Zack Martin died just before his 25th birthday on Thanksgiving Day 2002. He was a recipient of AAC grants, the Anatoli Boukreev grant and others. Zack was concerned about the general arrogance and self-serving aspirations of climbers and explorers. He committed to performing humanitarian service in the local community on all of his climbing expeditions. He would "break a barrier" in the alpine environment and "break a barrier" in the heart of man. As Zack often said, "The only barrier holding you back is yourself."

The Zack Martin Breaking Barriers Grant (ZMBB) is a dual-purpose grant fund that focuses, primarily, on a humanitarian objective and, secondly, on an objective involving alpinism, ice climbing, rock climbing, or bouldering. Applicants need to meet both objectives and are strongly encouraged to obtain additional funding and sponsors.

Humanitarian efforts should be sustainable, feasible, and continue to provide benefits to local people after initial implementation. Ideally, objectives will teach locals "how to" and provide some level of continued support and funding. For examples, check out the humanitarian objectives of previous ZMBB recipients.

The secondary objective should focus on climbing related adventure and discovery in the natural environment. 

Application Deadline:
April 15


At 12-years-old, Lilliana Libecki has seen more of the world than most will in their lifetime. She has visited 16 countries, all seven continents and has now summited Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world. With a passion for adventure and humanitarian work inherited from her parents, Lilliana hopes to continue to help the planet and its people.

On this trip, funded in part by a ZMBB grant, Lilliana not only visits her seventh continent, she planned the adventure around a "Share the Sun" solar project that lit an orphanage.