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Application Deadline Changes for Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award

Posted on: October 25th, 2011 by Luke Bauer

Today, The American Alpine Club announces that the application deadline for the prestigious Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award has been moved up one month. The new deadline is December 1, 2011.

The Lyman Spitzer program promotes state-of-the-art, cutting-edge climbing through financial support of small, lightweight climbing teams attempting bold first ascents or difficult repeats of the most challenging routes in the world’s great mountain ranges. $12,000 is awarded annually to three to six endeavors that best meet the criteria for “cutting-edge” climbing.

Previous winners of the AAC Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award have made some of the world’s finest first ascents, including 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 many others.

Application documents and further details:

Through the generous contribution of Lyman Spitzer, Jr., a longtime American Alpine Club Member and lover of the mountains, the AAC initiated the Lyman Spitzer Climbing Grants Program in 2000. Spitzer was an accomplished physicist, best known for his research on star formation, plasma physics, and his leadership and vision in articulating the notion of the space-based telescope. He is the namesake of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. His mountaineering accomplishments include first ascents on Baffin Island and in the Canadian Rockies, as well as numerous repeats of difficult peaks like Mt. Waddington throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Additional Grant Information
Upcoming is the application deadline for the McNeill-Nott Award. Applicants need apply by January 1. The 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.

In addition to the Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award and the McNeill-Nott Award, The American Alpine Club offers grants for everyday climbers attempting big-walls, new or notable free climbs,and alpine objectives. Of significant prominence is the Club’s “Gateway Grant”; this Mountain Fellowship Award offers funding to climbers under the age of 26 to aid them in making the transition to the Greater Ranges. For more details and specific application information for this and other AAC grants visit

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