A little help from some friends at the AAC – Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Grant

My chosen life path has allowed me an incredible amount of flexibility in some ways and in other ways has been very restrictive. Not working a 9 to 5 job has enabled me to set my own schedule and have time for various expeditions. However, working as an outdoor educator and freelance photographer/journalist typically does not pay all that well and living paycheck to paycheck is something I very familiar with.

Really, it is the age old dilemma of having money and no free time or no money and plenty of free time.

On the money side of things, during the past ten years many of my expeditions have been award adventure/climbing grants including: The Mugs Stump Alpine Award, The Polar Tech Challenge, The Shipton Tilman Grant, Mazamas Expedition Grant, NOLS instructor Development Grant.

This year I just learned that I was awarded the Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Alpine grant from the American Alpine Club for the Return to Genyen Expedition!!!

2011 Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award Winners Announced

—AAC Awards $12k in Grants Supporting Bold First Ascent Attemptsin Pakistan and China—

Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) is proud to announce this year’s Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award recipients. Through the generous contribution ofLyman Spitzer, Jr.—longtime Club member and lover of the mountains—the AACinitiated the Lyman Spitzer Climbing Grants Program. The program promotes state-of-the-art, cutting-edge climbs through financial support of small, lightweight climbingteams attempting bold first ascents or difficult repeats of the most challenging routes inthe world’s great mountain ranges.

Paul Gagner, the chair of the Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award committee, noted, “Wealways have a strong pool of applicants to choose from, and this year was no different.In the future I would encourage all climbers that have significant projects, with theexperience to back them up, to apply for this prestigious award.”

This year’s grant-recipient teams focus their considerable energies on Asia, with attemptsat new routes on Pakistan’s Great Trango Tower, Nafees Cap, and the Ogre II, andattempted first ascents on two unclimbed peaks in China’s Genyen Massif.

• Great Trango Tower, East Face big-wall route – Skiy Detray and AndyHoeckel will travel to the Baltoro region of Parkistan’s Karakoram to attempt acapsule-style first ascent of a route to the right of the 4,000’ Grand Voyage.

• Nafees Cap, Southwest face – Ben Venter, Jake Tipton and Willy Oppenheimwill attempt a first ascent, all-free, of this impressive 3,000+ foot face in theCharakusa Valley, Pakistan.

• Dkyil‘khor Ri and Bka Ri – David Anderson, Szu-ting Yi and Eric Salazarintend single-push alpine-style first ascents of two unclimbed peaks in the Genyen
Massif, Sichuan, China. In addition they will be shooting video for a full-lengthfilm to raise awareness of this unique region and its vanishing culture.

• Ogre II, North Face – Colin Haley and Bjørn-Eivind Årtun will attempt theunclimbed and un-attempted face across from the SE Buttress of Ogre I in theKarakoram, Pakistan. They will approach the climb via the Choktoi Glacier.This peak has only been climbed once, in 1983, from the Biafo Glacier by Korean climbers.

In addition to the Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award the American Alpine Cluboffers grants for everyday climbers attempting big-walls, new or notable free climbs,and alpine objectives. Of significant prominence is the Club’s ‘Gateway Grant’; the Mountain Fellowship Award offers funding to climbers under the age of 25 to aid them inmaking the transition to the Greater Ranges. The annual application deadline for the Lyman Spitzer Grant is January 1. Acommittee of three active climbers reviews the applications, selects the recipients,and decides on award amounts. For more details and specific application informationfor this and other AAC grants visit the American Alpine Club website.

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation andadvocacy, 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 buddingadventurers. The AAC also manages a climbers’ campground in Grand Teton NationalPark, publishes the most sought after annual climbing publications, the American AlpineJournal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering, and cares for the world’sleading climbing library. Learn about additional programs and become a memberat americanalpineclub.org. Join the AAC’s online community at facebook.com/americanalpineclub.

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