2018 Cutting Edge Grant Recipients Announced

January 15, 2018, Golden, CO— The American Alpine Club (AAC) is pleased to annouce the recipients of the 2018 Cutting Edge Grant. The Cutting Edge Grant 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 2018 grant cycle, the AAC received awarded $20,000 to four recipients:

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

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

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

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

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

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, visit: https://americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-grant/

For more information on Global Rescue and their memberships, visit: https://www.globalrescue.com/

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 $100,000+ 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.