Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NY Section Autumn Dinner & Social

Last Saturday, Nov. 11th over a hundred Section Members and their guests gathered at the Union Club to meet friends, share a meal, hear a Live Your Dream grant winner report and meet Vanessa O'Brien, the first American women to summit K2.
First American women to summit K2, Vanessa O'Brien addresses the crowd

Grading the answers to the K2 Quiz, Judges Howard Sebold, Metro NY Section Chair and Jonathan O'Brien

Executive Members of the US Nepal Climbers Association (USNCA) and reps from Arc'Teryx Soho, K2 Quiz sponsor with O'Brien and Sebold
L to R - AAC CEO, Phil Powers; Metro NY Section Chair, Howard Sebold; Pasang Rinji Sherpa, President USNCA, Vanessa O'Brien, 1st U.S. woman to summit K2, Ang Gyalzen Sherpa, Secretary USNCA and Ngawang N. Sherpa 
Event speakers Vanessa O'Brien and LYD grant winner, Greg Morrissey with members of the St. Peter's Prep Adventure Club
 Former NY Section Chair Phil Erard with wife Corrine and climbing friend Kwan Choe

AAC CEO Phil Powers delivers a Club update

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Annual Autumn Social & Dinner Registration Is Open

Online registration is now open!
When: Saturday, November 11, 2017
Where: Union Club, 101 East 69 Street at Park Avenue, NYC

Wine and Beer Open Bar
K2 - The Final Conquest by Vanessa O’Brien
K2 Quiz with prizes by Arc’Teryx Soho


Please join us for the 37th annual Metro NY Section social & dinner. This year we will focus on the event's social aspects allowing more time for mingling and group interaction. There will not be an auction or fundraising aspect to the dinner.

Known as The Savage Mountain, K2 had never had an American woman reach the summit before this year when Vanessa O’Brien was able to beat the odds and stand on the summit.  Join us as we hear Vanessa recount tales of attempting K2 over the course of three years and see if you have what it takes to win the K2 Quiz that was played at K2 Base Camp this year. 

Tickets sellout, so reserve early for this not-to-be-missed event!

Thank you to our beverage sponsor, Proskauer Rose LLP, and our quiz prize sponsors Arc’Teryx Soho.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Public Lands Policy & Climbing.

As many of you may have heard, things are not looking so good for Public Land policy. This has a direct impact on our climbing and outdoor recreation. In particular here are some climbing specific issues I have been following:
Both the AAC and Access Fund are working hard in Washington DC to have climber's voices heard, however it is an up-hill battle.  Section Member Mara Burns, Store Manager Patagonia Meatpacking  shared this for those of you who would like to get more involved.
One of our grantees and partners in the campaign to protect our public lands, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), is coordinating a public lands video project this month.  They are collecting short (15-30 seconds) videos, from people who love the outdoors and value our protected public lands. Here is video BHA made as an example:

If you’d like to participate in the video project, please do the following when shooting your quick video from your phone:
1) Introduce yourself by stating where you are from and describe your favorite public land or what you like to do on public lands. The video could be shot on public land - but it’s not necessary.
2) Tag @Patagonia and #publiclandowner and #keepitpublic
3) Share this with your friends and network – encourage others to join this positive, public lands message. 

We’ll be sharing these via our social channels – and encouraging folks throughout our entire network.   Here is a great example from our own Trail Running Ambassador - Luke Nelson -


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Steve Swenson at the Rubin Museum

Steve Swenson shares stories of the Karakoram               Photo by Julie Floyd
                                                                                          Photo by Julie Floyd
We had a good turn out last night at the Rubin for the start of Steve Swenson's NYC book tour, Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict. Steve shared his stories of 30+ years of climbing interwoven with the fraught political history of this amazing mountain region. If you missed it, Steve is appearing 3 more times in NY, 

SEPTEMBER 28TH, 7:00PM – 9:30PM
Arc’teryx SOHO
SEPTEMBER 29TH, 5:00PM – 8:30PM

SEPTEMBER 30TH, 4:00PM - 7:00PM
Paragon Sports 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict, Book Launch with Steve Swenson

Steve Swenson's Karakoram nominated as a finalist - Mountain Literature Award, Banff Mountain Book Festival![UNIQID]

What: Steve Swenson Illustrated Lecture
When: Wednesday, Sept. 27, 7 pm
Where: The Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th St.

Sometimes, the best way to see the world is from 25,000 feet up. Join world-class alpinist Steve Swenson as he shares stories and images from his newly released book, Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict (Mountaineers Books). Through an in-depth 45-minute multimedia presentation, Steve explores the nature of high-altitude alpine climbing, the complexities of mounting remote expeditions, the fraught geopolitics of the region, as well as his passion for the cultural communities in this area of the world. The program will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

$20 tickets include Arc'teryx gear raffle and same-day museum admission, including the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition.

Co-sponsored by Arc’teryx and Mountaineers Books with support from the American Alpine Club.


Save-The-Date, Annual Autumn Social & Dinner

Jan Arnet, mountain climber, jazz musician and engineer passes away at age 83

ARNET--Jan, jazz musician, engineer and mountain climber, died at home on May 13, 2017 at age 83. He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Jan was a lifelong outdoor enthusiast with a particular love of climbing the highest peak in each country that he was able to visit. He met his wife Angela while ice climbing in the Tatra Mountains 60 years ago and together they spent many vacations and weekends hiking, skiing, backpacking and rock climbing. Together they climbed to the top of many mountains around the world. He was an active member of the American Alpine Club. For more about Jan's life please see  NYT Obituary

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Section Member Vanessa O'Brien Summits K2

Vanessa O'Brien became the first American woman to summit K2 in the Himalayas.

Vanessa at the summit.

To quote Vanessa after she safely arrived back at base camp, "My summit day was exactly as Ed Viesturs described - too high winds and terrible accumulation of snow - but I remembered every word he said about Scott Fischer living in the present and Ed worried about the future and accumulation of snow. It was the hardest thing I have ever done."

This was O'Brien's third attempt at the "killer" mountain, having been unsuccessful in 2015 and 2016 because of horrific weather. No teams summited in those two years.

This year, weather was a factor again as O'Brien's was the only expedition to reach the top - heavy snowfall and unstable weather sent the bigger teams back, including Russell Brice's revered Himalayan Experience (HIMEX).

O'Brien climbed Mt. Everest, the world's highest peak at 29,035 feet, in 2010 en route to becoming the then-fastest woman to climb the Seven Summits - highest mountain on each continent - plus ski the last degree to the North and South Poles, doing all in just 11 months.

Congratulations Vanessa!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

 It is with great sadness that I report world class Alpinist and friend of the AAC, Ueli Steck was killed in an accident while acclimatizing for a traverse attempt of Everest and Lhotse. More details here:

Ueli visited us last summer to talk about his adventure climbing all 82 Alps peaks over 4,000m (13,100ft) in 62 days. Our condolences to all of Ueli’s family, friends and admirers around the world.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Special comp tickets available for the NY Film Premiere of Sherpa Stew

Sunday, April 9, 6:30 pm
NYU Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life, C95

Benefit screening for the U.S. Nepal Climbers Association.
We have a limited amount of free tickets available for Metro NY Section members plus one guest. You must RSVP by Friday to qualify for the free tickets.

This film follows Nepalese Sherpa who climbed Mt Everest but now live in New York City working low-wage jobs to try to support their families. The filmmaker and Sherpa will be on hand for Q&A afterwards. This film was made with 26 backers through a Kickstarter campaign.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NYC Section Social

What: Social and book talk by Member John All, Executive Director of the American Climber Science Program
When: Thursday, March 23, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Where: Steep Rock Bouldering, 603 W 129th (the Jerome L Greene Science Center, Columbia University)

John will talk about his new book "Icefall, Adventures at the Wild Edges of Our Dangerous, Changing Planet", climbing in Peru and Nepal and the Climber Science program. John recruits climber volunteers to help with his research. If you are interested in the ACSP this is a perfect opportunity to meet John and learn about this amazing program.

We are hosting this gathering in a brand new (as in, not-even-open-yet) climbing gym, Steep Rock Bouldering. Come by to meet fellow members and check out the space. Light refreshments will be served. This social is free and open to all current AAC members and guests. RSVP  to the Metro NY Section Chair is required if you plan to attend.

Hope to see some of you there.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Royal Robbins, mountaineer and clothing company founder, dead at 82

Sad to report one of our American climbing greats has moved on.

Royal and his partner Tom Frost were among the earliest speakers at our Annual dinner way back in the 1980's. I missed that one being a non-climbing teenager back then, but I hear it was awesome.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2017 Returns To NYC

Join the Metro NY Section at the Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th, 7:30 pm, Sunday, March 5, Monday, March 6, Tuesday, March 7 and Wednesday, March 8. Doors open at 7:00 pm. We will have an info table set up. Come by and say hello.

Tickets are available at Symphony Space, 212.864.540, and Paragon Sports. 212.255.8036, ext 2.

Howard Sebold 
- Metro NY Section Chair