Phil Powers, Executive Director Dear Members,

As I have mentioned in previous notes, the AAC board is right in the middle of building a five-year strategic plan for the club. I doubt we have considered such significant program changes since eliminating membership prerequisites or moving our headquarters to Colorado. Simply put, our board wants to make sure we are delivering the best value to our members. Goals like an improved rescue benefit (short term) and expanding our lodging facilities (long term) are bound to come out of this process. Our grants program—many of this year’s winners are announced below—is one we are proud of and should grow. There is still time for new ideas and innovation, so please let us know your thoughts. 

Your participation in our survey in January got the process rolling. Paul Gagner is leading a task force that will detail the recommended changes. He has put some of his thoughts on our blog, Inclined, which I encourage you to read and then make comments. Or send your comments and suggestions to Of course, you can always just write to me directly. 

Our board will be taking up recommendations and alternatives at its June 5 meeting in Seattle. Join us on the evening of Friday, June 4, at the Mountaineers (7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle) for a BBQ with other climbers and the AAC board.


Phil Powers
AAC Executive Director

North Face Spire 40Shop at Barnes & Noble, Support the AAC Library and WIN a North Face Pack

Shop at Barnes and Noble on May 20-May 23rd in any store nationwide, or online from May 20-28th, and we get a percentage of the sale! You must present this Voucher - don’t forget to take it with you! On the payment page for your online purchases, you will see a prompt “Is this a Bookfair Order?” When you click on it, you will get a payment screen where you can enter your book fair ID number in the space provided.

The AAC BookFair ID is 10135614.

PRIZES! Send an email with a picture of you purchasing in any B&N store through May 23rd or forward your online receipt by May 28th to to win a North Face Spire 40 climbing day pack! Put "I got beta!" in the subject line to enter the drawing and win! Contact the library for more information at 303-384-0112 or

First Copp-Dash Inspire Award Winners

Renan Ozturk on the Tooth TraverseSeven teams planning expeditions from Alaska to Pakistan have been chosen to receive the inaugural Copp-Dash Inspire Awards. The new climbing grant program was established in memory of American climbers Jonny Copp and Micah Dash, who were killed in an avalanche in China in May 2009 along with filmmaker Wade Johnson. The awards provide financial support (from La Sportiva, Black Diamond, Mountain Hardwear, and Patagonia) as well as mentoring before and after the expedition to help the climbers bring back inspiring multimedia stories of their adventures. Read about the 2010 Copp-Dash Inspire Award winners and their objectives here.

Photo: Renan Ozturk pauses during a 2009 attempt on the "Tooth Traverse" in Alaska. Ozturk will return this spring with Zack Smith and Freddie Wilkinson, with help from a Copp-Dash Inspire Award. Photo by Zack Smith.

Nikwax Grants Announced

Northern At-Bashy Range

Nikwax and the AAC have announced the 2010 recipients of the Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grant, along with an increase in funding for the grant program. The Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grants, launched in 2009, support the study of climate change in alpine environments by active climber-scientists. In 2010, the grant pool has been increased by 33 percent to a total of $4,000. Read about the recipients’ efforts here.

Photo: Northern At-Bashy range in Kyrgyzstan, center of Ann Piersall's research expedition this summer. Courtesy of

Nine New Mountain Fellowships Awarded

Torres del Paine in ChileAmbitious young climbers with goals ranging from a traverse of the Torres del Paine to a first ascent in the Kunlun Mountains of China will receive nine Mountain Fellowship grants totaling $5,300. The AAC’s Mountain Fellowship Committee announced the awards late last week. Check out the winners and their planned ascents here.

Photo: Torres del Paine in Chile.

Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch Celebrates 40th Anniversary

This is the 40th anniversary season of the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch. Reservations are now available for the season from June 12 through September 12. We look forward to seeing both old friends and new! Please visit the Climbers’ Ranch information and reservations page on the AAC website.

A Few Highlights from the AAC Event Calendar

The AAC’s online calendar is constantly filling with AAC-sponsored events, section gatherings, and general climbing happenings around the nation. Check it often for what’s coming up near you!

In early June, members in the Front Range and Wyoming Sections won’t want to miss AAC ambassador, geologist, and author Sarah Garlick’s slide show “Flakes, Jugs & Splitters: the Geology of Rock Climbing.” Join Sarah as she brings you the stories behind the boulders, cliffs, and mountains of the world’s top climbing destinations. “Offering an irresistible combination of plucky adventure stories and well-informed, clearly explained science, Sarah Garlick’s presentation of the award-winning Flakes, Jugs and Splitters was the surprise hit of the 2009 Banff Book Festival… Buy this book, and don’t pass up an opportunity to hear Sarah speak!” —Freddie Wilkinson.

Other AAC events in June include a free rescue class for members in the Southern Appalachian area and an AAC Spring BBQ (all are invited!) at the Mountaineers in Seattle. (links)

AAC Committee Chair Linda McMillan Invited to Save the Himalaya

Linda MacMillan is the AAC delegate to the Mountain Protection Commission and serves as its president. She has been invited by Ang Tshering Sherpa of Asian Trekking to speak at the Save the Himalaya Khumbu Festival. MacMillan will deliver the keynote address at the conference, an event which will also include the annual Beat the GLOF action run. Run participants start at 5,010 meters and run on paths and bridges that will one day be washed away if a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) of Imja Lake occurs. This GLOF is a major threat to the villages living below the lake. For more information on these events, visit or contact Ang at We’re proud to have Linda represent us as a club, and will post reports of her experiences on the AAC blog, Inclined.

2010 AAJ CoverThe American Alpine Journal is in the works! Do you want to be part of history?

The 2010 edition of the AAJ will be going to print on June 15. It features stellar stories from our members, plus feature articles from most of the world’s cutting-edge alpine climbs as well as reports from the world’s new mountain routes—perhaps including one of yours? This year the AAJ also came to the web at, where new routes are added as they are edited, making the AAJ much more timely and accessible. Check it out; you’ll find it organized very similarly to the printed book.

We very much hope that you like this progress and that you’ll help support our endeavors. As in the past, donations of $250 and above will be acknowledged on the “Friends of the Journal” page at the front of the book and the giver will receive a special hard-cover edition of the Journal. Please join us this year in helping the club to continue producing the world’s greatest record of contemporary climbing. Contact Deanne Buck at (303) 951-4569 or email


May 16-22 Declared National Search and Rescue Week

Last Friday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution to designate May 16-22 National Search and Rescue Week, honoring the search and rescue personnel that we, as climbers, are often extremely grateful to have in place. The resolution was introduced by Washington state Senator Maria Cantwell: “As an avid hiker and mountaineer, I take steps to prepare myself and minimize my risk whenever I pack for a trip, but I understand that no amount of preparation can protect you from an accidental misstep or an unforeseen circumstance, and it is often the swift response of trained search and rescue personnel that makes the difference between tragedy and survival. Every day in Washington state and across our nation, these brave volunteers exemplify courage, commitment and compassion in performing their duties. Today, we have passed a small act of recognition for their heroic efforts.” Read more here

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