Thursday, March 24, 2011

Help a Fellow Climber and NY Section Member

Rich Romano, one of the most prolific climbers and route setters in the Gunks, suffered a serious accident on August 31, 2010 in the City of Rocks, ID. , His rope, which was too short for the route he was lowering off , ran through the belay device resulting in a serious fall. Full details of the accident are on Myriam Bouchard's blog:

Various fund raising efforts are underway to help him defray the enormous and ongoing costs of evacuation, medical treatment and therapy. In this connection there will be a fund raising event at the Cliffs Climbing Gym in Valhalla, NY on April 5 from 7 to 10PM. Details are here.

You are encouraged to attend and help support these fundraising efforts. More opportunities to contribute and details about Rich's contribution to Gunks climbing, may be found on Rock and Snow's website:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AAC Fuel Your Inspiration Grant Deadlines Approaching Quickly

The American Alpine Club grants program provides resources for climbers and explorers to attempt new challenges, establish humanitarian programs, protect alpine environments, conduct scientific research, and push the envelope of human accomplishment in mountain and polar environments. The AAC awards over $50,000 annually, although the size and number of awards vary from year to year.

Many grants and awards have application deadlines in the coming weeks. Both the Copp-Dash Inspire Award and the Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Conservation Grant have application deadlines of March 31. The Mountain Fellowship Grant—an award targeted at younger climbers beginning their careers—has an application deadline of April 1. The Zach Martin Breaking Barriers Grant—a dual-purpose humanitarian and climbing grant—has an application deadline of April 15. Details on these programs can be found on the AAC website:

Lara Karena Kellogg died during an attempt on the North Buttress of Mount Wake in the Alaska Range in April 2007. The conservation grant established in her name is intended to carry on the essence of her spirit and her character, by supporting expeditions with goals of improving the health and sustainability of mountain environments and habitats. The application deadline is March 31.

The Copp-Dash Inspire Award supports small teams tackling difficult climbs in the great mountains of the world who also plan to document and share their ascents through multimedia. The application deadline is March 31. This grant is sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia, and with in-kind support from The American Alpine Club, Adventure Film Festival, Alpinist Magazine, Sender Films, and the Jonny Copp Foundation.

The Club’s “gateway grant,” the AAC Mountain Fellowship Grant, is targeted at climbers under 25. “The Mountain Fellowship allowed to me fulfill my dream of traveling to Patagonia,” said 2008 recipient Aaron Jones. “I figured, ‘Why not apply?’ And just a few months later I was sitting below the Central Tower of Paine!” The spring application deadline for the AAC Mountain Fellowship Grant is April 1.

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. Concerned about the general arrogance and self-serving aspirations of climbers and explorers, he committed himself, first and foremost, to performing humanitarian service in local communities, as well as climbing and exploration. The application for the grant founded in both the name and spirit of Zach Martin is April 15.

Fuel your inspiration—apply for an AAC grant this year.
A full list of AAC-administered grants is below, and more information is available on the AAC Grants page:
• Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award: $12,000 for elite endeavors by small, highly qualified teams. Deadline: January 1.
• McNeill-Nott Grant: $5,000 in memory of Karen McNeill and Sue Nott for non-pro/non-sponsored climbers for new routes and unclimbed peaks. Deadline: January 1.
• Research Grants: $9,000 for expeditions that have an academic research component. Deadline: March 1.
• Scott Fischer Memorial Conservation Grant: In memory of Scott Fischer, this grant helps fund environmentally proactive expeditions around the world. Deadline: March 1.
• Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grant: $3,000 for expeditions that focus on photography and observation of climate change impacts. Deadline: March 1.
• Copp-Dash Inspire Award: $20,000, in memory of Jonny Copp and Micah Dash, supports small teams tackling difficult climbs in the greater ranges who will document and share their experiences through multimedia. Deadline: March 31.
• Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Conservation Grant: This grant is intended for expeditions, with measurable goals, to support and improve the health and sustainability of mountain environments and habitats. Deadline: March 31.
• Mountain Fellowship: $9,000 for non-pro applicants under the age of 25 for major endeavors. Two deadlines: April 1 and November 1.
• Zack Martin Breaking Barriers Grant: Under $2,000 in memory of Zack Martin, for trips with a humanitarian element. Deadline: April 15.
Become a member of the AAC today to support these grants and awards that send dozens of climbers to Earth’s far reaches every year.
About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community. The Club awards more than $50,000 every year in the form of climbing, conservation, and research grants to budding adventurers. The AAC also manages a climbers’ campground in Grand Teton National Park, publishes the most sought after annual climbing publications, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering, and cares for the world’s leading climbing library. Learn about additional programs and become a member at Join the AAC’s online community at

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Peak Experience VI at the Rubin Museum of Art

Saturday July 23, 2011 @ 7:00 PM
Price: $175.00
Member Price: $157.50

Discount are available for member parents of the AAC.

July 23-24th, 2011, will mark the Rubin Museum of Art's fifth Peak Experience. During this sleepover adventure forty children, ages nine to twelve, will work together to confront the physical challenges, consider the perils, experience the culture, and practice the team dynamics of climbing Mt. Everest (in the form of the museum's signature six-level spiral staircase covered with "snow," "ice," and "rocks" that threaten to avalanche).

Sherpas, museum guides, and some of the world's most experienced Mount Everest climbers will lead these young climbers through the basic camping, safety, teamwork, and leadership skills necessary for high altitude climbing. Led by Robert Anderson, a veteran of eight Everest expeditions, they will explore Himalayan art, Sherpa culture and food, and mountaineering etiquette. In order to reach the summit, participants must overcome the challenges climbers face, such as tying knots with mittens on and operating two-way radios. At nightfall the climbers will descend to base camp to enjoy a hearty tsampa dinner, exchange stories of the mysterious yeti that roams the slopes of Everest, and fall asleep under the mighty mountain's peak. Anderson will rappel straight down the center of the museum's spiral staircase hooked into a rope suspended from a ninety-foot-high atrium.

Tickets: $175 per child (registration is limited to forty children). Please call 212.620.5000 x344 for more information.

Friday, March 4, 2011

AAC Spring Outing in the Catskills - February 2011

This year, for the first time, the American Alpine Club New York Section spent a spectacular weekend in the Catskills. Although it was a skeletal crew - Vic Benes, Ron Bixby, Todd Fairbairn, Holly Mauro, Andréa Salerno and Michael Schlenker – the fun factor did not suffer. We arrived on Friday at the Deer Mountain Inn in Tannersville to 5-6” of fresh snow. The climbing conditions were superb. Saturday we climbed Devil's Kitchen - it was MIchael, Ron, Vic, Holly and Andrea. A bunch of Holly's climbing friends showed up so we were able to share ropes, snacks and stories, and a good time was had by all. That evening we had a little happy hour followed by dinner at the Inn.

On Sunday we lost Holly but gained Todd Fairbairn who joined us for the day. We went to Black Chasm, which was sensational! 100 ft walls of ice!

Please hold February 17-19, 2012 for next year’s Catskills Outing. You don't want to miss it. See you there!

Ron Bixby in the Devil's Kitchen

Michael Schlenker

Black Chasm

Holly on Belay

Holly and Michael Prepare to Climb

Mephisto at Black Chasm

Michael Schlenker

Ron Bixby and Vic

The Gang - Vic Benes, Andréa Salerno, Michael Schlenker, Todd Fairbairn

The Incomparable Vic Benes

January 22, 2011 - Crampon Climb of Cascade Mountain