Monday, July 25, 2011

Sophie Denis Summits Broad Peak!

Sophie at the AAC NYS Annual Dinner with Bo Parfet and Dick Bass.

Click here to listen to the radio broadcast of the announcement.

Sophie Denis, 30-year old French Born NY Section Member, summitted Broad Peak this weekend with a Field Touring Alpine Group.
This is after a delay of almost a week because of high winds and avalanche conditions. This is the third 8000 meter peak she has climbed this year, the others being Cho Oyu and Lhotse in Pre-Monsoon, all done speedily and in good form. She climbed Everest a couple of years ago.

Next on her agenda is K-2 which she expects to tackle in August.

Her goal is to do an unprecedented six 8000 meter peaks in a single calendar year.

Felicitations Sophie!

You may follow her progress on the link to her blog in the right hand corner of this website or on

Saturday, July 16, 2011

AAC Expands Community Programs Team

Today marks an important milestone in the AAC’s implementation of their Strategic Five-year Plan [read more about the plan here: ]. The Club is pleased to welcome John Bragg as the new Community Programs Director and Sarah Garlick as the new Northeast Regional Coordinator. Later this summer, the pair join Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator Eddie Espinosa.

As part of the AAC’s Strategic Plan, The Club will deliver ever more AAC programs at the local level. Specifically, through more social gatherings, advocacy for local crags, initiatives such as mentorship and skills education, and conservation work—identified by local climbing communities and supported by AAC grant funding [like the new Cornerstone grant, more info here:

John Bragg will be directing these efforts from the national office in Golden, CO and Sarah Garlick will coordinate events and programs at a regional level in New England and the Eastern Seaboard.

John Bragg was one of the pioneers of the free climbing revolution in the U.S. during the 1970s, establishing classics in the Shawangunks and Eldorado Canyon. John was also one of the leaders of the ‘70s ice climbing revolution in New Hampshire—establishing such modern test-pieces as the Black Dike and Repentance. Bragg then took these new rock and ice techniques and standards to the Fitzroy area of Patagonia, where during 1976 and 1977, he was on the first ascent team for Torre Egger and the first alpine-style ascent of Cerro Torre. He has since taken this experience even further afield with expeditions around the world, many in the Karakoram. After graduating from Harvard, among other things, Bragg was the president of the Franconia Group, representing Marmot, Scarpa, and many other major brands. He was also an Exum guide and served numerous non-profits, including North Conway Mountain Rescue, Western Massachusetts Climbers’ Coalition, and the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition. John and his wife of over 30 years are excited to be moving to Colorado next month.

Sarah Garlick is a climber based out of North Conway, New Hampshire. Originally from North Carolina, Sarah learned to climb in New England as a college student, getting her start bouldering in Lincoln Woods, RI in the late Nineties. She’s since explored mountains and crags around the world, from the walls of Yosemite to the alpine peaks of Patagonia. Last year, Sarah led an expedition to Greenland, where she and her teammates established a new free route up a remote granite wall. Trained as a geologist and writer, Sarah’s book, Flakes, Jugs & Splitters: A Rock Climber’s Guide to Geology, won the 2009 Banff Mountain Book Award. Sarah has been deeply involved in the Northeast climbing community for many years. She served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kismet Rock Foundation, and she’s been the director of the Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival and International Mountain Climbing School’s Women’s Rock Weekend. Sarah lives in North Conway with her husband, climber and filmmaker Jim Surette.

Sarah wrote to the Club upon her acceptance: “One of the things I love most about climbing is its community. We’re a tight-knit bunch, especially in the Northeast. I’m thrilled to be able to dedicate my time to strengthening and growing that sense of community, and supporting my fellow climbers. For me, that’s what the American Alpine Club is all about.”