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Climbers Get $37,000, Aim for Ambitious Objectives

Several climbers are heading to some of the most remote and serious big alpine walls on the planet

The American Alpine Club has announced the 2022 Cutting Edge Grant recipients. The grant funds individuals planning expeditions to remote areas featuring unexplored mountain ranges, unclimbed peaks, difficult new routes, first free ascents, or similar world-class pursuits.

Four recipients have been awarded a total of $37,000 for this cycle, with objectives featuring a low-impact style and leave-no-trace mentality being looked upon with favour.

Chantel Astorga will receive a grant for $10,000 to attempt a new route on Lunag Ri (6,895 m) in Nepal. Astorga, alongside Anne Gilbert Chase and Jason Thompson will hope to establish a new line on Lunag Ri in alpine style. Astorga recently made the first female solo ascent of the Cassin Ridge in under 15 hours on Denali in 2021. The three established a new route on the unclimbed southwest face, Mount Nilkantha (6,500 m), India in 2017.

Priti Wright will receive $7,000 to attempt a new route on K7 in the Pakistani Karakoram. Priti and Jeffrey Wright will attempt the unclimbed peak K7 Central (6,858 m) by establishing an entirely new technical route in alpine style. During their first Karakoram expedition, they were successful in establishing the first ascent of K6 Central (7,155 m) in 2020.

Jerome Sullivan will receive a grant for $10,000 to attempt the first ascent of Pumari Chhish East (6,850 m) in the Pakistani Karakoram. Pumari Chhish East is one of the major unclimbed technical summits of Karakoram. Located on the Hispar glacier, it presents three characteristic granite pillars and a 2,000-metre face. Sullivan will attempt the climb alongside Martin Elias, Victor Saucede, and Jeremy Stagnetto. Recently the team climbed K13 west by the new route Harvest Moon. Sullivan and Stagnetto made the first ascent of the southeast ridge of Cerro Murallon (Patagonia) and the first ascent of Pyramid Peak in the Revelation Range (Alaska).

Alan Rousseau will receive $10,000 to attempt an alpine style ascent of the North Face of Jannu (7,710 m) in Nepal. Given its aspect, elevation, and sheer scale (3,200 vertical metres), Jannu is considered one of the most complex alpine objectives in the world. The upper north face headwall has yet to see an alpine style ascent. Jackson Marvell will join Rousseau on this attempt. The two climbed a new route on the east face of Mount Dickey Ruth Gorge Grinder M7 AI6+ 1,600m and repeated Trailer Park on London Tower WI6 M6 1,000m, both located in the Ruth Gorge of the Alaska Range.