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The 2013 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Gala

Posted on: April 9th, 2013 by The AAC

Everest Exhibit sponsored by Eddie Bauer. Photo by Craig Hoffman.

The sold-out 2013 Annual Mountaineering Gala was an unforgettable evening hosted by the American Mountaineering Museum and Eddie Bauer First Ascent. The event began with a reception in the American Mountaineering Museum, where guests were surrounded in mountaineering history and lore. There’s no doubt that the Everest Exhibit (sponsored by Eddie Bauer), which included photographs from First Ascent athlete Jake Norton, brought back memories for many of the nights’ guests.

After the museum reception, the 175 guests entered the banquet room for dinner, live auction, induction ceremony and a panel presentation by members of the iconic 1963 Everest Expedition. As guests finished dinner, Museum Director, Shelby Arnold, welcomed everyone and shared stories and exciting updates about new exhibits and events held at the museum over the course of the past year. Afterward, AAC Executive Director, Phil Powers, hosted the live auction, which successfully raised over $14,000 for the American Mountaineering Museum.

Peter Metcalf. Photo by Craig Hoffman.

Peter Metcalf accepting the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence award. Photo by Craig Hoffman.

Following the auction, the Museum hosted the induction ceremony of five legendary mountaineers: Peter Metcalf, Jeff Lowe, Barry Corbet, Norman Dyhrenfurth and Nick Clinch. The event honored each mountaineer for their accomplishments on, and off, the mountain, recounting stories of first ascents, fabled expeditions, and fond memories of inductees no longer with us.

About the inductees:

-Peter Metcalf is the CEO of Black Diamond Equipment Company and was one of its co-founders in 1989. Peter was a pioneer alpinist in Alaska in the 1970’s and 1980’s, with notable ascents on Fairweather, Foraker, Denali and most notoriously, Mount Hunter. The first ascent and later first alpine ascent of the Reality Ridge on Denali was a groundbreaking achievement. His alpine ascent of Hunter’s SE Spur–recounted in Glen Randall’s Breaking Point–is a study in human endurance. Peter remains a passionate voice is also a strong voice for the preservation of our nation’s wild lands and the value of recreation–and the land we need to enjoy it–as both an economic engine and a source of human values.

Jeff Lowe accepting his award. Photo by Craig Hoffman.

Jeff Lowe accepting the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence award. Photo by Craig Hoffman.

-Jeff Lowe was a seminal force in the evolution of modern ice-climbing. His cutting edge equipment and clothing designs have made a significant impact on the mountaineering and climbing world. He worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School in his early years and continues to inspire climbers of all ages. He is credited with hundreds of  notable first ascents on rock and ice  in North America along with the first ascent of Skyang Kangri in the Karakoram and a solo of Ama Dablam in Nepal. His route, Metanoia on the Eiger’s North Face remains one of the iconic lines in modern climbing. Jeff almost singlehandedly brought steep ice techniques to the fore in the US and developed the use of ice tools on rock. Mixed climbing now has its own rating system, competition schedule and may very well appear in the Olympics.

-Norman Dyhrenfurth, a Swiss-American mountaineer, was responsible for assembling the team of 19 mountaineers and scientists for the 1963 Everest Expedition. The Expedition included 900 porters carrying about 26 tons of food, clothing, equipment and scientific instruments. Norman is an accomplished cameraman and director, and was head of the UCLA Film School in the 1950s. He worked on films such as Five Days One Summer and Eiger Sanction, as well as the TV show Americans on Everest. Speaking for Norman was Tom Hornbein.

-Barry Corbet, a member of the 1963 Everest Expedition, was a climber, filmmaker and extreme skier, who set routes around the world and in his back yard, Grand Teton National Park. In 1968 he created Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, the second concessioned guide service in the Tetons. Corbet was injured in a helicopter crash that same year, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. He recovered and continued kayaking and co-producing films. He was a leading force in the disabled community and editor of the magazine New Mobility. Barry passed away in 2004 at age the age of 68. Tom Hornbein and Barry’s son gave an inspiring talk about Barry’s amazing life.

-A past President of the AAC, Nick Clinch received the American Alpine Club Gold Medal Award in 2006 for lifetime achievement and is regarded as one of America’s most successful expedition leaders, having led the first ascent of Gasherbrum I in 1958–the only 8,000 meter peak to ever have been first ascended by Americans– and Masherbrum in 1960. He lead the first ascent of Antarctica’s highest peak, Mount Vinson, with Corbet in 1966. Nick published A Walk in the Sky in 1982 and Through a Land of Extremes: The Littledales of Central Asia with his wife Elizabeth Clinch in 2011.

Tom Hornbein presenting Nick Clinch with his award. Photo by Craig Hoffman.

Tom Hornbein presenting Nick Clinch with his award. Photo by Craig Hoffman.

After the inspiring ceremony, the evening concluded with a guest panel presentation featuring members from the 1963 Everest Expedition: Al Auten, Dick Pownall, Dave Dingman and Tom Hornbein. Eddie Bauer athlete Jake Norton moderated the lively forum, and there was no shortage of inspiring and life-changing stories that came from the event.

Thanks to all our members, new and old, who joined us for this special celebration. You helped us sell-out the Gala and raise money for American Mountaineering Museum. See you next year.

Left to Right: Jake Norton, Al Auten, Dick Pownall, Dave Dingman and Tom Hornbein. Photo by Craig Hoffman

Left to Right: Jake Norton, Al Auten, Dick Pownall, Dave Dingman and Tom Hornbein. Photo by Craig Hoffman

 

About the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Gala:

The Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Gala will honor each mountaineer for his/her accomplishments on and off the mountain.

The title sponsor of the gala is Eddie Bauer First Ascent, a new line of expedition quality mountaineering gear and apparel.

For more information, call 303-996-2755 or email info@mountaineeringmuseum.org.

 

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