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The 2018 Cutting Edge Grants Recipients

The following is a press release from the American Alpine Club about their Cutting Edge Grants recipients.

The American Alpine Club (AAC) is pleased to annouce the recipients of the 2018 Cutting Edge Grant. The Cutting Edge Grant continues the Club’s tradition supporting climbing athletes in pursuit of world-class climbing and mountaineering objectives.

The Cutting Edge Grant seeks to fund individuals planning expeditions to remote areas featuring unexplored mountain ranges, unclimbed peaks, difficult new routes, first free ascents, or similar world-class pursuits. Objectives featuring a low-impact style and leave-no-trace mentality are looked upon with favor.  For the 2018 grant cycle, the AAC received awarded $20,000 to four recipients:

Kurt Ross ($6,000) to visit a seldom traveled region within the eastern Pakistani Karakoram to establish a first ascent on the unclimbed peak, Karmading Brakk via the Lachit Valley. This 6000m peak is an untouched gem, so striking it certainly would have been previously attempted had it not been for historically restrictive military control in the area. With these military restricts lifted, and the government currently granting permits to climbers, Kurt and his team are ready for action.

Alan Rousseau ($6,000) to attempt the remote north face of Chiling II (6400m), in Zanskar-Kashmir- Kishtwar region of Himal India. With a difficult, mostly unsupported approach and hard climbing at altitude, this objective represents a step forward in Alan’s climbing and likely one of the harder north faces he and his team have ever attempted.

Whitney Clark ($5,000) to lead an all-woman team to the Zanskar-Kashmir-Kishtwar region of Himal India to attempt the main summit of Arjuna’s (6230m) West Face. Their chosen route takes the team up a steep 1400m unclimbed buttress, which lies to the left of all current established routes. The peak is accessed via a complex icefall, followed by technical high-alpine climbing. It is their goal to climb the route free and operate in a fast, light ethic.

Perfect fall day in the valley with @laurenford88! #yosemite #climblikeagirl

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Ryan Johnson ($3,000) to travel to the Alaska Range to attempt the East Face of Mount Hayes (4215m). Ryan attempted the line in 2013 but extreme cold and illness shut down the expedition. The line on Hayes is primarily an ice hose, with a 600m steep mixed section.

The Cutting Edge Grant is supported in part by Global Rescue, the world’s leading provider of integrated travel risk and evacuation memberships. CEG recipients are additionally awarded a one-year, full Global Rescue Membership—an upgrade to the standard AAC rescue coverage. Upgraded benefits include: $500,000 of rescue evacuation; repatriation back to the US; deployed Global Rescue Personnel; and more—a service intended to help AAC members climb hard and return home safely.

The American Alpine Club has inspired and supported cutting-edge climbing achievements for over 100 years.  From funding the first ascent of Mount Logan in 1925 to the exploration of the Karakoram in 1938, to the 2006 first ascent of Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face, the AAC has stood to support climbers who push their physical and mental limits and celebrated their accomplishments.

Applications for the Cutting Edge Grant are accepted each year from October 1st through November 30th. For more information, visit: https://americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-grant/

For more information on Global Rescue and their memberships, visit: https://www.globalrescue.com/

AAC members / @len.necefer / @nativesoutdoors / @brodyleven / @gabrielellisonscowcroft . here taking over the AAC Instagram until January 22nd. – We’re documenting our trip to the Navajo Nation & summit of a Navajo sacred mountain – Sisnaajini aka Blanca Peak 14,345ft here in Colorado. We’re doing this for a story we are writing for the @alpinistmag about building coalition to protect public lands between native & non-native communities. – @nativesoutdoors is Denver based company who develops gear designed and developed by indigenous people globally. Their gear sales support opportunities for access and advocacy for Native people in the outdoor industry and community. Their work includes direct work on policy and engagement with state and tribal governments to ensure access and opportunities for native individuals and organizations in the outdoor recreation economy. CEO and Founder, Dr. Len Necefer is a member of the Navajo Nation. – Brody Leven is a pro-skier, mountaineer, and story teller from Salt Lake City, Utah. He is active advocate for public lands, environmental awareness, and avalanche education. He has also been known to put on a suit and talk at length to legislators about climate change & public lands.

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