Meet Your Section Chair:

Dave Giacomin, a native of Washington, DC, Dave Giacomin has been a member of American Alpine Club for the past six years. He climbs ice, rock and alpine routes whenever possible. His true passion is in high altitude mountaineering and ice climbing. Some of his summits include Mt. Rainier, Illiniza Sur, Illiniza Norte, Cotopaxi, Mt. Whitney, The Grand Teton and 15+ 14,000 ft peaks in Colorado. "I love helping the DC section grow into a powerful resource for local climbers to learn to climb safer and harder routes." He lives with his wife and dog near downtown Silver Spring, MD.


D.C. Section Social Chair - Alina Zagaytova grew up in the Washington D.C. area and fell in love with the outdoors while backpacking in the Annapurna range in Nepal after graduating college. Alina’s first mountaineering experience was to fulfill her dream of summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2007. Since then she has summited Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus, Vinson Massive, Mt. Rainier, volcanoes in Ecuador and Mexico and other peaks around the world. Although her main passion has been big alpine peaks, Alina has also been enthusiastically learning rock and ice climbing and is an avid runner. Alina first joined the AAC in 2014 for the rescue insurance benefits but has since immensely enjoyed getting involved with the AAC and the climbing community. Alina is excited to give back to the AAC and help support American climbing. Alina received a law degree from Harvard Law School and undergrad from UC Berkeley. She currently works on strategic corporate transactions for a U.S. solar energy company, fulfilling her passion of helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions and helping local communities in Africa and South America to obtain access to clean and renewable energy.


D.C. Section Education Director - Tom Cecil

Tom Cecil from the Seneca Rocks Chapter will be assuming the role of DC Education Director. Read John Long's assessment of his skills below.  

Tom Cecil's influence on modern American climbing goes beyond his title of "Mr. Seneca" (Tom has climbed at Seneca Rocks, WVA, for 44 years, and has guided there since 1987).  Tom is currently an active rep for the Access Fund, American Alpine Club - Seneca Rocks Chapter co-chair, as well as serving on the PCGI board of directors. These appointments were earned though a lifetime of climbing achievements, including many laps up El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, and his pioneering efforts (over 100 FAs) in Thailand, to mention a few.  And when I was tasked with trying to standardize the methods of modern climbing safety in various how-to books, Tom's experience and creativity was crucial in supplying not only now-standard anchoring strategies but also in creating the terminology which comprise the modern vocabulary. Simply put, from the gyms to the big walls, Tom Cecil was instrumental in fashioning the safety model followed by virtually all modern climbers, and for going on half a century he's been a leading ambassador for the "sport of kings" (and queens!). -John Long
Banner photo: AAC member Dave Giacomin