2011 Mugs Stump Award Winners

Posted on: January 9, 2011

Mugs Stump at 22,500' on the West Face of Gasherbrum IV, Karakoram, Pakistan, in July 1983. [Photo] Michael Kennedy

Seven teams, listed below, have received the Mugs Stump Award for 2011. Recipients of the grant will attempt bold new objectives in Alaska, British Columbia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Russia, all in fast and clean alpine style.

Kyle Dempster, K7, Pakistan; with Kelly Cordes. A first ascent of the unclimbed southwest pillar (ca. 6200m), as well as a first ascent on the east face of 6934-meter K7 Main.


Colin Haley, Ogre II, Pakistan; with Bjorn-Eivind Artun. An alpine-style ascent of the unclimbed, un-attempted north face of 6960-meter Ogre II, a technical mixed route on this stunning alpine wall.

Dylan Johnson, Mt. Dickey, Alaska; with John Frieh and Roger Strong. An all-free, single push up the 5,000-foot northeast face of Mt. Dickey, the largest wall in the Ruth Gorge.

Damien Kelly, Mt. Waddington, British Columbia, Canada; with Jim Martinello. A winter ascent on the south face of this 4019-meter peak.

Mike Libecki, unnamed peak, Russia. A solo attempt on one of the northern-most big walls on the planet.

Steve Su, Pumari Chhish East, Pakistan; with Bruce Miller, Doug Chabot. An alpine-style first ascent up the 2400-meter south ridge to a beautiful, crown-like summit (ca. 6200m).

The prestigious award, sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, Mountain Gear, Patagonia, W.L. Gore, and Alpinist Magazine, was created in 1993 in memory of Mugs Stump, one of North America's most prolific and visionary climbers. Please visit mugsstumpaward.com for more information on the award, to apply and for trip reports from past recipients.

Read about last year's Mugs Stump-funded expeditions in the November 24, 2010 Feature.

Here at Alpinist, our small editorial staff works hard to create in-depth stories that are thoughtfully edited, thoroughly fact-checked and beautifully designed. Please consider supporting our efforts by subscribing.


Unemployment benefits usually expire after a certain time period, so why is it that all the same climbers get the grants every year? And then there are those with legitimate jobs who can pay their own way and they are still getting the unemployment benefits? Year after year.

I am pretty sure there are applications for unemployment benefits for climbers who are relatively unheard of because they must stand in cue behind the same people year after year.

2011-12-26 14:30:56

Damo, Not everyone with a fulltime job can afford to go climbing all over the world. Some of us can just afford to drive or fly to something in the lower 48 for a week of camping and climbing. So, a grant may mean the difference between staying close to home or being able to go for it.

2011-12-25 00:55:48


"Fully sponsored" - you mean they get shoes AND a jacket? Wow!

I don't know the personal details or finances of all these people, though I know most of them have (kinda) regular jobs. The sponsorships they have would not amount to much, if any, cash.

A couple are sponsored 'more' but again, nobody in that list will be putting their kids - not that they can afford kids - through college on climbing grants and sponsor money. Grants are a partial help, not a lottery win.

I do sometimes question giving such grants for Alaskan or Lower48 climbs, because they can be done on a lower budget. Whereas for the Karakoram, even with the current great 50-90% fee reductions, a peak over 6500m usually means handing over $6,000 in cash as a deposit to the helo company. Hopefully you get it back, but you still need it up front. Grants can help with that kind of thing. Nepal and Tibet both have costs that are sizeable wads of cash.

So I think grants are a good idea, if directed appropriately. I've never had one, I prefer to spend my own money, what little I have, but I also spent years being paid to climb, which was mostly luck. I'd probably be more questioning of those climbers with full-time jobs, who also climb hard, who then go and get grants when they could probably afford the trip out of their own money. Not that their finances are any of my business, and the grant amounts so small that they don't affect the relevant gear companies' budgets enough to affect me, or most climbers, as customers.

And if it means Kelly can afford a haircut, then give him the damn grant!


2011-12-23 09:06:21

I assume this question has been proposed previously, but I just ponder the appropriateness of such grant funds going to fully sponsored climbers who receive retainer funds/allowances from their respective companies.

2011-12-22 21:50:12

^<a href="http://www.prokatavto.com.ua/"^>Аренда автомобилейкиев, а так-же авто и машин

2011-12-22 04:38:53

Thank you Black Diamond Equipment, Mountain Gear, Patagonia, W.L. Gore, and Alpinist Magazine for financially supporting such a fund. Good business, good karma!

Seth Zaharias www.cliffhangerguides.com

2011-07-25 12:09:41

Correction: Pumari Chhish East is about 6,900 meters.

2011-01-09 03:33:38
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