American Alpine Club President Doug Walker Dies in Avalanche

January 1, 2016, Golden, CO—American Alpine Club President Douglas Walker died Thursday, December 31, 2015 in an avalanche on Granite Mountain in the Cascades. Doug Walker, 64, of Seattle, went missing Thursday afternoon while hiking with friends. Details surrounding the accident are still being learned.

“Doug Walker's leadership at the AAC was the secret weapon that cemented the Club as one that welcomes and represents all climbers. He led the capital campaign that funded our growth and stepped from that directly into leading our board with strength and grace," said Phil Powers Chief Executive Officer of the American Alpine Club and and long-time colleague of Walker. “He was not only a mentor and adviser for me; he was a climbing partner and friend."

Doug was a climber for more than 40 years. Doug has a serious commitment to conservation of mountain landscapes and promotion of the climbing way of life. In his professional life he co-founded and managed a mid-sized world-wide software company for 25 years. Doug served as a Director of REI for 12 years and was Chair of REI from 2005–2008. As an REI Director, he played an important role in addressing the “fixed anchor" crisis in 1998. 

In addition to serving as President of the American Alpine Club, Doug was a chairman of the Wilderness Society, a director of the Conservation Lands Foundation and was an Advisory Council Member for the National Parks Conservation Association and the Land Trust Alliance. In his spare time, Doug volunteered as a climbing instructor for the YMCA's BOLD program. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Doug Walker Fund through the American Alpine Club:

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