Island, Canada
Alison Criscitiello is a post-doctoral researcher in the Cryosphere Climate Research Group at the University of Calgary, Canada and the Technical Director of the Canadian Ice Core Archive at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on reconstructing climate and sea ice histories of the Arctic Ocean, as well as examining the presence of pollutants through time.

Rachael Mallon – $500
Phylogeography of Snow Algae Communities in the Pacific Northwest, California, Oregon, Washington
Rachael Mallon is a Masters student in Biology at Western Washington University. She is investigating the effects of snow algae on accelerating melting of snow pack in the Western United States from the Sierra Nevada through the Cascade Range.

Peter Billman – $250
Understanding how changing snowpacks and water availability affect patterns of distributional change in the American pika
Peter Billman is beginning a Ph.D. program at Montana State University. He is investigating the effects of water-availability on the windward (west-facing) and leeward (east-facing) sides in several mountain ranges on the location and distribution of the American pika.

AAC Research Grant Selection Committee

  • Sarah Vail, Committee Chair
  • Danika Gilbert
  • Louis Reichardt
  • Matt Hepp
  • Katie Rose Fischer-Price

With support from: Maria Povec, Research Grant Coordinator, AAC staff and Jonathan Oulton, AAC Policy Program intern

About the American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

Elite Climbers Join American Alpine Club and Access Fund on Capitol Hill to Advocate for Public Lands

American Alpine Club and Access Fund Host Second Annual Climb the Hill Event

April 26, 2017, Golden, CO— Celebrated climbers Conrad Anker, Tommy Caldwell, Sasha DiGiulian, Alex Honnold, Kai Lightner and Libby Sauter will join the American Alpine Club and Access Fund to represent the climbing community in Washington D.C. for Climb the Hill, an event sponsored by Adidas. On May 11, 2017, both organizations, alongside a team of elite climbers and outdoor industry partners, will meet with Congressional representatives and policymakers to advocate for public lands, outdoor recreation and improved climbing management.

The team of rock climbing advocates will share their experiences on public lands with members of Congress and top federal land agency officials. They will also advocate for appropriate funding levels and balanced land management policies that support outdoor recreation and conservation.  

“Climbers have a vested interest in what happens in D.C., and showing up to make our voice heard is key to the future of the sport,” stated Brad Brooks, AAC Board member and Policy Committee member. “By working together with industry and partner organizations, we form a stronger united front to voice the climbing community’s concerns to our representatives.”

Access Fund estimates that about 60 percent of all rock climbing areas in the US are located on federal public lands. The American Alpine Club and Access Fund will advocate to protect The Antiquities Act, as well as voice their opposition to proposals that would diminish the value of federal recreation assets and sell or transfer federal public lands to states or private entities.

“Threats to federal public lands constitute the greatest threat to rock climbing we’ve ever faced. The most iconic climbing areas in the country are found on our public lands, and our mission is to make sure that these climbing areas are protected and conserved for future generations,” said Erik Murdock, Access Fund policy director.

“Public lands are not only the backbone of outdoor recreation, they also support a healthy economy,” said Brooks. According to The Outdoor Recreation Economy Report, 2017 by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation (now included in the GDP), generates $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs annually. This sum nearly amounts to what Americans spend on pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles combined.

For more information on how you can support the Climb the Hill campaign, visit climbthehill.org.

About American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at www.americanalpineclub.org.

About Access Fund

Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, Access Fund supports and represents millions of climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Six core programs support the mission on national and local levels: climbing policy and advocacy, stewardship and conservation, local support and mobilization, land acquisition and protection, risk management and landowner support, and education. Access Fund is the largest US climbing advocacy organization with over 15,000 members and 100 local affiliates. Access Fund advocates for climbers at the local and national levels, and maintains active Memorandums of Understanding with the National Park Service, US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. For more information, visit www.accessfund.org.

AAC Announces 2017 Excellence in Climbing Award Recipients

Registration is now open for the Excellence in Climbing Awards celebration.

April 13, 2017, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club is proud to announce our Excellence in Climbing Awards celebration, presented by Adidas Outdoor. The fundraising event celebrates teamwork and will honor the 2017 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Awardees: Sean Patrick, Dave Morton and Melissa Arnot Reid, Sean and Timmy O’Neill, and former AAC President Doug Walker.

This prestigious award is given to those who have made lasting contributions both on and off the mountain. These climbers have inspired a legacy for future climbers, positively impacted the environment, and advanced the fields of science and medicine, all while accomplishing incredible climbing feats.

Learn more about this year’s Hall of Mountaineering Excellence inductees:

Sean Patrick (1951 - 2009) - For being a recognized leader in the cancer treatment and research community. Sean Patrick spread awareness, compassion and inspiration to other women by founding HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation, all while continuing to climb.

David Morton and Melissa Arnot Reid - For starting The Juniper Fund, which provides assistance to individuals, families, and communities in underserved countries adversely affected by their work for the mountain-based adventure industry.

Sean and Timmy O’Neill - For their work with Paradox Sports, a community that provides inspiration, opportunities and specialized adaptive equipment so that anyone is able to be an active participant in human-powered sports.

Doug Walker (1950 - 2015) - Former AAC President, committed conservationist, and a true climber’s climber, Doug Walker dedicated his life to the preservation of the outdoors he loved so dearly through his service on a variety of boards and generous giving.

In addition, the American Alpine Club will present the 2017 Cutting Edge Award to recipients Graham Zimmerman and Scott Bennett for their first ascent on the Southwest Ridge of K6 West, a 7,040-meter (23,097-foot) peak in the Karakoram.

Each year, the AAC recognizes one climbing team who, with the aid of an AAC climbing grant, demonstrated excellence in climbing, upheld the values of the American Alpine Club, and acted in a manner befit a world-class ambassador to American climbing both domestically and abroad.The team was supported by the American Alpine Club’s Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Grant.

The teamwork themed celebration will be held on Saturday June 3, 2017 at the Westin located at 1672 Lawrence Street, Denver, CO 80202. The evening includes presentations by award winners and attendees will enjoy a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, libations, and food. An after party featuring live music by 80’s cover band, The Goonies, drinks, and gear giveaway will take place directly after the dinner also at Westin.

All proceeds benefit The American Alpine Club Library and The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum.

Tickets are very limited. For more information about the weekend activities and to reserve your spot, call (303) 384-0110 or visit americanalpineclub.org/excellence. Registration closes on May 29, or when sold out.

 

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

 

Four North American Mountain Clubs Unite for Climbing Education and Public Policy

February 13, 2017, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club, Colorado Mountain Club, the Mazamas, and The Mountaineers are joining forces 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 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. As the United States’ representative to the UIAA, the American Alpine Club will be leading and facilitating the work, and will ensure that these new standards are internationally recognized by the global climbing community.

“We all care about introducing the next generation to the great outdoors and we have a responsibility to do it safely and effectively,” American Alpine Club 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.”

In the past decade the popularity of climbing in the U.S. has increased dramatically, creating a demand for quality climbing instruction. “These standards aim to ensure that the entire climbing community benefits from better training and will ultimately make climbing more accessible to everyone,” Mazamas Executive Director Lee Davis said.

“The Colorado Mountain Club is thrilled to be formally partnering with other influential mountain clubs to assist in the development and dissemination of new mountain skills training standards in America,” CMC Executive Director Scott Robson said. “By coordinating our efforts nationally, we raise the bar in regards to the quality of education that organizations like the CMC provide and we look forward to the positive impact these standards will have on our members and all of those who recreate in the mountains for years to come.”

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

In the future, the partner organizations plan to examine ways to collaborate on issues of public policy, technology, membership, benefits and services, and other items of shared interest.

 

About The American Alpine Club:

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $100,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

 

About the Colorado Mountain Club:

The Colorado Mountain Club is the state’s leading organization dedicated to adventure, recreation, conservation and education. Founded in 1912, the CMC acts as a gateway to the mountains for novices and experts alike, offering an array of year-round activities, events and schools centered on outdoor recreation. The Club comprises 13 regional groups across the state to serve the local needs of its members and partners. To ensure the continued enjoyment of Colorado’s pristine places, the CMC also leads efforts to protect wild and public lands with its conservation and stewardship programs. The Club publishes a quarterly magazine, Trail & Timberline, and operates a press with 50 current titles. No other organization in the Intermountain West employs such a strong or broad approach to connecting people with the Rocky Mountain landscape.

 

About the Mazamas:

The Mazamas promotes mountaineering, responsible recreation, and conservation through outdoor education, youth outreach, and advocacy programs. Founded on the summit of Mt. Hood, and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, the Mazamas has been working to represent and support everyone who loves to play in and protect the mountains of the Pacific Northwest for more than 120 years. The Mazamas operate one of the largest centralized mountaineering training schools in the country, graduating more than 500 people per year with basic to intermediate level climbing skills. The Mazamas also have a robust grants program that distributes more than $50,000 per year through conservation, research, and expedition grants. Members enjoy priority access to programs, domestic rescue insurance, and the opportunity to apply to our larger grants, including the $10,000 annual Bob Wilson Expedition Grant. Additional programs include classes in outdoor leadership, expedition planning, nordic skiing, ski mountaineering, wilderness first aid, and a variety of outdoor skill building courses. You can learn more about the Mazamas and start your adventure here: mazamas.org

 

About the Mountaineers:

The Mountaineers is an organization dedicated to helping people explore, conserve, learn about and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Founded in 1906, the 12,000-member Mountaineers community offers thousands of volunteer-led courses, activities, and events to connect young and old, novice and veteran, to the power and wonder of the natural world. The Mountaineers’ advocacy program is Washington’s leading voice for protecting the wild places where we play. Mountaineers Books expands passion for the outdoors internationally through award-winning publications, including instructional guides, adventure narratives, and conservation photography. Learn more at www.mountaineers.org.

 

 

AAC Announces 2017 Cutting Edge Grant Award Recipients

January 12, 2017, Golden, CO— 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 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 2016/17 grant cycle, the AAC received 33 grant applications and awarded $20,000 to three recipients.

  • ANNE GILBERT CHASE - ($8,000) to attempt the first ascent of the Southwest face of Mt. Nilkantha (6596m), a major peak of the Garhwal division of the Himalayas, in the Uttarakhand region of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The route contains 1,500m of technical climbing from base to summit and features steep rock and ice mixed climbing with numerous objective hazards. Mt. Nilkantha has been climbed only a few times via the North and West Ridges while the more impressive Southwest face is yet to be completed.
     
  • JEROME SULLIVAN - ($6,000) to attempt the first ascent of the East face of Monte San Lorenzo (3706m) on the border between Argentina and Chile in Patagonia. Various parties have attempted the face yet no one has succeeded -- cornices and seracs top the 4km wall, leaving little safe lines. The primary objective is a steep and technical buttress on the East face of the Cumbre Central.
     
  • CLINT HELANDER - ($6,000) to attempt the first ascent of the South Pillar of Panbari (6905m) located in the Peri Himal region just north of Manaslu in Nepal. Panbari, though close to the popular and accessible Manaslu trekking circuit, has seen little attention from climbers. The South Pillar begins with a web of couloirs that weave upward for 1000m with the technical pillar beginning at about 5300m with steep snow, ice and mixed climbing expected, with the rock being fractured granite.

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.

The American Alpine Club has inspired and supported cutting-edge climbing achievements for over 100 years. From funding the first ascent of Mt. Logan in 1925, to the exploration of the Karakoram in 1938, to the 2006 first ascent of Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face, the AAC has stood to support climbers who push their physical and mental limits and celebrated their accomplishments.
 
Applications for the Cutting Edge Grant are accepted each year from October 1st through November 30th. 

For more information on Global Rescue and their memberships, visit their website

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

Conrad Anker Is Keynote Speaker For 2017 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner

December 13, 2016, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) is proud to announce Conrad Anker—the man who embodies the new age of super technical explorers—as the keynote speaker for the 2017 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner, presented by The North Face.

Conrad will speak February 25, 2017, at Seattle Marriott Waterfront, located at 2100 Alaskan Way, Seattle, Washington, 98121. The evening will feature Conrad Anker’s reflections on his personal history, climbing, and the Himalaya. With 30 years of adventure under his belt, Conrad’s love for climbing has taken him all over the world: from Alaska to Antarctica, Pakistan to Patagonia, from his home near Hyalite Canyon to the top of Everest. Nepal is an area especially dear to Conrad’s heart. There he found George Mallory’s body, summited Everest multiple times, founded a non-profit, and has climbed many of the most technical peaks in the region.

The main event the night of the February 27 will gather all generations for an unprecedented climbers' celebration in Seattle. In addition to Conrad's keynote address, every year AAC recognizes outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community. This year is no exception. Five individuals will be recognized, during the Annual Benefit Dinner weekend, for displaying monumental drive, courage, and commitment in the mountains and in their lives: Kris McDivitt Tompkins, Dave Riggs, Mark Twight, Mason Earle, and David Stevenson.

The Angelo Heilprin Citation is awarded annually to that person who has, in the opinion of the citation committee, shown exemplary service to the Club. The purpose of this citation is to recognize those who have worked to maintain and strengthen the organization and thus further its ability to serve its fundamental purposes. Dave Riggs is being recognized for his time as the board chair of the AAC’s Community Committee for the AAC and volunteer chair of the Sierra Nevada Section.

The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award is given annually to that person who, in the opinion of the selection committee, has demonstrated the highest level of skill in the mountaineering arts and who, through the application of this skill, courage, and perseverance, has achieved outstanding success in various fields of mountaineering. This year's winner, Mark Twight, has first ascents and notable climbs all over the world and has written several award winning books.

The David R. Brower Award, created in 1991, is an annual award recognizing leadership and commitment to preserving mountain regions worldwide. Kris Tompkins, former CEO of Patagonia,  is an accomplished conservationist who has created large wilderness conservation areas in Chile and Argentina.

The Robert Hicks Bates Award's purpose is to recognize a young climber who—in the judgment of the selection committee—has demonstrated exceptional skill and character in the climbing or mountaineering arts and has outstanding promise for future accomplishment. Mason Earle is being recognized for his many ascents of difficult, technical crack climbs, most notably a sustained 5.14- in Moab.

The H. Adams Carter Literary Award was established to recognize excellence in alpine literature. David Stevenson is the director of the Creative Writing and Literary Arts Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is the author of the short fiction collection Letters from Chamonix, winner of the Banff Mountain Festival Fiction Prize.

Weekend festivities are open to the public and kick off on February 23 with a Memorial to Nick Clinch, February 24 with an Annual Membership Meeting and Climbers' Gathering at Vertical World.

Dinner attendees will have access to special panel discussions during the day on Saturday. Ticket sales to benefit AAC programs. For more information and to reserve your spot, visit americanalpineclub.org/annual-benefit-dinner/. Registration closes at midnight on February 19, or when sold out.

 

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

AAC Announces 2016 Cornerstone Conservation Grant Recipients

October 18, 2016, Golden, CO—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 (listed below). Congratulations to our 2016 Cornerstone recipients:

Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition, Kentucky - $2,500
The Gallery, Pendergrass-Murray Recreation Preserve

With a high concentration of moderate routes in a small area, the gallery has seen an enormous spike in users and impact. Funds will be used for consultation with the American Conservation Experience (ACE) to help train future land stewards, ensure good drainage from area springs, the purchase of building materials where natural materials are not available, and plants to aid in re-vegetation efforts.

AAC Richmond Chapter, Virginia - $1,500
Manchester Wall

In partnership with the city of Richmond and the James River Outdoor Coalition, the AAC’s Richmond Chapter is constructing a dedicated access path and pedestrian benches on the Manchester Wall in Richmond, Virginia. This unique climbing area uses a historic bridge abutment as a way for local university students, summer camps and recreational climbers to learn lead climbing and rescue techniques.

Mid Atlantic Climbers, Maryland - $5,000
Carderock Climbing Area, Chesapeake and Ohio National Historic Park

Flood damage threatens to destroy riverbank retaining walls that prevent total erosion of this key regional climbing area. The project will repair and extend walls while adding more permanent design and materials.

Southeastern Climbers Coalition, Tennessee - $5,000
Denny Cove, Southern Cumberland Plateau

Funds will be used to help build out one of the region’s newest crags. Harboring over 150 routes on three-mile-long cliff side, the area is experiencing an enormous amount of climber traffic. Gravel and building materials are needed for road and parking lot construction, and trail building work.

Salt Lake Climbers Alliance, Utah - $750
Joe’s Valley

AAC funds will support the installation of seasonal latrines during the 2017 spring and fall climbing season at this world famous destination where human waste facilities do not currently exist. Efforts are underway for a permanent solution.

Upper Peninsula Climbers Coalition (UPCC), Michigan - $500
AAA Walls, Marquette County

The historic AAA walls have hosted 4-H groups, Boy Scouts, university students, and women’s groups for years and, the UPCC has arranged to keep it open with the current private landowner. AAC is helping ensure the stewardship of the area by funding trail maintenance and signage supplies.

Washington Climbers Coalition, Washington - $4,000
Washington Pass Legacy Trail Project, North Cascades

There are much needed climbing trail improvements from Blue Lake Trail to alpine climbs on Liberty Bell, Concord Tower, North Early Winter Spire, and South Early Winter Spire. Funds will be used for trail building supplies, signage, and wag bag dispensers as part of an extensive trail project to build sustainable, safe access to the Liberty Bell Group, one of the country’s most scenic and popular alpine climbing destinations.

Levitation 49, Alaska - $2,000
Valdez City Crags

Levitation 49 has been working tirelessly to promote and expand climbing, both winter and summer, in the Valdez area. The crags closest to the city are in need of major infrastructure work. AAC’s funds will help with the construction of stone stairs, retaining walls and drainage structures.

Ohio Climbers Coalition, Ohio - $5,000
Springfield Gorge

The Springfield Gorge is set to become the largest climbing area in the state but is in need of extensive rehabilitation. In lieu of requiring permits, the Ohio Climber Coalition has negotiated the construction of educational kiosks and signage with the land manager (Clark County Parks Department). The Cornerstone Grant will be used to help with purchase of those materials in addition to trail building costs.

South Central Pennsylvania Climbers, Pennsylvania - $500
Governor Stable Boulders, Governor Stable Nature Preserve

The SCPC is one of the newest organizations helping ensure access for their local climbers. AAC funds will help with costs associated with trail building and raising a bridge above the flood line at this important area.

Washington’s National Park Fund, Washington - $1,250
Mount Rainier NP Search and Rescue Cabin

Funds will be used to help in the restoration of a historic 1936 Civilian Conservation Corps cabin in the Longmire National Historic Landmark District in Mount Rainier National Park to house Search & Rescue volunteers and support staff. The cabin gives rescuers the opportunity for more timely responses to emergencies within the park and gives the NPS staff additional resources to utilize.

Rumney Climbers Association, New Hampshire - $4,000
The Final Frontier, Rumney

The Northwest Crags at Rumney are in need of additional parking, trail systems and a human waste solution at this nationally known climbing area. Facilities can also be used by local hikers, making the impact of this project even greater.

Climbing Stewards, California - $3,000
Camp 4, Yosemite

AAC funding will support the construction of a new, expanded climbing information kiosk at Camp 4, in Yosemite Valley. The current info board is outdated and will be replaced during a renovation and expansion of Camp 4. The new board will include increased conservation messaging and best practices, and additional information about climbing management in Yosemite National Park.

AAC Cornerstone Conservation Grant Selection Committee:

·       Eddie Espinosa, Committee Chair
·       Aram Attarian
·       Audrey Todd Borisov
·       Elisabeth Bowers
·       Jason Flesher
·       Matt Hepp
·       Joe Sambataro
·       Rebecca Schild
·       Maria Povec, Cornerstone Grant Coordinator, AAC Staff

 

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

American Alpine Club and Access Fund Announce 2016 Anchor Replacement Fund Grant Awards

October 13, 2016, Golden, CO—The Access Fund and American Alpine Club 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.

Arkansas Climbers Coalition
Arkansas Climbers Coalition (ARCC) was awarded funding for fixed anchor replacement at Sam’s Throne area, particularly The Outback and The West Main Bluff. The grant will augment their fixed anchor fund, and support the work of ARCC’s volunteer anchor replacement team. ARCC is a longtime Access Fund Affiliate and a grassroots climbing non-profit working to steward and protect Arkansas climbing.

Southwest Virginia Climbers Coalition
Southwest Virginia Climbers Coalition (SVCC) was awarded funding for fixed anchor replacement in Breaks Interstate Park, a state park located across the Virginia-Kentucky line. The park was officially opened to climbing earlier this year, and SVCC will upgrade anchors on dozens of historic, sandstone routes in Breaks. SVCC is an Access Fund Affiliate and volunteer-run climbing non-profit focused on stewardship and protection of southwest Virginia climbing areas.

Western Massachusetts Climbers Coalition
We are pleased to award funding to the Western Massachusetts Climbers Coalition (WMCC) to replace fixed anchors at Farley Ledges, Mormon Hollow, and the Sunbowl. WMCC will focus its work on bolts and top-anchors, using new long-lasting glue-in bolts. WMCC is a longstanding Access Fund Affiliate and local climbing organization that leads stewardship and protection of western Massachusetts climbing resources.

Boise Climbers Alliance
Boise Climber’s Alliance (BCA) was awarded funding to replace fixed anchors at Black Cliffs and Short Cliffs outside of Boise, Idaho. BCA will focus their work on worn and outdated top-anchors and protection bolts. BCA is an Access Fund Affiliate and grassroots local climbing organization working to steward and protect Boise area climbing resources.

Ohio Climbers Coalition
Ohio Climbers Coalition (OCC) was awarded funding to replace fixed anchors in Springfield Gorge, Ohio. This historic climbing area is being revitalized by local community partners, and it is being transformed into a climbing park—likely the largest climbing area in Ohio. OCC’s anchor replacement work will focus on updating the area’s aging bolts and top-anchors. OCC is an Access Fund Affiliate and local, grassroots climbing advocacy and conservation organization.

Southern Idaho Climbers Coalition
We are pleased to award funding to the Southern Idaho Climbers Coalition (SICC) to replace fixed anchors at The Prow climbing area. SICC’s project will upgrade 18 routes with bomber, longlasting half-inch stainless steel bolts and hardware. SICC is an Access Fund Affiliate and a local climbing stewardship organization working in the Twin Falls area.

Illinois Climbers Association
Illinois Climbers Coalition (ICA) was awarded funding to replace fixed anchors in Jackson Falls, Illinois. Jackson Falls is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the Midwest, and ICA will focus on upgrading the area’s aging bolts and anchors with glue-in bolts and stainless steel hardware. ICA is an Access Fund Affiliate and longtime Illinois climbing advocacy and stewardship organization.

New River Alliance of Climbers
We are pleased to award funding to the New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC) to replace fixed anchors in Summersville Lake, West Virginia. NRAC is an Access Fund Affiliate and local climbing advocacy non-profit working to protect New River Gorge climbing resources.

Carolina Climbers Coalition
Carolina Climbers Coalition (CCC) was awarded funding to replace fixed anchors at Hidden Valley, Virginia. The CCC worked with Access Fund to acquire the Hidden Valley property in 2014. CCC is an Access Fund Affiliate and the climbing advocacy and conservation organization preserving and protecting climbing in North and South Carolina.

Minnesota Climbers Association
We are pleased to award funding to the Minnesota Climbers Association (MCA) to replace fixed anchors in Willow River State Park, Wisconsin. Willow River is a popular mid-western limestone sport crag, and MCA will continue to upgrade the area’s old 3/8” bolts to modern, long-lasting glue-in anchors. MCA is an Access Fund Affiliate and local climbing advocacy and conservation organization working to steward and protect climbing in Minnesota and surrounding areas.

Climbing Association of Southern Arizona
Climbing Association of Southern Arizona (CASA) was awarded funding to support a long-term anchor replacement project on Mt. Lemmon, a vast climbing area with thousands of routes. CASA will focus its efforts on the mountain’s most popular, high-traffic routes. CASA maintains a successful working partnership with Coronado National Forest, who owns and manages Mt. Lemmon.

Southern Utah Climber's Association
We are pleased to award funding to the Southern Utah Climber's Association (SUCA) for ongoing anchor replacement work in Utah Hills climbing areas. SUCA’s work will focus on Black and Tan, Kelly’s Rock, Gorilla, Simean Complex, and Soul Asylum. SUCA is a local climbing organization that leads regular stewardship and partnership projects with the Bureau of Land Management. The group has already helped replace over 800 anchors in the St. George region.

Friends of Joshua Tree
Friends of Joshua Tree (FOJT) was awarded funding to replace fixed anchors  at Joshua Tree’s Echo Rock, Intersection Rock, and other areas. A well-regarded partner of Joshua Tree National Park, FOJT has led sustainable fixed anchor and bolt replacement in Joshua Tree for more than a decade. The grant will support their ongoing efforts to upgrade routes with half-inch stainless steel bolts and hardware. FOJT is an Access Fund Affiliate and a non-profit climbing stewardship and advocacy organization.

Friends of Pinnacles
Friends of Pinnacles (FoP) was awarded funding for a second year to support ongoing anchor replacement work in California’s Pinnacles National Monument. FoP maintains a successful working partnership with land managers at Pinnacles, working to address climbing access, stewardship, education, and fixed anchors. Since 1991, FoP has replaced more than 500 bolts in the Pinnacles using a hand drill, in compliance with land management policy.

Salt Lake Climbers Alliance
We are pleased to award Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA) with funding to replace fixed anhors in Lower Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. The project builds off of SLCA’s recent success in American Fork and Big Cottonwood Canyon, where they upgraded dozens of popular routes. The work in Little Cottonwood Canyon will be coordinated by SLCA’s new Wasatch Anchor Replacement Initiative. SLCA is an Access Fund Affiliate and a local, non-profit climbing advocacy and stewardship organization focused on the climbing resources of the Wasatch and beyond.

About the American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member atamericanalpineclub.org.

About Access Fund
Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, the Access Fund supports and represents millions of climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Six core programs support the mission on national and local levels: climbing policy and advocacy, stewardship and conservation, local support and mobilization, land acquisition and protection, risk management and landowner support, and education. For more information, visit www.accessfund.org.

 

 

AAC and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy Powering Alpine Research

August 29, 2016, Golden, CO—The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, which manages the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden for the Department of Energy, has partnered with the American Alpine Club to provide AAC Research Grants. The Alliance will contribute $5,000 to future grants and provide technical support for their administration. These grants will support clean energy and other scientific endeavors in mountains and crags around the world. Grant winners provide vital knowledge about our climbing environments and enrich our understanding of environmental impacts.

NREL’s work in clean energy aligns with AAC’s long history of supporting some of the most significant mountain explorations in the world, including the 1939 summit attempt on K2, the 1963 first American summit of Everest, and the 1966 summit of Antarctica's Mt. Vinson.

In addition to providing funding, the Alliance will support the club’s research grants by participating in the grant reviews.

“We’re lucky to have a laboratory in our backyard that is leading the country in developing clean energy technology,” says Policy and Advocacy Director Maria Millard. “It’s a natural fit for such a powerhouse to fuel our research grants.”

Previous AAC research grant winners have studied snow surfaces and the formation of snow bedforms in Antarctica and Colorado, providing useful information for alpine travelers and avalanche professionals. A recent "Live your Dream" climbing grant awardee just returned from a month in Nepal where a team from Goal Zero installed solar panels in remote mountain villages.  Another grant participant examined the impact of human and climate disturbance on alpine plants, information that can inform land management decisions and backcountry travel.

The AAC Research Grant application opens on November 15 and closes on January 15. Learn more about the club’s grants program and how you can apply: americanalpineclub.org/research-grants

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

 

 

American Alpine Club Announces Athlete Tour Featuring Ueli Steck

August 10, 2016, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) Athlete Speaker Tour featuring legendary speed climber Ueli Steck, presented by Alpina Watches, will kick-off in New York City, New York on August 28 and end in Denver, Colorado, September 14.

Ueli Steck is best known for his solo speed climbs of the infamous Eiger Nordwand, the Matterhorn, and more recently, the south face of Annapurna.

The highly acclaimed “Swiss Machine" will present a visually stunning and interactive slideshow about his experiences climbing the world's largest mountains, setting speed records without oxygen, his daring 82 Summits Challenge, and recent trip to the Himalaya.    

“As climbers we test our abilities and strive to climb harder and higher within the limits of our lives, bodies and minds,” said CEO Phil Powers. “I think we all wonder what we could do with limitless time, extraordinary strength and skill and an unconstrained mind. Ueli Steck offers of glimpse of what that might look like—it's inspiring.”

"Ueli Steck embodies the Swiss sportsmanship and mountaineering values to the fullest,” said Alpina Watches CEO Guido Benedini. “Being a historic Swiss watch manufacturer, we are proud to support his AAC National Athlete Speaker Tour, which we are sure will inspire the current and young generations of Alpinists and mountain lovers.”

Tickets are currently available for all tour stops—the event is expected to sell out like the popular 2014 tour. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for purchase. VIP Gatherings take place prior to each show, and offer an intimate meet and greet with Ueli.

To find out more information about additional tour dates and athlete appearances, please visit  https://americanalpineclub.org/athlete-tour

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.
 

About Alpina

Alpine Watch Manufacturing since 1883

Alpina, famous for its red triangle signature, is an independent, family-owned fine watchmaking manufacture based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1883, Alpina’s watchmaking history spans more than 130 years.

A true pioneer of the Swiss watchmaking industry, Alpina has been the source of numerous patents and innovative calibers. Alpina invented the concept of the Swiss sport watch, as we know it today, with the birth of its legendary Alpina 4 in 1938.  

Today, Alpina is one of the very few independent Swiss watch companies, which develops, produces and assembles its movements entirely in-house. Alpina proposes five in-house calibers: the AL-980 Tourbillon; the AL-718 World Timer; the AL-950 Automatic Regulator; the AL-710 Automatic Small Date and the AL-760 Flyback Chronograph.

Faithful to its long tradition of innovation, in 2015 Alpina introduced the first Swiss Made Smartwatch, thereby creating a new watch category in the Swiss watch industry, the Horological Smartwatch.

Alpina’s mission is to design and engineer luxury sport watches that operate with the greatest precision and reliability possible in the most demanding sporting environments, like the Alps.

www.alpina-watches.com

 

Climber Falls in Waddington Range, British Columbia

British Columbia, July 29, 2016—At approximately 3:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, July 24, Laurel Fan (34) a loved member of the Alpine Mentors–AAC Pacific Northwest Program fell while ascending Serra 2 in the Waddington Range of British Columbia.

The lead mentor, a highly experienced alpine climber and a close member of the American Alpine Club community, was accompanying two mentees on their final graduation climb of the two-year Alpine Mentors–AAC Pacific Northwest Program. The three were scrambling third class terrain when one climber fell and could not be saved.

Local rescue teams, military, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and Global Rescue were notified. As of July 28, RCMP has suspended recovery efforts.

“AAC members mentor other climbers all the time and this program is one of the best examples. We are proud of what Alpine Mentors has been able to do over the years and are extremely distraught over this tragedy,” said AAC CEO Phil Powers. “We still have much to learn about what happened, but the program leaders are some of the most accomplished alpinists America has ever produced.”

“The Alpine Mentors community is very small, and we are greatly saddened by this terrible tragedy,” said Alpine Mentors Founder Steve House, “and our hearts are with Laurel’s friends and family. We are grateful that the two surviving party members were able to draw upon their experience and competence to execute what was a difficult descent after losing one member of their team and a good part of the equipment that climber was carrying.”

The American Alpine Club and Alpine Mentors work with mentees to select progressive climbing itineraries appropriate to their skills, abilities, and experience. While risk can never be eliminated, the health, safety, and well being of members and participants is always a primary concern in evaluating objectives. 

This is a tragic and deeply felt loss to our tight knit community. Thank you for your understanding and support as we work on ensuring the well-being of the member’s family and climbing partners.

About Alpine Mentors

Alpine Mentors is a federal recognized tax-deductible 501(c)3 non-profit cooperation and was founded in 2012 in order to promote alpinism by encouraging, coaching and climbing with technically proficient alpinists who aspire to climb the world's greatest mountains in a lightweight, low-impact style. Participants endeavor to communicate their experience with humility and integrity, act to redress the environmental impacts of climbing, respectfully give back to the communities that host them, and foster an inclusive, supportive environment within local and international climbing communities at all levels.

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

Media Contact:
American Alpine Club
Phil Powers, CEO
303.905.6330

Alpine Mentors
Steve House, Founder of Alpine Mentors
970.318.0211

 

American Alpine Club Past President Nick Clinch Passes Away

June 15, 2016, Golden, CO—American Alpine Club past president Nicholas Bayard Clinch (b. 1930) passed away today, June 15, 2016 in Palo Alto, California.

Clinch is regarded as one of America's most successful expedition leaders. He is the only American to have led the first ascent of an 8,000 meter peak: Hidden Peak (Gasherbrum I, 26,470 feet) in 1958. He also led the first ascent of the notorious and beautiful Masherbrum (25,660 feet) in 1960 and Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica, along with the other major summits of the Vinson Massif in 1966. Clinch Peak (15,883 ft) was named in his honor in 2006.

Clinch’s account of the 1958 Hidden Peak expedition was published as the book A Walk in the Sky in 1982. Nick also published Through a Land of Extremes: The Littledales of Central Asia with his wife Elizabeth Clinch in 2011.

His explorations have included numerous ascents in the United States, the British Columbia Coast Range, Peru and China. He also introduced the ice screw into North American climbing usage. For his extraordinary services to mountaineering Clinch was made a Fellow of the prestigious Explorers Club in 1969 and later elected to Honorary Membership in The Alpine Club [London]. In 2013 he was inducted into the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence for both his achievements on and off the mountain by the American Mountaineering Museum. He is an honorary member of the American Alpine Club and has received the Heilprin Award for service to the Club and the rarely granted President’s Gold Medal—twice.

Beyond Clinch's important role in the history of American mountaineering, his devotion to the AAC helped the Club thrive over the 62 years of his membership. Nick served as Club president from 1968 to 1970 and afterwards he served one term (1971-1973) as treasurer. He has been instrumental in the growth of the AAC Library, and a major contributor to the Central Asia collection. In 1971 Nick worked tirelessly with Leigh Ortenberg and NPS Director Horace Albright to establish the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch.

He was a student of climbing history and a prolific book collector with, as he often said, “the discrimination of a vacuum cleaner,” according to AAC CEO Phil Powers. His collection resides at the American Alpine Club Library in Golden, Colorado.

“Nick certainly contributed much to climbing in America. He was a brilliant expedition leader and a wonderful diplomat. But I think most of his contributions were behind the scenes,” said Powers. “He was always there with the counsel to get us through the hard decisions. I have benefitted from knowing a number of the great men on whose shoulders we stand as climbers today—but I’ll miss none more than Nick.”

Between expeditions and playing a strong and ongoing leadership role in support of AAC, Clinch was a long-time Executive Director of the Sierra Club Foundation and an early board member at REI.

 

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

 

2016 Live Your Dream Grant Recipients Announced

May 19, 2016, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club and The North Face are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Live Your Dream grant. In total, $20,000 was awarded to 58 recipients from across the country. 

The Live Your Dream grant, powered by The North Face, is designed to help every-day adventurers take their abilities to the next level. It is about personal progression—be it transitioning out of the gym or establishing a first ascent in the greater ranges. This grant supports and promotes unforgettable experiences for climbers who dream big, strive to grow as climbers, and seek to inspire others. 

Founded in 2012, the Live Your Dream grant is funded with support by The North Face, the AAC's Craggin' Classic Series, and local fundraising efforts. It is a community developed and locally administered grant with the purpose of funding individuals in pursuit of their progressive climbing dreams. Grant applications are read, evaluated, and awarded by six Regional Selection Committees comprised of local community members, volunteers, and athletes.

 

NORTHWEST REGION:

Samuel Bedell: Bend, OR: $400

Samuel, along with partner Nick Mestre, will attempt to climb the Southeast Ridge of Asperity in the Waddington Range, British Columbia, Canada. This route features 1600m of technical climbing with difficulties up to 5.10 A1 WI3. Samuel and Nick are looking to test themselves on this long climb, involving various styles, complex problem solving, and efficient movement in a remote setting.

Cat Coe: Missoula, MT: $200

Cat and partner will attempt multiple objectives throughout the Cascades, including Serpentine Crack and Freedom Rider on Liberty Bell, the East Face of Lexington Tower, and Infinite Bliss on Mt. Garfield, as well as The Grand Wall (5.11a, A0), Krimo Gold, Birds of Prey, and other multipitch routes at the 5.10-5.11 grades in Squamish.

Lawrence Davis: Roseburg, OR: $200 Mike Taormina: Eugene, OR: $200

Lawrence and Mike plan to travel to the Arrigetch Peaks, a remote group of granite spires within Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. The stunning area is split by a two-mile ridgeline comprised of nine major summits, from Slot Tower southwest to Badile. During the month of July, 2016, they will attempt an alpine-style traverse of this sweeping knife-edge ridge and its peaks.

Nicole Gaines, Troutdale, OR: $200

Nicole and her husband Luke will spend ten days in July, 2016 exploring the Southern Picket Range. For years, the Pickets have been a place they talked of going “someday", "when we are good enough climbers." That someday is now, and their objectives include the MacMillen Spires, the East Towers, Inspiration, the Pyramid, Mt. Degenhardt, Mt. Terror, & the Chopping Block.

Mary Gianotti, Juneau, AK: $400

Mary’s climbing objectives include an unnamed and unclimbed peak on the remote Juneau Icefield in Alaska, while ski traversing 137.53 miles across the icefield with an 5-person team in a light and fast mountaineering style.

Nate Goodwin, Bozeman, MT: $400

Nate plans to make a 3 week trip into the Ruth Gorge and Tokositna glacier this Spring. His objectives include the SW ridge of Peak 11,300, Shaken Not Stirred on The Mooses Tooth, and the Harvard route on Mt Huntington.

Aaron Hanson, Sandpoint, ID: $200

Aaron’s grant will be used to finish, and possibly free, an aid route attempted by Karl Dietrich and partner up a steep, unclimbed portion of Wall Tower in the Leaning Towers area, Southeastern British Columbia.

Emily E Johnston, Leavenworth, WA: $200

In 8 consecutive days this July, Emily and Melissa Sher plan to complete what they call "The Columbia Trifecta": climbing Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Helens, riding our bicycles, without a support team, from one objective to the next.

Tiffany Larsen, Bend, OR: $200 Lauren Mork, Bend, OR: $200

Tiffany Larsen and Lauren Mork, will travel to Refugio Frey in Patagonia this coming winter. They plan to attept Imagínate (5.10/6a trad, 5 pitches), January 2017. Imagínate is at the upper-limit of their climbing ability, and through it, they will hone skills in multi-pitch traditional climbing.

Kimberley Palka, Seattle, WA: $200

Kimberley’s dream project is a tour of wall climbs. She will gain experience on Zion’s easier walls in a couple overnight attempts and a single day attempt, then relocate to the Fisher Towers for a one day ascent of the Titan.

Greg Sievers, Bozeman, MT: $200

Greg, along with his partners, are headed for Mount Robson in the Canadian Rockies to climb the Kane Face regular route. All four of their team have had Mt. Robson on their bucket list for over twenty years.

Chris Simmons, Seattle, WA: $300

Chris and his partner will spend two weeks exploring the WWI history and climbing in the Marmolada and Sella Mountains of Alta Adige/Sud Tirol, Italy. Their ultimate route goals include the Vinatzer-Castiglioni Route on the South Face of the Marmolada (29 pitches, 5.10b) and the Fedele or the Dibona Routes on the NW Face of Sass Pordoi (both 24 pitches, 5.6).

Kelly Thomas, Portland, OR: $200

Kelley and partner are set on climbing the CMC route on Mt Moran. This is a 5 pitch trad route on Mt Moran (3,842 m) in the Tetons, Wyoming. This is the most climbed route on Mt Moran, however it still sees little traffic.

Szu-ting Yi, Redmond, WA: $200

Szu-ting plans to make the First Free Ascent of Orion's Reflection in the Cathedral Cirque area of the Wind River Range, WY.

 

WESTERN REGION:

Amy Bannon: Prescott, AZ: $500

Amy’s objective is to embark on an entirely self-supported climbing trip through the beautiful northern highlands of Scotland. Once landed in Glasgow, she and her climbing partner will travel by bicycle to the northern coast where they will attempt four of the most beautiful and iconic sea stacks.

Nicholas Bourdon: San Diego, CA: $450

Frader Pisafe (aka Salvaterra) is a 1500' tall 5.10+ in Patagonia involving a lot of crack climbing. Nicholas will be driving his motorcycle from Alaska to Argentina and is planning on climbing at least 1 route in each state (US), province (Canada), and country that he passes through, culminating in Frader Pisafe. At a minimum, he will climb 29 different routes.

Bradford Buter: Los Angeles, CA: $400

Bradford seeks out alpine climbing in the Ruth Gorge area of Denali NP, with the ultimate objective being the Harvard Route on Mt. Huntington.

John Greer: Modesto, CA: $400

The objective of John’s trip is to successfully climb a new line on Atlantis Wall in the Sonora Pass area of California. This wall is located on Broad Dome and climbs one thousand feet out of Donnell reservoir. Currently, there are only a few existing routes on the wall.

Tad McCrea: Larkspur, CA: $500

Tad holds his dream as the magnificent North Ridge of Monte San Valentine, off the northern icecap of Chilean Patagonia. San Valentine is the highest point in Patagonia, and the mighty unclimbed northern aspect sports a daunting 8,000ft of steep technical terrain. Tad plans to carry up-and-over the mountain and packraft out the Valle Exploradores from the western edge of the icecap.

Vitaliy Musiyenko: San Francisco, CA $400

Vitaliy’s plan is to climb the Fitz Roy via the striking North Pillar, also known as the Goretta Pillar. Since both of he and his partner like to explore rather than conquer, they hope to climb the peak via a less frequently attempted route - Mate Porro y Todo los Demas. It was completed to the summit recently, in 2011.

Bernadette Regan: Joshua Tree, CA: $500

Bernadette’s dream is to complete the first free ascent of the West Buttress of the Golden Klattasine in the Waddington Range of BC, Canada. She intends to climb alpine-style and install no additional hardware.

Buck Yedor: Oakland, CA: $450

Buck Yedor is planning on traveling to the Gran Sabana of southeastern Venezuela to attempt to put up a new big wall free climb on Acopan Tepui. Acopan Tepui is known for its steep, often times overhanging bullet hard sandstone walls. The featured sandstone lends itself to hard free climbing protected by traditional climbing gear.

 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION:

Ben Ammon: Arvada, CO: $200

Ben Ammon will use his climbing and mountaineering experiences to take on the mountains in South America! His main aspiration is to send the French Direct route on Alpamayo and the Northeast face of Artesonraju. As he acclimatizes and trains for these mountains, he will tackle some of the more manageable peaks in Peru. His trip will culminate with these two proud ascents.

James Bachhuber: Denver, CO: $600

In the mountains of Japan, Shugendo monks, like alpinists, use cold, hunger, and feats of endurance to cultivate awareness. In January 2017, like the Shugendo monks, James and his team will also practice at a Shugendo temple.   They will spend seven days in a sacred valley beneath Mt. Kaikomagatake climbing remote ice routes including O-ren-dani right fork (1200m), Tanuki Suicide (WI5-, M4+, 120m) among others. This time will be a test of physical and mental fortitude while also weaving the subtle nuances of training the mind, body, and soul.  

Eleanor Barber: Aspen, CO: $250

Eleanor will be pushing her physical limits with a summit of Mount Rainier and a ski descent.   This ski mountaineering trip will take place this spring as she tackles one of the highest mountains in the lower 48 states. After summiting this 14,410 foot peak with her skis, she will the put them on to ski back down this big mountain.

Mario Davidson: Nederland, CO: $300

Andy Esparza, Mario Davidson, and Mark Touchstone are going to the Cochamo Valley in Chile to establish a new route on a big wall. They will spend this next year, training for and acquiring the confidence, strength, and technical skills needed for navigating this new terrain. An objective of this magnitude is pushing their personal limits which in turn pushes the limits of climbing in general and in-turn, opens new routes for future climbers.

Taylor Dickinson: South Jordan, UT: $450

As part of the School for International Expedition Training, Taylor will be joining the Ishinca Valley Expedition. For 21 days, Taylor will be training in self and partner rescue, professional development as guides, as well as glacial travel and effective alpine climbing. The course will culminate in attempts of four peaks, including Tocllaraju (~20,000') and Ranrapalca (~20,000'). Taylor’s new skills will undoubtedly provide him with new skills and safety techniques that will touch other’s lives and perpetuate safe climbing ethics and knowledge for tackling big objectives such as these.

Tom Forestieri: Longmont, CO: $250

Tom will be living his dream of climbing the Beckey-Chouinard route on the South Howser Tower in the Bugaboos. This alpine style classic is a coveted summit for almost any climber, which challenges everything from planning to fitness to technical rock climbing skills in order to achieve this goal.

John Kelley: Colorado Springs, CO: $250

John Kelley aspires to do a one-day link up of three classic Sedona Towers (Coyote Tower, Sedona Scenic Cruise, and The Mace) using mountain bikes as the sole means of transportation. This ultimate fitness challenge will involve John and his climbing partners to travel via bike between the peaks, over many miles of technical, mountain biking terrain, carrying all of their gear and provisions. They will leave their bikes to begin climbing routes to summit and link the three towers, climbing technical routes up to the grade of 5.10d! This challenge will put their endurance, power, and technical climbing skills to the test!

Mallory Lambert: Layton, UT: $300

Mallory and her climbing partner seek to travel to the Codrillera Blance in Peru. They aspire to climb the Original Route (5.10+ 2000') on La Esfinge (The Sphinx) in Valle Paron, an enormous granite formation in the Paron Valley. These climbing partners will share leads to summit this challenging wall. Mallory’s goal is not only to push her physical limits and technical skills, but also mentally push herself to take more responsibility in climbing and trust in her abilities as a lead climber. She will apply everything she knows about climbing to tackle this coveted objective!

Mark Pugliese: Salt Lake City, UT: $650

Mark and his climbing partner are traveling to the Rolwaling Valley of Nepal. Here they will attempt 2 first ascents in the Himalayas. One of the routes goes up the west face of Chugimago (6259m), while the other may go on either the south face or SE ridge of Kang Nachugo (6735m). Navigating in some of the biggest mountains in the world, and establishing new lines is a lofty aspiration for any climber, and opens routes for many climbers to come.

Marc Ripperger: Albequerque, NM: $700

Marc will be traveling to the Cordillera Blance in Peru to climb the Original Route on La Esfinge (The Sphinx) in Valle Paron. After first learning about this route about 8 years ago, La Esfinge has been a dream for Marc to travel to Peru to summit. This notoriously sandbagged route involves climbing about 20 pitches up to 5.11c. This large granite, feature tops out at 17,470 ft. with 3,000 ft. of climbing in a one day push!

Zachary Snavely: Lander, WY: $300

Zach’s adventure includes planning, training, and completing, his first international alpine climbing expedition! His objective includes traveling to Bugaboo Provincial Park in British Columbia to attempt the several classic alpine lines. He will be putting

Brian Sparks: Moab, UT: $300

Brian is doing a ski mountaineering ascent and decent of Mt. Rainier via the Fuhrer Finger Route from Paradise on June 2nd, cross the Nisqually Glacier and ascend the Wilson Glacier to camp at 9200m. This is something will challenge Brian and take his ski mountaineering to the next level.

 

CENTRAL REGION:

Colten Moore: Marquette, MI: $300

Colten will take the cold weather suffering and ice climbing skills he has honed on the south shore of Lake Superior to the massive Lake Baikal in Siberian Russia. There he and his team will tour the frozen lake on fat bikes in search of new ice routes on Lake Baikal’s northwest shore.

Andrew Clift: Rapid City, SD: $250

Andrew and his partner are travelling to the Bugaboos to climb four classic routes: The West Ridge of Pigeon Spire (III 5.4), The Northeast Ridge of Bugaboo Spire (IV 5.8), The Beckey-Chouinard on South Howser Tower (IV 5.10), and The Sunshine Crack on Snowpatch Spire (IV 5.11). Andrew is looking forward to the opportunity to engage in the entire process of planning and completing a major trip of this nature. 

Jane Horth: Houston, TX: $250

Jane and her partner will also be travelling to the Bugaboos to attempt a pair of routes: Solitary Confinement on Prince Alpert Spire (III 5.11), and The Northeast Ridge of Bugaboo Spire (IV 5.8). Having climbed extensively on large objectives in the Desert Southwest and California, Jane is looking to take those skills to an alpine environment.

Sean Buehler: Carmel, IN: $200

Currently a Wilderness EMT, Sean is looking to take the next step in his dream of earning a degree in Wilderness Medicine. For him, that step involves a four-to-five day training ascent of the Cooper Spur on Mt. Hood (III), where he will learn and practice skills for navigating snowy peaks as well as receiving behavioral emergency training.

Lewis Billingsley: Jena, LA: $200

Lewis has a love for big, snowy and remote mountains. Since 2014 he has been acquiring the skills and knowledge required to take them on. The next step in his progression will take him to South America, where he will attempt the French Direct on Alpamayo (WI2).

Don Wargowsky: Cutler, OH: $200

Don and his teammates are heading to Nepal to complete unguided ascents of Island Peak and the Southwest Ridge of Ama Dablam without Sherpa support. This expedition will, in Don’s words, “…be the culmination of all the skills that I have built through climbing, trip leading, and traveling internationally [and] will be the highlight of my climbing career.”

Joshua Cronk: Novi, MI: $200

Josh and his brother have a long term goal of climbing El Cap. To that end they are planning on travelling to the Pacific Northwest, where they will attempt several multi-pitch routes in order to begin building the necessary experience. They in tend to visit the Goat Wall in Mazama, WA where they will attempt Prime Rib of Goat (III 5.9) and possibly Sisyphus (III 5.11a). From there they will head to Smith Rock in Oregon where they will attempt to summit the Monkey Face.

Clayton Ernst: Austin, TX: $200

Clayton and his partner are heading to Zion National Park, in Utah to attempt Touchstone (V 5.9 C2). For them this is a stepping stone to bigger walls and bigger mountains. They chose Zion, and specifically Touchstone, for both aesthetic and practical reasons. On their trip they will practice their aid and wall climbing skills in an amazing setting.

Erin Lynch: Ann Arbor, MI: $200

Erin has proven herself on long and difficult sport routes, but now the iconic beauty of Devil’s Tower and its El Matador (III 5.10d) have drawn her to expand her trad climbing skills. Erin will travel to Wyoming and attempt to climb this classic line.

Morgan Smith: College Station, TX: $200

Morgan and his partner plan to travel to El Potrero Chico in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. There, they intend on completing an extension to the classic Super Nova (III 5.11a). In the process they hope to make the first ascent of not just their extension but also the formation which it will ascend. In the process they hope to gain experience in hauling, extended wall-life, ground-up bolting, and the techniques and effort required to open a classic line.

 

NORTHEAST REGION:

Alissa Doherty: Boston, MA: $300

Alissa’s main objective is to climb Goldfinger in the Ruth Gorge of Alaska. She has been dreaming of Alaska since first seeing Bradford Washburn's incredible images of the Ruth Gorge. After a failed attempt last year due to poor weather conditions, Alissa is ready for another shot at this iconic climb.

Heather Hudson: Providence, RI: $400

Heather’s objective is to hike into the Deep Lake area of the Wind River Range, Wyoming, and climb the Southwest Arete of Lost Temple Spire. Her motivation? To shed the dependence her and her partner have had on their significant others and more experienced climbers to lead the way. They have decided it is time to put their skills to the test and lead themselves into the role of leader. They are ready and confident to take on this challenge head on, sans dudes. Good luck ladies!

Ethan Berman: Cambridge, MA: $250

Ethan’s main objective is to climb classic routes in the Bugaboos with his sister, Nina, hoping to establish a new alpine route in the region making it their first “sibling” first ascent. They have both been training incessantly through traditional climbing in both Red Rocks and Zion. They have established numerous ascents in the area and are hoping to break into a new realm together in the environment that they are both most connected to, alpine rock. Above all else, they are hoping in addition to becoming stronger climbers, they also develop a stronger bond between them as siblings.

Andrew Blease: Glen, NH: $400

As a previous winner of the LYD grant, Andrew was shut down on his trip to climb in RMNP by a late winter snowstorm. After a year of training hard in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Andrew is ready to give it another go in his dream of alpine climbing and ski mountaineering. This trip is one step in achieving his long term goals of exploring alpine climbs in areas like Chamonix, Alaska and South America.

Devin Farkas: Canton, NY: $1000

“If your climbing dreams don’t scare you, dream bigger.” This is the mantra of Devin Farkas who’s dream is to climb the Beckey-Chouinard Route, West buttress, South Howser Tower in Bugaboo Provincial Park, Alberta Canada. According to him this is the culmination of his path as a climber and hopes that it will act as a launching point for his future. After years of overcoming boundaries in his climbing career, Devin is confident that this objective will establish new horizons for him in the future.

Michael Posner: Plainville, CT: $450

Two years ago, Michael was diagnosed with stage 1 colon cancer, news that would cripple the majority of us. Michael decided to let it be a launching point to change his life for the better. While tackling summits in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the dream of climbing his first “fourteener” started to become more evident and achievable. That is why his objective is to tackle Grays Peak in Colorado, the highest peak in the Front Range. With this he strives to not only maintain his newly found healthy lifestyle, but also be a role model for positive change in others.

James Voorhis: Center Conway, NH: $500

James and his climbing partner Chris dream of summiting both Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy in their first season in Patagonia. Claiming to thrive when they dream big, they have proven nothing but just that in their time together. Since their first push up the West Face of the Leaning Tower to their epic four-day ascent on El Cap, they both have coached and supported each other down the road that they hope will propel their climbing skills, as well as their partnership into new terrain.

 

SOUTHEAST REGION:

Brian Barwatt: Sylvia, NC: $600

Brian and his partner will attempt to climb Quitaraju via the North Face and Alpamayo via the French Direct route in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru.

Amanda Ellis: Wake Forest, NC: $400

Amanda’s goal is to travel to one of the world’s greatest alpine playgrounds to ascend the North East Ridge of Bugaboo Spire.

Josh Kraft: Chesapeake, VA: $400

Josh’s objective is to summit the Grand Teton in Wyoming, a climb he has long dreamt of doing, but was unable to pursue due to health problems until now.

Alex Marine: Washington, DC: $500

Alex will attempt to establish new free routes on the Cloud Peak massif and surrounding mountains in the Bighorns of Wyoming using traditional methods and gear. Alex will establish a base camp at the base of Cloud Peak and explore all aspects for ~10 days, focusing primarily on unclimbed or less climbed faces.

Kyle Sox: Columbia, SC: $600

Kyle and his partner Scott will attempt a first ascent traverse of the 11+ mile Wind River Crest from Indian Pass to Pedestal col. in a single, week-long push to link the highest, unbroken skyline in Wyoming.

 

About The American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

Alpina AAC Cutting Edge Award Announced

The American Alpine Club and Alpina Watches announce the Alpina AAC Cutting Edge Award in recognition of excellence in climbing.

April 19, 2016, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) in partnership with Alpina Watches is proud to announce the inaugural Alpina AAC Cutting-Edge Award. 

Honoring the deep traditions of style, ethics, and the “Brotherhood of the Rope,” The Alpina AAC Cutting Edge Award will recognize one climbing team who, with the aid of an AAC climbing grant, demonstrated excellence in climbing, upheld the values of the American Alpine Club and Alpina Watches, and acted in a manner befit a world-class ambassador to American climbing both domestically and abroad. 

“Alpina is a great partnership for this new award. Both the AAC and Alpina believe in high standards of performance and promoting those climbers who employ exceptional style both on and off the mountain,” said Phil Powers, CEO of the American Alpine Club. “The Cutting Edge Award celebrates great climbing achievement with an emphasis on admirable camaraderie within the team, and a real respect for the environments which they travel.”

“Climbing has no boundaries and no nationality. Climbers from all over the world share the same human, ethical and sports values, because the mountain demands and deserves them” says Guido Benedini, Alpina Watches CEO. “Being a Brand born in the Swiss Alps in 1883, since more than a century, we regard it as our responsibility to support mountaineering values and the protection of the Alpine environment. We are therefore extremely proud to give our contribution to the AAC by supporting the Alpina AAC Cutting Edge Award and by becoming their Official Watch”. 

The award will be presented May 7, 2016, in Denver, Colorado at the 2016 Excellence in Climbing Awards Dinner. The evening will also feature a keynote by Libby Sauter and honor the 2016 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Awardees: Tom Frost, Hugh Herr, John Roskelley, Libby Sauter, and Geoff Tabin. These climbers have inspired a legacy for future climbers, positively impacted the environment, and advanced the fields of science and medicine, all while accomplishing incredible climbing feats.

Tickets are very limited. For more information and to reserve your spot, call (303) 384-0110 or visit americanalpineclub.org/2016-excellence. Registration closes April 29, or when sold out.

 

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

 

About Alpina

Alpine Watch Manufacturing since 1883

Alpina, famous for its red triangle signature, is an independent, family-owned fine watchmaking manufacture based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1883, Alpina’s watchmaking history spans more than 130 years.

A true pioneer of the Swiss watchmaking industry, Alpina has been the source of numerous patents and innovative calibers. Alpina invented the concept of the Swiss sport watch, as we know it today, with the birth of its legendary Alpina 4 in 1938.  

Today, Alpina is one of the very few independent Swiss watch companies, which develops, produces and assembles its movements entirely in-house. Alpina proposes five in-house calibers: the AL-980 Tourbillon; the AL-718 World Timer; the AL-950 Automatic Regulator; the AL-710 Automatic Small Date and the AL-760 Flyback Chronograph.

Faithful to its long tradition of innovation, in 2015 Alpina introduced the first Swiss Made Smartwatch, thereby creating a new watch category in the Swiss watch industry, the Horological Smartwatch.

Alpina’s mission is to design and engineer luxury sport watches that operate with the greatest precision and reliability possible in the most demanding sporting environments, like the Alps.

www.alpina-watches.com

 

American Alpine Club Announces Inaugural Excellence in Climbing Awards Dinner

Registration now open for the Excellence in Climbing Awards Dinner.

March 29, 2016, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club is proud to announce our inaugural Excellence in Climbing Awards Dinner, presented by Adidas Outdoor. The dinner will feature a keynote by Adidas athlete Libby Sauter and honor the 2016 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Awardees: Tom Frost, Hugh Herr, John Roskelley, Libby Sauter, and Geoff Tabin. This prestigious award is given to those who have made lasting contributions both on and off the mountain. These climbers have inspired a legacy for future climbers, positively impacted the environment, and advanced the fields of science and medicine, all while accomplishing incredible climbing feats.

“For the past 7 years, the American Mountaineering Museum has been quietly inducting America's most accomplished climbers into the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence,” said AAC CEO Phil Powers. “This year the AAC is recognizing these notable climbers in a much more public forum in downtown Denver.”

The event features a special keynote by Libby Sauter. An all around climber, Sauter has many accomplishments ranging from big walls to mountaineering to high lining. She holds speed records in Yosemite and has done first ascents in South America. When not in the mountains, Sauter works as a pediatric nurse for Novick Cardiac Alliance, a nonprofit that brings cardiac care to conflict zones.

Here is a little more about this year’s group of inductees:

Tom Frost for his efforts in saving Yosemite's iconic Camp 4 and his many first ascents in Yosemite including the Salathe Wall. 

Geoff Tabin for co-founding The Himalayan Cataract Project, which brings sustainable eye care to the Himalaya and for climbing the seven summits. 

John Roskelley for giving back to the climbing community with his writing, his public service and notable ascents in the Himalaya including the third ascent, and first American ascent,  of K2, by a new route.

Hugh Herr who is head of the Biomechatronics research group at MIT,where he develops wearable robotic systems that serve to augment human physical capability and for climbing many first ascents such as the first 5.13 on the East Coast with Lynn Hill.

Libby Sauter for her many speed records in Yosemite, including a new women's record on the Nose of 4 hours and 43 minutes, and for her work as a pediatric nurse for children who need heart surgery in third world countries.

The dinner  will be held on May 7, 2016 at the History Colorado Center located at 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203. To go along with the keynote and induction ceremony, attendees will enjoy a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, libations, and fine dining.  An after party featuring live music by 80’s cover band,  The Goonies, an open bar, and gear giveaway will take place directly after the dinner also at History Colorado. All proceeds benefit The American Alpine Club Library and The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum.

Tickets are very limited. For more information and to reserve your spot, call (303) 384-0110 or visit americanalpineclub.org/2016-excellence. Registration closes on April 29th, or when sold out.

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

1966 American Antarctic Expedition to be Honored with Rare AAC Gold Medal

—Award Presentation in Washington D.C. will Honor Climbing's Luminaries and Rising Stars—

January 15, 2016, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) is proud to announce its 2016 award recipients.

Every year the AAC recognizes outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community. This year is no exception. Eighteen individuals will be recognized for displaying monumental drive, courage, and commitment in the mountains and in their lives. This year, most notable among them will be the ten members of the 1966 American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition. For only the fifth time in the Club's 114-year history, this intrepid team will be awarded the President's Gold Medal. Eight other outstanding community members also will receive awards: Bob Kandiko, Mike Helms, James Donini, Kevin Mahoney, Jonathan B. Jarvis, Alison Osius, Katie Ives, and David Allfrey. All awards will be presented during the AAC's Annual Benefit Dinner weekend, February 26–27, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Seats are very limited.

President's Gold Medal The President's Gold Medal is given very rarely—this is the fifth time it has been given in the Club's 114-year history—for extraordinary accomplishments in the climbing world. This year the award will be given to the entire 1966 American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition team. This includes: Nicholas Clinch, Barry Corbet (2004), John Evans, Eiichi Fukushima, Charley Hollister (1999), Bill Long, Brian Marts, Pete Schoening (2004), Samuel Silverstein, and Richard Wahlstrom(2003). Fifty years ago, they made the daring first ascents of six of Antarctica's tallest peaks, including Vinson Massif. The 1966 team's landmark accomplishments in Antarctica are worthy of the President's Gold Medal.

Honorary Membership is the one of the highest awards the AAC offers. It is given to those individuals who have had a lasting and highly significant impact on the advancement of the climbing craft. This year's winners are Layton Kor (posthumous) and Alison Osius.

Layton pioneered new routes throughout Colorado, California and across the desert Southwest, for decades, beginning in the late 1950's. "He had an eye for a beautiful line and was one of the first to go get them," said AAC CEO Phil Powers. "Routes like the Naked Edge and Yellow Spur in Eldorado, the Kor-Ingalls route on Castleton Tower and the West Buttress of El Capitan, are only a few examples of the classic routes established by Layton.

Alison was part of a small band of women who were always on the podium in the early days of competition climbing in the US. She is a life long climber and, as executive editor of Rock & Ice Magazine, a lifelong climbing ambassador. She was the first and only woman president of the American Alpine Club; and winner of the 2007 AAC Literary Award.

David Sowles Award is conferred from time to time on mountaineers who have distinguished themselves by going to the assistance of fellow climbers imperiled in the mountains. Bob Kandiko and Mike Helms demonstrated unselfish devotion through personal risk and sacrifices of a major objective during a rescue on Denali in 1980. "The epic rescue of two climbers from the southwest face of Denali in 1980 is one of the great stories of Alaska climbing history," said AAC Executive Editor Dougald MacDonald. "Bob Kandiko and Mike Helms helped two stricken climbers off the mountain via two separate routes, in very tough conditions. It's high time they get more recognition for their brave efforts."

The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award is given annually to that person who, in the opinion of the selection committee, has demonstrated the highest level of skill in the mountaineering arts and who, through the application of this skill, courage, and perseverance, has achieved outstanding success in various fields of mountaineering. This year's winner, Kevin Mahoney is a lifelong climber and mountain guide with a wealth of experience in Alaska, the Indian Himalaya and Europe. He was nominated for the Piolet d'Or for his new route, Arctic Rage on the East Face of Moose's Tooth in Alaska which he completed with Ben Gilmore.

The Angelo Heilprin Citation is awarded annually to that person who has, in the opinion of the citation committee, shown exemplary service to the Club. The purpose of this citation is to recognize those who have worked to maintain and strengthen the organization and thus further its ability to serve its fundamental purposes. James Donini for his long contributions to the Club. He established the Craggin' Classic program, an event developed to educate climbers, gather the climbing community, and fundraise for critical AAC programs such as the Live Your Dream Grant. Heilprin committee chair Bruce Franks had this to say about Donini, "He continues his volunteer service to sections by performing video and speaking events. He mentors young climbers. He's committed to climbing and does so at a high competency level setting a fine example for all climbers young or old. His visibility throughout the U.S. and International climbing communities is well known. He is a model volunteer. It will be an honor to present the Citation to James. I feel his recognition is overdue and a long time coming."

The David R. Brower Award, created in 1991, is an annual award recognizing leadership and commitment to preserving mountain regions worldwide. This year's awardee is Jonathan B. Jarvis, the 18th Director of the National Park Service. "We are honoring Director Jarvis because of his unwavering commitment to conservation and recreation," said Powers. "He is a true champion for climbing. Through his leadership, he has legitimized climbing as an appropriate activity on public lands in the U.S." The AAC applauds Jarvis for his efforts to maximize the educational potential of parks and to engage the next generation of public lands stewards. Jarvis' belief that the outdoors are a source of public health, and that the parks are a unifying, inspirational force for the nation resonate strongly with the AAC's mission.

The Robert Hicks Bates Award's purpose is to recognize a young climber who—in the judgment of the selection committee—has demonstrated exceptional skill and character in the climbing or mountaineering arts and has outstanding promise for future accomplishment. "David Allfrey is one of the most accomplished and competent big-wall climbers at the moment. He conceived the idea of climbing seven El Cap routes in seven days, which he carried out with Alex Honnold. This was a proper step up as far as El Cap climbing goes," said committee chair Rolando Garibotti.

The H. Adams Carter Literary Award was established to recognize excellence in alpine literature. This year's winner, Katie Ives is recognized for a life of contribution to climbing through the written word. "Katie Ives has brought thoughtful analysis, brilliant writing and finesse to climbing literature since joining the Alpinist team in 2004," said Powers. "As Editor and now Editor-in-Chief Katie has upheld a long tradition of excellence in American climbing literature and reporting."

About the Annual Benefit Dinner

The 2016 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner will celebrate 100 years of climbing in National Parks with keynote speaker Alex Honnold. In addition to Honnold's keynote address, attendees will enjoy fine dining, beer and wine, live and silent auctions, and awards honoring climbing's luminaries and rising stars. All proceeds benefit AAC programs. Tickets are very limited. For more information and to reserve your spot, visit americanalpineclub.org/honnold. Registration closes on February 20, or when sold out.


About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.
 

2016 Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award Winners Announced

January 4, 2016, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club is excited to announce its 2016 Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Awards. This grant, made possible by the generous support of Lyman Spitzer Jr., promotes state-of-the-art, cutting edge climbing through financial support of small, lightweight climbing teams attempting bold first ascents or difficult repeats of the most challenging routes in the world.

"The committee was especially impressed with this year's objectives and team strengths," commented committee chair Paul Gagner. “The two teams below represent the spirit and intent of the award and the AAC is very happy to support their dreams." 

The two Shagrilas - Chris Wright & Tico Gangulee will travel to the Kullu Himalaya in India to fill in blanks on the map. The team has several objectives, all unclimbed. According to one US climber who saw the peak on a 2011 ski expedition, “I have no idea if this peak has a name or not but it was drop dead gorgeous. I just remember thinking the potential for rad alpine climbs up this valley would be endless." 

Unclimbed, often tried Link Sar Rob Duncan, Jesse Mease, Marcos Costa will travel to the head of the Charakusa glacier in the Pakistan Karakoram, with two objectives in mind. The first and primary objective is the still unclimbed 7,041 meter summit of Link Sar, a complex and stunning peak. After this ascent the team will move to the Choktoi Glacier to climb Ogre II via the NE ridge a route attempted and climbed this past year to just below the summit. The AAC and Spitzer committee wish both teams good luck. 

The AAC offers numerous grants with differing criteria, from the locally administered Live Your Dream grants, to mountain fellowship grants for climbers under the age of 25, as well as Cornerstone Conservation grants that keep our local climbing areas healthy. For a full list of grants visit the American Alpine Club website at americanalpineclub.org/grants

About The American Alpine Club 
The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.