2014 Mugs Stump Recipients Announced!

Posted on: January 13, 2014


The recipients of the 2014 Mugs Stump Award were announced today. The award, a collaborative effort of Alpinist Magazine, Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., Mountain Gear, Patagonia, Inc., and W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., was created in 1993 in memory of Mugs Stump, one of North America's most visionary climbers. In the 22 years since its inception, the Mugs Stump Award has provided $375,000 in grants to small teams pursuing climbing objectives that exemplify light, fast and clean alpinism.

"The climbs proposed this year continue a long tradition of imagination, boldness and commitment," said Michael Kennedy, one of the grant's founders. "It's great to see so many motivated climbers getting after it in far-flung corners of the mountaineering world, from Alaska to Patagonia and the Himalaya." Seven teams with outstanding talent and objectives will receive a total of $36,000 in grants.

2014 Mugs Stump Award recipients:

South Avellano Tower, Patagonia, Chile. David Anderson, Szu-ting Yi and Jared Spaulding will head to the seldom visited Avellano region in southern Chile, to attempt the 3000-foot northeast face of South Avellano Tower, one of the biggest unclimbed walls in Chile. "In this day and age of accessible technology even the most remote corners of the earth can be explored with keystrokes from an environmentally controlled office," says Anderson. "Luckily there are a few wild places left and the Avellano Towers is such a place."

Mount Johnson, Alaska. Ryan Jennings and Kevin Cooper will seek an ephemeral ice and mixed line on the north face of Mount Johnson. "We prefer to pack as much fun and suffering as possible into each day in the hills and have always returned to hard mixed climbing as our true calling," says Jennings. "We hope we can connect systems up the wall using mixed, ice, free and aid techniques which we are sure will require the entirety of our knowledge and skills."

Barnaj II and Hagshu Peak, Kishtwar, India. Jared Vilhauer, Tim Dittmann and Seth Timpano will visit the recently reopened Kishtwar region of India, with two difficult objectives, the 5000-foot north buttress of Barnaj II and the 3500-foot north Face of Hagshu Peak (both ca. 6300 meters). "These climbs are exactly what our team is seeking: adventure and exploration via the medium of remote, steep rock and ice; technical lines up a natural weaknesses in a far-off land," says Vilhauer.

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Labuche Kang III and Lunag Ri I, Tibet and Nepal. Chad Kellogg, David Gottlieb and Jens Holsten will attempt a double header on these two unclimbed peaks. "Lunag Ri (6916 meters ) is the highest permitted unclimbed peak in Nepal and Labuche Kang III (7100 meters) is the second-highest in Tibet," says Kellog. "David and I have unfinished business on both, and Jens is looking to increase his altitude experience."

Nuptse, Nepal. Ian Welsted and Jason Kruk will attempt the aptly-named Zorro Route on the South Face of Nupste (7700 meters), a massive wall that Welsted calls "... a touchstone of world mountaineering, having been involved in all of the stages of the development of high altitude climbing, from the expedition style first ascent by the British to the recent alpine style ascent by the French to the summit ridge."

Trango valley and Gasherbrum IV, Pakistan. Kyle Dempster, Hayden Kennedy and Urban Novak (Slovenia) will spend over a month in the Trango valley before attempting a new route on the Shining Wall of Gasherbrum IV (7925 meters). "Based on previous expeditions to Pakistan a solid acclimatization plan will be key to success," says Dempster. "After the Trango valley, we'll go to 7000+ meters on Gasherbrum II before heading to the Shining Wall."

Teng Kangpoche, Nepal. Chris Wright and Scott Adamson will attempt the beautiful North Pillar of Teng Kangpoche (6487 meters). "It's absolutely stunning, huge, gorgeous, and nobody's done it yet," says Wright. "That's most of what I look for in an objective. And I don't think it's going to try to kill us with seracs or dragons or anything."

These climbers—and all of this year's Mugs Stump Award applicants—share Mugs' vision of climbing as a celebration of boldness, purity and simplicity. For more information on the Mugs Stump Award, including reports from previous years, please visit www.mugsstumpaward.com.

Contact: Michael Kennedy, 970-309-4651, mkclimb@comcast.net

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Comments
Clint Helander

Congrats to all the teams! But are we seriously still giving money to teams climbing in the Ruth Gorge, the most popular and accessible climbing venue in Alaska? Not trying to take away from the ability or vision of Jennings and Cooper, but there will be no fewer than 40 teams in and around the Ruth who were able to scrounge up the $600 airfare from Talkeetna and the Delta airlines ticket to Alaska. Not to mention that the Ruth is more or less "climbed out" of obvious, unique lines. Sure, new lines get put up, but they are becoming less and less pure lines. Aside from the Kahiltna and Ruth, almost every other corner of the Alaska Range, is remote and wild and contains vestiges of unknown.

End of rant from my armchair. "Honey will you grab me another beer, please?"

2014-01-18 12:32:01
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