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Felix Speaks: Honorary Member Dinner Was Great

Posted on: June 30th, 2011 by Luke Bauer

Felix, a Club member since 2006, was excited to have a Club event occur so close to his Flagstaff home. After the Honorary Member Dinner in early June, he sent us this note:

Jim McCarthy accepting his award after a memorable speech on the storied history of The American Alpine Club. Photo Courtesy Ellen Lapham

Flagstaff is a real climber’s town. Literally thousands of routes and boulder problems lie within a short radius of the kitschy Route 66 downtown scene. Situated at 7000 feet in Northern Arizona, Flagstaff is a veritable island of forest surrounded on all sides by desert. Not surprisingly, it is not a destination for many alpinists. Therefore it was with great surprise to learn that the AAC would be hosting its Honorary Member Dinner here.

Legends within the climbing community, Tom Frost, Joe Brown, and Walter Bonatti among others were to be inducted as honorary members at a special dinner hosted by Honorary President Bill Putnam. The opportunity to meet some of the most influential climbers in history, and perhaps the chance to go climbing with some of them overwhelmed my initial fears concerning the price and the knowledge that I didn’t even own a coat or tie. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded as I discovered that the camaraderie was the same as at campsites around the world.

The dinner sure beat the standard gruel of a Camp 4 repast, but the highlight for me was sharing stories of summits and near-misses with old friends and heroes alike. Despite the location, it felt very much like any other gathering of climbers, and I, for one felt assured that the Club is in good hands.


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