Friday, June 24, 2011

Tuesday July 12, 2011 - Tribeca Cinemas - Skiing Everest

Mike Marolt and Montezuma Basin Productions partners with a cast of sponsors and volunteers
to host a private film screening event to benefit the JIMMIE HEUGA CENTER ENDOWMENT.


For more info and tickets, please visit their website.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rubin Museum of Art : Peak Experience VI

Climbing at the Rubin. Note Mallory at the bottom of the Hillary Step.

If you are the parent or guardian of an adventurous 9-year-old, and you would relish a night off in the middle of July, read on.

On July 23 your child could be the youngest person to reach the peak of the highest mountain in the world. Without leaving Manhattan.

Guided by some of the world’s top mountaineers and experienced Sherpas, 40 kids ages 9-12 will have the chance to experience a fully simulated ascent of Mount Everest right here from the foothills of Chelsea, replete with avalanches, icefalls, daring rescues, precarious ladder crossings, and the ever-present possibility of a yeti sighting. It’s an overnight. Kids only. No parents! More information and tickets here.


Peak Experience
Climb Mount Everest without leaving Manhattan!

Saturday, July 23–
7:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 24
8:00 a.m.
$175 per child/
$157.50 for members

Tickets and registration available online at or by calling the Box Office: 212-620-5000 x344

“We said goodbye to our families, strapped on harnesses, and used carabiners and ropes to climb the spiral staircase, which had been transformed into Mt. Everest” – Rose Goodman, age 9, and Lila Colet, age 10, Time Out New York Kids

July 23-24, 2011, will mark the Rubin Museum of Art's sixth Peak Experience. During this sleepover adventure forty children, ages nine to twelve, simulate an ascent of the tallest mountain in the world.
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 (see below), a veteran of nine 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, negotiating the notorious Hillary Step, and rescuing a frozen climber. Anderson will rappel straight down the center of the museum’s spiral staircase, hooked into a rope suspended from the museum’s 90-foot high atrium. At nightfall the climbers will descend to base camp to enjoy a hearty tsampa dinner, exchange stories of the mysterious yeti that roam the slopes of Everest, and fall asleep under the mighty mountain’s peak in order to prepare for the assault of the top before dawn...

Registration is complete only when the waiver and information sheet along with payment have been received by RMA.

This program is presented in association with the American Alpine Club (New York Chapter)
150 WEST 17TH STREET, NEW YORK CITY Ÿ 212.620.5000 x344

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Invitation: 2011 AAC Climbers Meet Yosemite: Sept 26-Oct 1, 2011

Come Join the Fun: 4th International AAC Climbers Meet in Yosemite. All levels of experience welcome. Transportation from Fresno, catered meals and campground fees included in the $435 price for the whole week.

Details for this high season event and an application form are attached.

Let's have a strong New York showing!

More details available on the NY Section website at

Two Up and Coming Alpinists

Ayla (1 Year Old) on the Beer Walls

Juliet Giving Ayla a Belay Lesson

Monday, June 13, 2011

More Photos from the Summer Outing!

Andrea on Pegasus

The Historic Ausable Club

Howard and Shayna

Michael on Pegasus

New Members Adrian and Kat

Thursday, June 9, 2011

More Photos from the AAC Ausable Summer Outing

Noonmark Mountain

Noonmark Mountain

Noonmark Mountain

Noonmark Mountain

Noonmark Mountain

Pitchoff Mountain

Pitchoff Mountain

Pitchoff Mountain

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Group of Photos In from the Ausable Retreat

6-4-11 Slide Report
On Saturday, June 4th, Tony & Martha Stauffer, Wayne Wilson, and I climbed Bottle Slide on Giant Mountain. Though my plan was to take advantage of prime conditions to climb Eagle Slide, the directions to the herd path weren’t complete and we ended up to the left of Eagle. I’d done Eagle some 15 years ago by boulder-hopping up Roaring Brook to its base. The route suggested this time took us instead up Roaring Brook trail for an hour to the right side of the brook, with a left turn at a cairn. But after 200 yards or so, what seemed to be the herd path turned uphill sharply and had us bashing and clawing our way up a spruce/alder tangle till we finally spotted open air on our left. Getting into the open put us onto Bottle Slide rather than Eagle, so we made that our day’s adventure.

Though the biggest difficulty was route finding in that tangle, we next encountered steep scree fields with 100-lb boulders moving when stepped upon. Past that was sharp, nubbly conglomorate slabs approaching 40-degree pitch for between 600 and 1,000 ft and ending in a smooth vertical granite wall. The last effort required route finding in dense thickets clinging to the base of the cliff, locating a break in the face, and scrambling up a few pitches until coming out on the ridge trail. Overall a good workout and adventure.

--Submitted by John Tiernan

Friday, June 3, 2011

AAC NYS Member Jim Clash Details Training for Cho Oyu Climb

Thinking of climbing Cho Oyu? NY Section Member and journalist, Jim Clash, is hard at work training and planning. Here's his story:

Clif Maloney, a seasoned amateur climber married to New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, reached the top of Tibet’s 26,906-foot Cho Oyu in 2009. It had long been a dream, and because the 71-year-old investment banker had tried before and failed, the moment was especially sweet.

“I’m the happiest man in the world,” he said to his guide.

On his way down, though, an exhausted Maloney stopped at high camp (23,000 feet) and died.

That’s the world of elite peaks: one minute jubilation, the next shock and sadness.

I understand Maloney’s love of heights, and the rollercoaster of risk involved in attaining them. I’ve wanted to climb in the Himalayas, the highest peaks on earth, all my life.

Cho Oyu is a logical choice. Amateurs like it not just for its stunning beauty, but because it’s one of only 14 peaks in the world above 8,000 meters (26,250 feet). And, while it is the sixth-highest overall, it’s considered easier than some of its lower siblings like Annapurna (26,547 feet), because of relative accessibility and forgiving terrain.

But you don’t just go out and climb something like Cho Oyu without training -- and experience.

There are two types of mountain climbing: rock climbing and mountaineering. The first, spidering up vertical walls with ropes, harnesses and rock shoes, is what one does on Yosemite’s Half Dome. Falling is the obvious risk. Mountaineering, what Cho Oyu is about, involves snow and cold-weather camping, often at extreme altitude. Weather, avalanche and mountain sickness are often more the danger than falling.

Getting Into Shape
For any mountaineering effort, the first step is getting into shape -- and not just to reach the top. Most problems occur on the descent, when climbers are tired and clumsy.

To build leg strength for Cho Oyu, I’ve become the building eccentric, marching up and down the stairs of my Manhattan apartment complex three times a week with a 50-pound (23- kilogram) pack. During each session, I lose five pounds to perspiration.

To strengthen my cardiovascular system, I run 6 miles at an 8-minute pace in Riverside Park, along the Hudson River. The thinner air at altitude combined with long climbing days -- often more than 10 hours -- means plenty of heavy breathing. I also lift weights to strengthen my upper body for ferrying heavy packs between camps on the mountain.

As for a climbing resume, it takes a while to build it. A good introduction is provided by Rainier Mountaineering Inc., which offers year-round training and a climb of Washington’s heavily glaciated, 14,411-foot Mt. Rainier. My classes covered the basics of snow-climbing: travel in roped teams, use of an ice axe for self-arrest in case of a fall, use of crampons (spikes strapped to boots) for traction on snow, and crevasse rescue.

Altitude Exposure
After Rainier, my next step was some high-altitude exposure. It’s impossible to overstate how difficult it is to do anything -- including think -- above 18,000 feet, where oxygen is less than half what it is at sea level. I went to Mexico and climbed volcanoes, 17,887-foot Popocatepetl and 18,851-foot Orizaba. While they are difficult physically, the summits are doable in one day from high huts, and thus don’t require camping. For that, and even more altitude, Aconcagua was recommended as a final test.

At 22,834 feet (about 7,000 meters), Aconcagua is the highest peak in the world outside of Asia. Its extreme weather, altitude and short acclimatization time probably best simulate conditions on an 8,000-meter peak.

Higher Camps
Like Cho Oyu, it also requires building a series of higher and higher camps to slowly acclimate the body to thinner air. If a climber ascends too quickly, he develops mountain sickness or, worse, the more extreme HAPE (high-altitude pulmonary edema) and HACE (high-altitude cerebral edema). Untreated, both can lead quickly to death.

In the course of two weeks our group built four ever-higher camps on Aconcagua, each time suffering initially from lower oxygen levels at the higher altitude, then gradually becoming acclimated. Finally, from our high camp at 19,300 feet we set out for the top early one morning in below-zero weather.

That day, I found out what altitude was all about. The last section, the Canaleta, is simply the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is 800 vertical feet of loose scree -- a kind of hell up near heaven. Three steps up, then a slide back, or a fall on my face -- over and over, like trying to climb a down escalator.

There was no concept of time. I just knew I had to put one foot in front of the other and soon I’d be standing on the highest patch of ground outside of Central Asia. My guides later told me it took a full 20 minutes to cover the last 50 feet. At the end, I was taking five gasps per step.

The Bad News
Fun, eh? My date with Cho Oyu is this fall or next spring, depending on my fitness progress and schedule. The bad news: Cho is 4,000 feet higher than Aconcagua. The good: I have an extra three weeks on the mountain to acclimate and will use supplemental oxygen above 24,000 feet.

The plan is to go with Jagged Globe Expeditions, a U.K. outfit that offers a quality program for $17,000. More important, though: Two-time Everest summiteer Robert Anderson will be my guide. He knows me as a friend and a client (we climbed virgin peaks in Greenland a few years back).

If anyone can get me to the top safely, it’s Anderson. And back down again, I hope.