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The 2010 Brower Award Winner: Environmentalist Conrad Anker

Posted on: March 16th, 2010 by Erik Lambert

Ellen Lapham hands Conrad Anker the David Brower Conservation  Award.

AAC Board Member Ellen Lapham hands Conrad Anker the David Brower Conservation Award. Photo by Dan Gambino.

David Brower was an AAC member and vice president. An active alpinist and a member of the 10th Mountain Division, he had over 70 first ascents. Today Brower is best known as an activist and conservationist who pushed the envelope with the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and other organizations he led. He used his considerable talents to save great expanses of the American wilderness.

In short, he was and still is an inspiration.

In that spirit, the AAC established the Brower Award to honor those who take the lead in saving the places we climb. The awardees have ranged from pioneer climber Yvon Chouinard (2008), whose life and company, Patagonia Inc., embody a no-compromise approach to environmental ethics, to scientists Lonnie and Ellen Tompkins (2009), whose pioneering glacier research in Peru’s high peaks has made the world keenly aware of mountain ecosystem fragility.

This year’s David Brower Conservation Award was given to Conrad Anker, environmentalist and noted alpine climber. Conrad was chosen for his untiring work bringing issues of climate change to a mass audience. He has witnessed disappearing ice climbs and new objective dangers on routes, turning him into a tireless advocate for conserving our planet. A prolific blogger and lecturer, he has used his “bully pulpit” to educate all of us about the changes. An early 350.org leader, he has been outspoken about our ozone load and our need as climbers to take action. Conrad has also founded the Khumbu Climbing School to give the Sherpa community a first-class education in climbing. Congratulations, Conrad, and thanks!

-Ellen Lapham, AAC Board Member

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