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AAC member Joseph Murphy Memorial Information

Murphy, Joseph Joe Murphy was a man of many parts. He was an explorer who climbed mountains in every continent, a certified financial analyst, an author of a wide variety of books, and a photographer who roamed the world. He will be sorely missed by his wife, Diana; his sons Michael (wife Johanna) and John (wife Suwannee) and granddaughters, Laura and Frances; and by his sister, Sheila Nichols. Joe was born in Minneapolis on March 13, 1930 and died here on August 10, 2015. After attending Kenwood School he went on to St. Thomas Academy and Blake School. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1952, a time when the United States was at war in Korea. He enlisted in the United States Army; was selected for officer candidate school, then served as a Lieutenant in the Second Cavalry in Japan. From Japan, Joe and a friend from Princeton (with whom he founded its Mountaineering Club) set out to make a first ascent of Istoronal in the Hindukush. That climb left him with frozen toes, later amputated in Minneapolis. On his recovery he enrolled in graduate school at the University of Minnesota where he was a teaching assistant in the Department of History and where he met his wife Diana. Joe worked as an analyst at Woodard-Elwood and thereafter for many years in the Trust Department of Northwestern National Bank (later Norwest) where he served as vice president and pioneer in the application of computers to financial analysis. In the area of communications and media Joe served as member and later chairman of the board of Midwest Communications (WCCO). Among Joe’s many books are Stock Market Probability (Dow Jones 1994); The Random Character of Interest Rates (Probus 1990); With Interest (Dow Jones Irwin 1987); and Adventure Bevond the Clouds (Dillon Press 1986). In 1986 Joe received an award from The Friends of American Writers. Joe led three American mountaineering expeditions to Tibet; one to Gongga Shan in 1982, another to Shishapangma 1984, and a third to the North Face of Everest in 1986. He also skiied to both the South and North Poles. Joe was a member of the American Alpine Cub and served as vice president and member of the board of directors; he also belonged to the Himalayan Club. In the Twin Cities he was on the boards of Macalester College, the Children’s Theater, Outward Bound, the Center for the Book Arts, and Greater Minnapolis Council of Girl Scouts.

His life will be remembered at a 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Olaf Catholic Church, 215 South 8th St, Mpls on Friday, August 14, with a reception to follow at the Minneapolis Club. In lieu of flowers you might consider a donation to your charity. Washburn-McReavy.com Davies Chapel 612-377-2203

We’re Hiring: Web Developer

Learn more about our part-time Web Developer position.

We’re Hiring: Conservation & Advocacy Director

We’re hiring a Conservation and Advocacy Director. Visit our jobs page to learn more.

We’re Hiring: Special Events Coordinator

We’re hiring a Special Events Coordinator, responsible for coordinating all planning, execution, promotion, and fundraising for major AAC events nationwide. These events include regional benefit dinners, sponsored athlete-speaker benefit tours, and CEO speaking engagements. Learn more.

2014 Annual Report


It’s been a great year here at the American Alpine Club thanks to our members, volunteers, and donors! Learn more about Club happenings, future projects, and AAC financials in our latest Annual Report.

Help Restore Trails at Malaysian National Park


Kinabalu Park (WH Site): Earthquake Hit Kinabalu Park
Recruiting a chief for international projects

Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site since 2000, the highest peak at 4,095m, was hit by a 5.9RS earthquake at 7.15am on 5th June 2015. A total of 14 tourists/climbers and 4 Mountain Guides lost their lives, mainly because of falling rocks at  the summit area.

The Sabah Parks Board, the agency in charge of Kinabalu Park, has a monumental task of rebuilding the climbing operation. There are plenty of precariously loose rocks near the summit area. These need to be cleared. Barriers may need to be constructed for safety at the mountain huts. We appeal for urgent help from those who have experience in such tasks.

This message is from the Director of the Sabah Parks Board, Jamili Nais. If anyone has experience or services to offer, please get in touch directly with Jamili: jamilinais@gmail.com. 

Free No Excuses T-shirt When You Join or Renew

2AB_AAC_NoExcuses_Internal FB Boosting_B2

Our Summer member drive begins today and features a limited-edition No Excuses T-Shirt for free when you join or renew. This drive ends on Monday 6/29/15 and supplies are limited… when we run out, that’s it.

Tommy is one of our heroes because he never gives up. And neither do we. The AAC is working hard toward important long-term goals in climbing that benefit all of us:

• Education: To make our climbing world more safe.

• Information: To inspire and champion our heritage.

• Advocacy & Stewardship: To keep our climbing landscapes open and clean.

• Community: To support each other through mentorship, rescue, and more.

Be like Tommy and give back. Pledge to support the future of American climbing by joining today… No Excuses!

Join or renew.

AAC Library Exhibit: Original Gregory William Frux Sketchbooks


Artist Gregory William Frux draws, paints and climbs in some of the world’s more remote locations.  In 2007 he was hired as artist in residence aboard Quark Expeditions tourist ship sailing from Tierra Del Fuego to the Antarctic Peninsula.  His small yellow sketchbook travelled with him as he drew the highest mountain in Patagonia, visited an abandoned whaling station on Desolation Island and sketch penguin rookeries.   A second black sketchbook recorded 2015 travels amid the fierce peaks and fjords of Chilean Patagonia. These ORIGINAL  sketchbooks are on display at the AAC library. A third folio, which has been donated to the AAC Library, assembles the two notebooks into a single travel narrative. Come check them out! Live in the library from June 2015–late fall 2015.

AAC Becomes Official Member of Outdoor Alliance

We’re proud to become an official member of Outdoor Alliance. This gives the AAC and our members a stronger voice in protecting our public lands and ensuring that they are managed in a way that embraces climbing and the greater human-powered experience. Learn more about our partnership.

2015 Fischer–Kellogg Conservation Grant Recipients

Congratulations to the 2015 Fischer–Kellogg Conservation Grant winners. These two grants help fund expeditions that support and improve the health of mountain environments and habitats.

Learn more about the Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Conservation Grant.

Learn more about the Scott Fischer Memorial Conservation Grant.


The Karakoram Anomaly Project – Sergiu Judic $473

The Karakoram Anomaly Project (KAP) is a cross-disciplinary endeavor combining scientific field research, creative multimedia, community development programs and alpine style mountaineering in the Karakoram Range of Northern Pakistan.

Scientific Objectives:

  1. Qualitatively assess the state of health of Karakoram glaciers in Hispar Muztagh and Panmah Muztagh regions.
  2. Quantify, map and report on present glacial hazard risks in the area.
  3. Present the scientific results through accessible academic and multimedia means.


HoWL Alaska – Homer Wilderness Leaders – Claire Vernon – $473

2015 Augustine Island Clean-Up project.

A conical volcano, rising 4134 feet in elevation on Augustine Island 174 miles SW of Anchorage. In 2015, HoWL plans to bring a college class to the island for 5 days in early June and then to return with a group of 12 high school aged Peer Leaders in late June to summit the volcano and clear marine debris from the beach. HoWL Peer Leaders are teenagers who have excelled within HoWL and are now actively training to be wilderness leaders.


Coast Range Traverse – Will Roush – $473

A self-supported traverse of the Coast Range in central British Columbia. As part of this project we will produce a short film, documenting the remote terrain, our climbing and skiing experience and the environmental and social justice issues surrounding the pipeline. Together this provides a unique and impactful opportunity to engage the outdoors and mountain communities on issues related to the tar sands, climate change and aboriginal rights.

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