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Gripped Hosting the 2021 John Lauchlan Awards on Feb. 12

The livestream event is sponsored by Patagonia Banff and Banded Peak Brewery

Gripped will be hosting the 2021 John Lauchlan Award recipients via Facebook Live from Patagonia Banff, one of the event’s sponsors. The other main sponsor is Banded Peak Brewery in Calgary, a supporter of the award.

Speakers include: Barry Blanchard, Quentin Roberts, Brette Harrington, Grant Statham, Jim Elzinga, Alison Criscitiello and more. The event will be following all covid-19 health guidelines.

Join us at 7 p.m. MST on Feb. 12 for an evening of mountain stories and culture. RSVP via our Facebook page to be reminded of the event. Follow the John Lauchlan Award on Instagram below.

History of Award

The first award was given in 1997 to Sean Isaac and the late Guy Edwards for their trip to Towers de Paine in Patagonia; and to Tim Pochay and Grant Statham for their trip to Kitchatna Spires in Alaska.

Since then, dozens of Canadians have recieved the award, including Katie Holm in 2005 (now co-owner of Climb On in Squamish), Jon Walsh, Sean Easton, Jia Condon, Ian Welsted, Raphael Slawinski, Paul McSorley, Steve Holeczi, Eamon Walsh, Jen Olson, Lilla Molnar, Joshua Lavigne, Simon Meis, the late Anna Smith, the late Carlye Norman, Jason Kruk, Chris Atkinson, Kris Irwin, Max Fischer, Tim Banfield, Quentin Roberts and many more.

Trips that were supported include to: Karakoram, Alaska, Patagonia, Peru, Himalayas, Greenland, Baffin Island and more.

John Lauchlan

The following biography was compiled from a variety of sources including an obituary published in Explore Magazine in April 1982.

John Lauchlan was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Sept. 12, 1954. The Lauchlan family settled in Calgary in 1966 after living in both Edmonton and Saskatoon.

John attended Henry Wise Wood High School where art and music were a big part of his life. In this time he discovered mountain climbing, a passion that would soon dominate all his activities. When he graduated from high school in 1972, “…the direction of his life was well established. It would be climbing first and all other things as they fit.”

In the 10 years after high school, John was to become the undisputed leader of the mountaineering community. His climbs became more bold and he brought new meaning to the words possible and impossible. His intensity and commitment were incomparable to any Canadian climber before him.

John was a pioneer in setting new standards both nationally and internationally. In 1978, he made the first winter ascent of the 1,300-metre North Face of Mt Kitchener in Jasper National Park with Jim Elzinga. One year later, John and three others made a 16-day alpine-style ascent of the highly prized and unclimbed 3,000-metre southwest buttress of Mount Logan 5,959 m, Canada’s highest mountain.

John Lauchlan on Logan Photo Jim Elzinga