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AAC News

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.

2015 Research Grant Recipents

Congratulations to the 2015 Research Grant Recipients. This grant funds requests to assist scientific research projects within the scope of the AAC’s charter. To learn more about the Research Grant visit our website.

  1. Grant Lipman, Altitude Sickness Comparison of Efficacy of a Novel Steroid Inhalant and Oral Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (ASCENSION), California

An associate clinical professor in emergency medicine and co-Director of Stanford’s Wilderness Medicine Fellowship is conducting a random double-blind trial comparing if meloxicam and inhaled budesonide will be superior to a placebo in decreasing the occurrence of AMS at high altitude. Eligible participants will be will enrolled by the study administrators at Owens Valley Station, White Mountain Research Station in Bishop, CA. Funding will pay for lodging during the 2016 study.  

  1. Kristin Schild, Constraining a Prominent Driver in Glacier Terminus Stability, Svalbard (Greenland)

A PhD student in Earth Sciences at Dartmouth, she seeks to quantify the strength and seasonality of glacier-driven fjord circulation at a tidewater glacier. Fjord circulation is a more recently-observed instigator of glacial calving. If models can be improved to better predict the effects of climate change and warming on ice discharge then we can have a clearer sense of the future state of the glaciers and their rate of change, including in places where climbers climb. In addition to academic publication, this research will be shared in an interactive blog for middle school students and in the middle school classrooms where the investigator teaches once a week.

  1. Chris Zajchowski, Accident reduction and mitigation: An analysis of visitor decision-making at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming:

This research by a PhD student in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at University of Utah is designed to help park managers understand how and why climbers and scenic floaters in Grand Teton National Park make particular decisions that increase or decrease their safety. The FACETS system of six common heuristic traps that befall or assist backcountry users – familiarity, consistency, acceptance, the expert halo, social facilitation, and scarcity–will be evaluated in this research. Results will be disseminated to park management through presentations and seminars as well as in articles to academic journals, plus a possible webinar or other dissemination to permit applicants in the National Park. Funds will be used toward overall research costs and/or lodging at Climbers Ranch for the two sampling periods.* AAC member. 

  1. Trevor Bloom: Investigating the impact of climate change and wildfire on the persistence of high elevation wildflower Saxifraga austromontana in the Rocky Mountains

This is a field study of the response of Saxifraga austromontana, a wildflower endemic to the Rocky Mountain chain, to direct effects of climate change and the indirect effect of increased wildfire frequency and intensity. Designed by a Masters student in Biology at Western Washington University (no ties to Ray Huey), the objective of this study is to investigate the factors, climate and wildfire, that may lead to rapid extirpation of certain alpine plants. Based on the findings of the field experiment and his Species Distribution Models (SDMs) he will build a “fire” model to test how the future species distribution of S. austromontana will be further impacted by increased fire frequency and intensity. Funds requested cover equipment and camping fees for the field study. AAC member. 

  1. Tim Graham: Potential Impacts from Climate Change and Introduced Mountain Goats on Alpine Arthropod Communities of the La Sal Mountains, Utah: Establishing Baseline Conditions, Utah

The Senior Research Ecologist at the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research has sounded an alarm about the introduction of non-native mountain goats into the La Sal Mountains by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and the consequences this may have for arthropods—bees and other insect communities. He is in the middle of a three-year study to establish baseline conditions for the La Sal alpine arthropod communities, providing the foundation on which to evaluate mountain goat effects. He will compare arthropod community structure within and between alpine plant community types, and will develop a reference collection for La Sal Mountain alpine arthropods. He has recruited and trained a cadre of volunteers to assist with the field and lab components of the project, including teachers and students of Grand County High School Science Department, and will provide annual updates on progress of this project at the Moab Information Center. 

  1. Patrick Wright: “Processes of ice formation in Fossil Mountain Ice Cave, Wyoming: preliminary study to assess site potential for ice core paleoclimate records,” Wyoming

A first-year PhD student at the University of Montana, he is beginning a year-round monitoring program to establish the meteorological and hydrologic processes resulting in ice accumulation in the cave, and measurement of the ice accumulation and deformation rates. There is strong potential for paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions from the ice stratigraphy in this cave, which represents a midlatitude, high elevation, regionally unique climate record. There is only one known ice-core dating analysis for this region. If there is strong evidence for meaningful climate records in the ice stratigraphy, this pilot study is intended to lead towards an ice core analysis at this site.


  1. Robin Thomas: Relative Dating of Glacial Moraines in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

An undergraduate in geology and math at Western Washington University (no ties to Ray Huey), she is taking part in the American Climber Science Program this summer in Peru, where she will investigate the past glacial extent of several of the glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca. She will ascertain this by examining slope angle of moraines, weathering rings, lichen growth, and interviews with locals who can indicate where the glaciers extended within human memory. If past extent can be established using satellite imagery and human memory, a growth curve will be created to apply in areas where local memory cannot estimate the age of the moraines. AAC member.





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