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Fuel Your Inspiration—Grants Deadlines Quickly Approaching

Posted on: March 15th, 2011 by Luke Bauer

Ian Nicholson and Graham Zimmerman were awarded one of the Mountain Fellowship awards in 2007 for a first ascent attempt on the West Face of Kichatna Spire.

The American Alpine Club grants program provides resources for climbers and explorers to attempt new challenges, establish humanitarian programs, protect alpine environments, conduct scientific research, and push the envelope of human accomplishment in mountain and polar environments. The AAC awards over $50,000 annually, although the size and number of awards vary from year to year.

Many grants and awards have application deadlines in the coming weeks. Both the Copp-Dash Inspire Award and the Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Conservation Grant have application deadlines of March 31. The Mountain Fellowship Grant—an award targeted at younger climbers beginning their careers—has an application deadline of April 1. The Zach Martin Breaking Barriers Grant—a dual-purpose humanitarian and climbing grant—has an application deadline of April 15. Details on these programs can be found on the AAC website.

Lara Karena Kellogg died during an attempt on the North Buttress of Mount Wake in the Alaska Range in April 2007. The conservation grant established in her name is intended to carry on the essence of her spirit and her character, by supporting expeditions with goals of improving the health and sustainability of mountain environments and habitats. The application deadline is March 31.

The Copp-Dash Inspire Award supports small teams tackling difficult climbs in the great mountains of the world who also plan to document and share their ascents through multimedia. The application deadline is March 31. This grant is sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia, and with in-kind support from The American Alpine Club, Adventure Film Festival, Alpinist Magazine, Sender Films, and the Jonny Copp Foundation.

The Club’s “gateway grant,” the AAC Mountain Fellowship Grant, is targeted at climbers under 25. “The Mountain Fellowship allowed to me fulfill my dream of traveling to Patagonia,” said 2008 recipient Aaron Jones. “I figured, ‘Why not apply?’ And just a few months later I was sitting below the Central Tower of Paine!” The spring application deadline for the AAC Mountain Fellowship Grant is April 1.

Zack Martin died just before his 25th birthday on Thanksgiving Day, 2002. He was a recipient of AAC grants, the Anatoli Boukreev Grant and others. Concerned about the general arrogance and self-serving aspirations of climbers and explorers, he committed himself, first and foremost, to performing humanitarian service in local communities, as well as climbing and exploration. The application for the grant founded in both the name and spirit of Zach Martin is April 15.

Fuel your inspiration—apply for an AAC grant this year.

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.

• 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.

• 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.

Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grant: $3,000 for expeditions that focus on photography and observation of climate change impacts. Deadline: March 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 will document and share their experiences 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.

• Zack Martin Breaking Barriers Grant: Under $2,000 in memory of Zack Martin, for trips with a humanitarian element. Deadline: April 15.

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.