The American Alpine Club is delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 Climbing Awards honoring the most impactful climbers and conservationists within the North American climbing community.
Among this year’s award honorees are big-wall free-solo pioneer Alex Honnold, teenage climbing prodigy Margo Hayes, and former US Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell.
MY HEART IS FULL 💓 I am grateful to Jean-Christophe Lafaille for envisioning this graceful line, Biographie, in 1989. In 1996, Arnaud Petit completed the pitch to the first anchor, and five years later, in 2001, @chris_sharma became the first person to complete the line to the highest anchor, simultaneously sending the first ever 9a+. Thank you for giving Biographie / Realization to our community! In life, we are tested. Biographie tested my commitment, my fortitude, and my belief in myself. In May, I touched Biographie for the first time. Ever since, the route has been ingrained in my mind and body. In one week, I will leave France, the country that I have lived in and learned from for the past year. Just yesterday, I realized this dream. The difficulties of this endeavor were overshadowed by the sound of the birds, laughter of friends, and the changing of the seasons. To experience the delicate power that Biographie holds is a true privilege. I am so grateful for the support that I have received from the climbing community throughout this process, especially from @arnaudpetit_climb , my mentor on this journey. Thank you, @alexandermegos for the send belay and @jan_novak_photography for this image. @thenorthface @petzl_official @lasportivana @frictionlabs @dogearedjewelry
The Annual Climbing Awards, presented by The American Alpine Club, are the longest running and most prestigious awards honoring climbing and conservation achievement in North America.
The awards recognize the most dedicated and prolific climbers of their generation as well as those who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to conservation issues.
Phil Powers, American Alpine Club CEO, commented, “Though climbing’s popularity has exploded recently, it was long the domain of a few bold souls. Difficult and dangerous, it is a metaphor for much in life and an inspiration to many. These awards and the people who have earned them are that inspiration.”
Top athletes recognized by the 2018 Climbing Awards include Alex Honnold, Margo Hayes, and John Roskelley. Conservation and volunteerism awards will go to Sally Jewell and Ellen Lapham.
Alex Honnold, winner of the 2018 The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award, is best known for his bold free-solo ascents in Yosemite as well as visionary ascents in Zion, El Potrero Chico, and Patagonia.
Margo Hayes, winner of the 2018 The Robert Hicks Bates Award, is a climbing prodigy who as a teenager successfully climbed two 5.15a routes; considered among the most difficult routes in the world ever climbed by a woman.
Roskelley, nominated for Honorary Membership, was a leader on the original American ascent team of K2 in 1978 and is renowned for high-altitude first ascents across the Himalaya.
The Annual Climbing Awards will be presented in-person to awardees at the 2018 American Alpine Club Annual Dinner, Feb 24 in Boston, MA.
Past award-winners have included Yvon Chouinard, Fred Becky, Tommy Caldwell, Michael Kennedy, among other climbing legends. To purchase tickets to the Annual Benefit Dinner and learn more about the American Alpine Club’s Climbing Awards, please visit americanalpineclub.org/abd-awa
It’s been a great end to 2017 here in Bishop – I’ve been attempting to learn how to rock climb again after a month of easy gloved climbing in Antarctica. This picture shows me finishing an epic traverse of the Eldorado Roof in Owens with the one and only Peter Croft heckling below. He happened to be in the roof when I climbed my first 5.13b there in 2006. I remember being so excited to meet THE Peter Croft. It felt great to be back in the roof with him a decade later (and feel a bit better at climbing). That’s one of the best parts of climbing – being able to meet your heroes at the crag and play on their routes. Photo: @jasoncurtisphotography Outrageous hour long belay: @willstanhope