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Fund Your Trip! AAC Grant Deadlines Fast Approaching

Posted on: November 29th, 2010 by Luke Bauer

Tommy Chandler used funds from the AAC to explore new routes in the Jarjinjabo Massif, Sichuan Province of Western China. Photo Courtesy Tommy Chandler.

Get your friends together. Explore. Adventure. The AAC awards more than $50,000 every year for projects ranging from worldwide exploration to local conservation. The grants support community members of all kinds: amateur rockclimbers, seasoned alpinists, and even academic researchers. The application deadline for two of the AAC’s more prominent grants, the Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award and McNeill-Nott Award, is January 1, 2011.

We at the AAC would like to support your trip, no matter its focus: trad climbing, big-wall rock climbing, alpinism, conservation, or scientific research. Never applied for a climbing grant before? If you’re 25 or younger, be sure to check out our “gateway grant,” the AAC Mountain Fellowship Grant. Recipient Aaron Jones used his grant money to rock climb in Chile. “The Mountain Fellowship allowed to me fulfill my dream of traveling to Patagonia,” Jones said. “I figured, ‘Why not apply?’ And just a few months later I was sitting below the Central Tower of Paine!” Two-time recipient Colin Haley added that “the Mountain Fellowship helped me on my way to the Karakoram at 20 and to Patagonia at 22. This grant, specifically for young alpinists, is one of the best resources of the AAC.”

Last summer, the all-female team of Emily Stifler, Lorna Illingworth and Madaleine Sorkin freed the original route on Mt. Proboscis in Canada’s Cirque of the Unclimbables thanks to a Copp-Dash Inspire Award. Research led them to meet North American climbing legends Royal Robbins and Jim McCarthy, Stifler said, and upon their return, the girls worked together to produce a 30-minute video about their adventure. “My trip mates and I will be friends forever,” she said, adding that “the AAC community is broadening and getting stronger.”

Apply for an AAC grant this year, and let us help fuel your inspiration. For application resources, deadlines, and further information about how AAC grants can help you reach your goals, visit the AAC Grants page.

Upcoming Grant Deadlines
The application deadline for both the AAC Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award and the McNeill-Nott Award is January 1, 2011.

Previous winners of the AAC Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award have climbed first ascents of Jobo Rinzang (6,907m) in Nepal and Peak 5,592 (a.k.a. Seerdengpu, a.k.a. The Barbarian) in southwestern China’s Shuangiqiaogou Valley; the award has also supported attempts on Latok I, K7, and Shingu Charpa, among others.

The McNeill-Nott Award, with the help of Mountain Hardware, honors the memory of Karen McNeill and Sue Nott. It awards financial assistance to amateur climbers attempting new routes or unclimbed peaks with small and lightweight teams. Previous winners have, among other things, explored and climbed new routes in Greenland’s Fox Cirque, the Suches Valley of the remote Cordillera Apolobamba, on the border of Bolivia and Peru, and Southeast Alaska’s Wood River Range.

Chad Kellogg, with partner Dylan Johnson, made the first ascent of the Southwest Ridge (VI 5.11 A2 M5 AI3+, 72 pitches) of Siguniang (6250m) using AAC grant funds. Photo Courtesy Chad Kellogg

More About AAC Grants:
Other grants specifically target climbers under the age of 25, fund research in alpine areas, and promote conservation projects in mountain regions throughout the world. Althea Rogers, Mountain Fellowship and McNeil-Nott grant recipient, has praised the AAC and what its grants offer: “I do not know of any other organization which so directly encourages its members to explore and challenge themselves.”

A full list of AAC-administered grants is below, and more information is available on the AAC Grants page.

Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award: $12,000 for elite endeavors by small, highly qualified teams. Deadline: January 1.
• Copp-Dash Inspire Award: $20,000, in memory of Jonny Copp and Micah Dash,  supports small teams tackling difficult climbs in the greater ranges who plan to personally document and share their ascents through multimedia. Deadline: March 31.
Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Conservation Grant: This grant is intended for expeditions, with measurable goals, to support and improve the health and sustainability of mountain environments and habitats. Deadline: March 31.
• Mountain Fellowship: $9,000 for non-pro applicants under the age of 25 for major endeavors. Two deadlines: April 1 and November 1.
McNeill-Nott Grant: $5,000 in memory of Karen McNeill and Sue Nott for non-pro/non-sponsored climbers for new routes and unclimbed peaks. Deadline: January 1.
Zack Martin Breaking Barriers Grant: Under $2,000 in memory of Zack Martin; for trips with a humanitarian element. Deadline: March 15.
Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grant: $3,000 for expeditions that focus on photography and observation of climate change impacts. Deadline: March 1.
Research Grants: $9,000 for expeditions that have an academic research component. Deadline: March 1.
Scott Fischer Memorial Conservation Grant: In memory of Scott Fischer, this grant helps fund environmentally proactive expeditions around the world. Deadline: March 1.

Become a member of the AAC today  to support these grants and awards that send dozens of climbers to Earth’s far reaches every year.

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