Share 'Dart Throwing Septuagenarians and more…' on Facebook Share 'Dart Throwing Septuagenarians and more…' on Twitter

Dart Throwing Septuagenarians and more…

Posted on: March 14th, 2012 by Luke Bauer

I have fewer than 50 words to entice you to click on the title of this, my first ever blog.  Fewer than 330 characters to cajole you into a virtual meeting in which you will read about a dart throwing septuagenarian, a strangulation, and my vision for the American Alpine Club.  I promise not to bore you with a five-year strategic plan.

My grandmother was the dart thrower.  Her well placed darts quivered on the world map affixed to the wall.  From the point of the dart, a story was born.  These stories were the foundation of my lifetime of adventure.  There have been high points: First ascents, red-points, perfect turns, rescues, and awards.   There have been low points: Deaths of friends, injuries, and soiling myself after getting strangled by a rope in a fall.

With adventure there are challenges, risks and rewards.  My vision is to challenge the AAC to grow, to welcome, attract, and nurture all whom enjoy climbing and the mountains, and to extend that love/drive/ambition via a local community driven focus.  I challenge us to become of a club in which its members find relevance throughout a lifetime.  I challenge us to redefine our image from that of men in jackets smoking cigars, drinking brandy, and reliving history.  I challenge us to find our voice, the voice of American climbing.  Still about the coolest activity many of us have ever engaged.

This, in short, is my vision for the AAC.  I hope that you will join me in the next adventure.


Charlie Sassara, AAC President

Charlie would like to extend an invitation to the Membership to ask him questions about his vision for the his Presidency. Got a question for Mr. Sassara? Email us. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting your questions and his answers on Facebook, our blog, Inclined, and in the April E-News.


Charlie Sassara joined the American Alpine Club as President in March of 2012—but his long previous service to the Club as Treasurer and as a Board member was marked by both the David Sowles Memorial Award in 2003 and the Angelo Heilprin Citation in 2009. Charlie is Alaskan born and bred, and essentially self-taught. Early climbs were extended solos in the local Chugach Range along unnamed ridges and unclimbed faces. He’s still an active climber after 35 years, with over 20 expeditions to the Alaska, Chugach, Hayes and Wrangell/Saint Elias, Himalayan and Patagonian ranges.

Charlie has 25 years of project management and business development experience with an emphasis government contracting and construction with Arctic Slope Regional, Cook Inlet Regional and Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation subsidiaries and 15 years in working with adaptive elements of organizational culture, teamwork and economic development. He secured approval of the first mentor/protégé venture under the Small Business Administration, performed startups of various business and ventures, including UIC’s Cape Simpson Industrial Port on the North Slope of Alaska.

In the climbing world, he’s known for both being one of the founders of the Alaska Rock Gym—with its commitment to the Alaskan climbing community—and for his notable first ascents and sailing accomplishments.