Facebook Facebook instagram
Live Your Dream Grants
All climbers have dreams. Let us help you live yours. The American Alpine Club's Live Your Dream grant powered by The North Face, is designed to help you, the every-day adventurer take your abilities to the next level.

The purpose of the Live Your Dream grant is to support and promote unforgettable experiences for climbers—specifically, experiences that provide the skills and confidence to realize one's climbing ambitions; to dream big, to grow as a climber, and to inspire others. The grant seeks to fund individuals or an individual of a small team of all ages and experience levels, as well as a range of climbing disciplines (including but not limited to: bouldering, sport & trad climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, ski mountaineering, peak running, exploration—you name it). We encourage you to grab a friend or three, dream big, and send us an application.

The application period opens February 1st and closes March 1st. Winners will be announced by April 15th. Grant awards will vary depending on the prospective project, but typically fall in the $200 to $1,000 range.

Live Your Dream FAQ


Northeast Region:
In the Northeast Region, the LYD grant is supported locally through ESAW Award. Click here to view the additional ESAW Award criteria. The LYD grant is supported additionally through a partnership with the Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival. Climbers from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Massachusetts are eligible for the Northeast Region grant. Download Northeast Application.

Rocky Mountain Region:
Climbers from Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah are eligible for the Rocky Mountain Region grant. Download Rocky Mountain Region Application..

Western Region:
In the Western Region, the LYD grant is supported locally through a partnership with Touchstone Climbing & Fitness. Climbers from California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii are eligible for the Western Region grant. Download Western Region Application.

Southeast Region:
In the Southeast Region, the LYD grant is supported locally through the Kidder Aspiring Alpinist Award. Click here to view the additional Kidder Aspiring Alpinist Award criteria.
Climbers from West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Washington D.C., Maryland and Florida are eligible for the Southeast Region grant. Download the Southeast Region Application.

Central Region:
Climbers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are eligible for the Central Region grant. Download the Central Region Application.

Northwest Region:
Climbers living in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska are eligible to apply for the Northwest Region grant. Download the Northwest Region Application.


The project must accurately demonstrate a progression in skills and experience and outline an obtainable yet personally difficult goal. The committee will consider the individual's experience level, which must be appropriate for the proposed objective.

Membership in the American Alpine Club is required. Non-members may apply, however membership must be acquired for funds to be awarded.

Projects involving climbers who are supported financially by corporate sponsors will not be considered. However, proposals from “amateur" climbers who have received financial or in-kind (e.g., gear) corporate support for the proposed project will be considered, but support levels must be disclosed.

Applications are considered for projects that occur within one year of the application due date.All funds must be used within one year of application due date or all funds must be returned to The American Alpine Club.

Grants awards range from $200 to $1000.


If for any reason the project is canceled or significantly changed, awarded funds must be returned to the AAC in full. Please contact the AAC office if your proposal changes.

If, after a grant is awarded, additional funding is obtained and the grant funds are no longer needed, or if a project is “over funded," the recipient is asked to return all surplus funds to the AAC. Also, if after the grant is awarded a corporate sponsorship is awarded to the project, all funds from the AAC must be returned.

Within two months of returning, all grant recipients must submit to the AAC a project report including photos (this can be written, a video project, essay, photo essay, etc.) for possible inclusion in AAC/TNF publications and/or posting on the AAC/TNF website. Points are awarded for creativity! Failure to submit expedition report will result in applicant being ineligible for future AAC grants.

Any photos of the expedition team or individuals submitted with an expedition report may be reproduced in any manner the AAC or TNF desires for use on the AAC/TNF website or marketing materials. The AAC & TNF will have the right to use photos submitted with a project report on the AAC/TNF website or marketing materials.

Grant recipients agree to act as American Alpine Club Ambassadors. The role of an Ambassador means you mention your AAC support at slide shows and events when speaking about the expedition; you may be asked to give a presentation on the project at the AAC's annual meeting or other events; and you express a commitment to the AAC's mission.


Saylor Flett, Bill Pilling, and Brett Marty had the objective of the Carpe Ridge on Mount Fairweather, one of the world's highest coastal mountains on the border of Alaska and British Columbia. Having rarely climbed outside of the Sierra Nevada, Brett and Saylor would to take their technical skills into the much larger Alaskan range for the first time under the apprenticeship, mentorship, and partnership of William “Bill" Pilling, a 20+ year veteran of Alaskan mountaineering.

Geri Ulrey, a gym climber with very limited experience climbing outdoors, dreamed of gaining outdoor climbing experience. She will travel to Squamish to climb in a classic setting on unknown-to-her terrain and, as an independent filmmaker and educator, Geri documented her journey to offer insight into what climbing has meant to her as she has recovered after a near-death experience in June 2010.

Melissa Buehler wished to be the first woman to climb the Evolution Traverse in a day (tent-to-tent), solo. Melissa loves free-climbing, peak bagging, and ski-mountaineering and, with many tandem-solos under her belt, Melissa has taught herself how to navigate in the mountains. The Evolution Traverse will challenge both her ability to route-find and push her limits physically and mentally.

Hari Mix dreamed of climbing all three 7000-meter peaks of the Pamir Mountains in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan while also making a contribution to science. In pursuit of his PhD, and funded through a Live Your Dream grant, Hari climbed the three peaks and collected microbe samples from extreme elevations to predict the effects of climate change on the region. His samples were the highest elevation samples taken to date. Read more about Hari's Live Your Dream Grant expedition.

Parker Webb will travel to Nepal before starting college and will spend his days strengthening his climbing skills on ice and at altitude. Objectives range from ice climbing on Losar to peaks such as Lobuche East. Parker will also be volunteering at the Khumbu Climbing Center and giving his good energy back to the local culture.

Christopher Marshall and Jake Gaventa will embark on a ski-mountaineering expedition to the Neacola Mountains, a sub-range of the Aleutian Mountains in Alaska. Their goal is to establish first ascents and descents of unclimbed peaks around the “Slingshot Glacier" and the surrounding peaks with objectives that include both technical alpine routes and ski descents. Based on their research, this area has seen little or no previous climbing or skiing traffic.

Bob Porter's intended objective is a solo ascent of the Quad Direct on El Capitan. Recently turned 60 and retiring after 32 years in public education, Bob wishes enrich a 42-year climbing career through a lifelong dream of soloing El Cap. Having climbed the Zodiac in 1999, and with notable ascents in Yosemite, Zion, the Cascades, the Tetons, and Squamish, Bob has the drive and experience to see his dream through.

Marshal Hoda will travel to the Daxue Shan range in China, a largely unexplored mountain range with great potential for route development. His team will concentrate on the area immediately south of Minya Konka (aka Gonga Shan) and hopes to make first ascents of one or more peaks in the range of 14,000–17,000'.