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Vote for Your Board · December 19, 2014


Every year a few committed members are selected to join the AAC Board of Directors—but it’s you who have the responsibility to vote them in or not. This year the AAC Governance Committee is proud to have Mia Axon, Stacy Bare, Mark Butler, Chas Fischer, and Lauren Sigman on the board slate. Learn more about this board slate by visiting our website.

AAC members, can participate by voting online or by attending the Annual Membership Meeting on January 31.  Online voting closes at noon on January 31st.

We’re Hiring: Marketing Manager · December 17, 2014

We’re hiring a Marketing Manager. Visit our jobs page to learn more.

AAC Member John M Boyle Dies at 79. · December 8, 2014

John M. Boyle Photo: Jay Cassell

John M. Boyle ssst the 1983 American Expedition Everest to China. Photo: Jay Cassell


John M. Boyle, age 79, died in Santa Fe, NM on November, 19, 2014.

A native of San Francisco, Boyle was a global adventurer. After serving in the US Army in Germany (1954-1956), Boyle worked a satellite collection program, which took him to tracking stations in remote regions of the world, inspiring him to explore Africa, the Middle East and Asia in challenging expeditions over his lifetime.

Boyle was member of the successful 1983 American Expedition Everest to China where he served as base camp manager and expedition engineer. He designed and implemented a motorized rope relay system to transport 3,000 lbs of equipment and supplies up a rock headwall saving significant time and reducing risk to climbers. The expedition completed the first ascent of the last unclimbed face of Mt Everest via the Kangshung (or east) face in Tibet, getting six climbers of the fourteen member team to the summit without the assistance of Sherpas.

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A few treasures from the John M. Boyle Himalayan Library collection.


In preparing for the expedition, Boyle began collecting logs and photographic material of past Himalayan expeditions, searching for detailed geographic information to help plan for the first ever ascent of the East Face. This collection grew over the years to 2500 books in 28 languages, 400 expedition reports, and 100 videos and films, with about half of the books autographed by expedition participants. In 1997, Boyle donated the collection to the American Alpine Club which is now the home of the John M. Boyle Himalayan Library.

Boyle was a passionate sailboat racer and long-time member of the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. He also loved trains. In the 1970s, when Charlie Crocker decided to rejuvenate the Sierra Railroad Company and restore the Jamestown roundhouse and steam operations, Boyle bought shares in the effort of bringing back to life this gem of California history. Jamestown Railtown 1897 is now part of the California State Parks system and open to the public.

Among other successful business engagements, John served as Chief Financial Officer of Crocker Bank in San Francisco from 1974 until the its merger in 1981. Boyle retired from a career in banking and finance to Santa Fe, NM, where he was active in the “Car Table” group of car aficionados and a supporter of the performance arts.

Born on January 28, 1935 in San Francisco, California, Boyle received a BS in Engineering from UC Berkeley (1958), an MBA from Harvard (1962). He is survived by son Blake Boyle of North Bend, WA, daughter Melissa Boyle Mahle and grand-daughter Hana Mahle of Fairfax, VA, sisters MaryEllen Boyle, Michaela Alioto and Kathleen Sullivan and many friends around the globe.

Memorial services to be held in the spring in Santa Fe and San Francisco. Memorial contributions are welcome at the National Dance Institute of New Mexico, 1140 Alto St, Santa Fe NM 87501, 505-983- 7646, www.ndi-nm.org.

Accident Research Study · December 4, 2014

Doctoral candidate and climber Kelli McMahan is studying the aftermath of serious outdoor accidents. If you’ve experienced or witnessed a “critical incident,” help her out by taking this short survey.

Here’s more information on the research:


“Stress and Re-engagement Following a Critical Incident”

Please consider helping me complete this research in support of my doctoral studies at Texas A&M University. I am interested in learning about stress and re-engagement of outdoor adventure participants with their sport following “exposure” to a “critical incident”.
Critical incident refers to a fatality, disability, or injury or to a “close call” that highlighted the significant potential for major harm or loss.

By exposure it is meant that you experienced the critical incident personally, were a witness to it or have knowledge of an incident that caused you to reflect on and/or re-consider your own participation.

You can help by doing the following:

a) Reflecting on a critical incident you have heard about, read about, witnessed, or been a part of.

b) Describing the incident in a brief narrative (an example will follow in survey).

c) Completing the questionnaire based on those thoughts and reactions to the critical incident. Completion of the survey will take anywhere between 8 – 20 minutes of your time. The link to the survey follows.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary and you may discontinue participation at any time. Your answers are confidential. I will not sell or distribute any identifying information to any party. By clicking on the link in qualtrics, you are agreeing to your participation in the study but you can discontinue at any time.


You may receive this survey more than once because it is being distributed via multiple organizations. Apologies for duplications. Please complete they survey only once.

If you have any questions or comments about this study, please contact Kelli K. McMahan at KelliMc@tamu.edu or Kelli_McMahan@Baylor.edu. You may also contact my research chair at Texas A&M, Dr. David Scott. He can be reached at d-scott@tamu.edu

This research study has gone through a thorough review with the Institutional Research Board at Texas A&M and has been approved.

If your recollection of a critical incident causes emotional pain or distress, please seek out your local MHMR as a resource for professional counseling services. Thank you for your participation and valuable feedback.


Kelli K. McMahan, Doctoral Candidate

Looking For Climbers Who Have Attempted to Climb Mount Everest · December 2, 2014

AAC member and Associate Professor, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine University of Washington Andrew M. Luks, MD is looking for climbers who have attempted to climb Mount Everest and are willing to take a research study. Information below:

Exposure to high altitude poses a risk of developing one of three forms of acute altitude illness: acute mountain sickness, high altitude cerebral edema and high altitude pulmonary edema. Medications are available to prevent these problems and are commonly used by travelers at moderate elevations (e.g., 3000-5000 m) for this purpose. Recent reports suggest that climbers traveling to extremely high elevations on Mount Everest and other peaks are also using these medications to improve physical performance and/or increase their odds of reaching the summit without developing altitude illness. Despite these reports, little is known about exactly how common these practices are.

We are conducting a research survey in order to estimate the number of climbers on Mount Everest who are using medications in this manner. People who have attempted to climb Mount Everest – whether they were successful in summiting or not – are eligible to participate. If are eligible and choose to participate, you will find a link to the anonymous on-line survey at the bottom of this email. The survey will less than 20 minutes to complete and does not require you to provide any personal information.

Participation in this study is voluntary. You may decline to answer any question in the survey. All of the information you provide in the survey will remain anonymous and no one will be able to identify you from the information you provide in the survey. Although you will not benefit directly from this survey, we anticipate that information learned from the survey will help guide medical practice with regard to climbers on Mount Everest and other large Himalayan mountains.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at aluks@u.washington.edu, although please be reminded that the confidentiality of emails cannot be guaranteed. We appreciate your time and effort in completing this survey and look forward to reviewing the information you provide.

Complete the survey



Andrew M. Luks, MD
Associate Professor, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine University of Washington

Luanne Freer, MD
Everest ER
Himalayan Rescue Association

Colin Grissom, MD

Professor of Medicine University of Utah

Peter Hackett, MD
Institute for High Altitude Medicine Telluride, Colorado


Ueli Steck is Coming to a City Near You · October 28, 2014


We’re pleased to announce a speaking tour by legendary speed climber Ueli Steck. Presented by Mountain Hardwear, with proceeds to benefit the AAC, the highly acclaimed “Swiss Machine” will present a visually stunning and interactive slideshow about his experiences climbing the world’s largest mountains, setting speed records without oxygen, training in the Swiss Alps and helping Mountain Hardwear fabricate better clothing systems for all his pursuits. View the press release.

Find a tour near you.

Help Us Make Dreams Happen · October 21, 2014

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We believe that all climbers with ambition—not just sponsored or elite athletes—should have opportunities to explore and push limits. The Live Your Dream program funds adventurers of all abilities and helps everyday climbers take their skills to a new level.

Thanks to a matching grant from The North Face, we have the potential to increase grant funding from $28,000 in 2014 to $45,000 in 2015. Back this project today to help us reach our goal of $15,000 by December 3, 2014.


Reinhold Messner is Keynote Speaker for 2015 Annual Benefit Dinner · October 9, 2014


The American Alpine Club is proud to announce Reinhold Messner as the keynote speaker for the 2015 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner, presented by Adidas.

Messner will speak January 31st, 2015 at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. Beginning with a prolific climbing career in the Alps, then pioneering the highest peaks in the world “by fair means” (i.e. without oxygen and often solo), Messner is the most famous—and regarded as the most accomplished—high-altitude climber ever to live. Read press release.

Learn more about weekend activities and buy your tickets.

2014 Cornerstone Conservation Grant Recipients Announced · October 3, 2014

We’re is proud to announce the recipients of the 2014 Cornerstone Conservation Grants powered by REI. To fulfill our vision of healthy climbing landscapes we award $25,000 annually to organizations, landowners, and individuals to help fund projects such as human waste solutions, climbing trail restoration, and related infrastructure projects.

Read the press release.


UIAA Bozeman Ice Climbing World Cup and North American Championships · October 1, 2014

UIAA Bozeman Ice Climbing World Cup and North American Championships

December 11-13, 2014

USA Competitors:
As per the guidelines set forth from the UIAA, competitors who qualified to compete in the competition in Bozeman in the previous year’s North American Championship 2013-2014, are prequalified to compete in the IWC/NAC Competition in Bozeman. However, not all of the slots have been filled, so athletes who are interested are encouraged to inquire with Janet Miller:jmiller@americanalpineclub.org.
Men’s Lead/Difficulty, Women’s Lead/Difficulty, Women’s Speed, Men’s Speed.
Rules are posted on the UIAA website: http://www.iceclimbingworldcup.org

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