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American Alpine Club to present five awards at its annual Benefit Dinner Feb. 25

Posted on: December 12, 2016


Registration is now open for the American Alpine Club's Annual Benefit Dinner on February 25, 2017, in Seattle, Washington. Conrad Anker will be the keynote speaker. An AAC press release described Anker as a "man who embodies the new age of super technical explorers."

Conrad Anker is the keynote speaker for the 2017 American Alpine Club Annual Benefit Dinner on February 25 in Seattle, Washington. [Photo] Jimmy ChinConrad Anker is the keynote speaker for the 2017 American Alpine Club Annual Benefit Dinner on February 25 in Seattle, Washington. [Photo] Jimmy Chin

The dinner will be at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront, located at 2100 Alaskan Way. According to the AAC: "The evening will feature Conrad Anker's reflections on his personal history, climbing and the Himalaya. With 30 years of adventure under his belt, Anker's love for climbing has taken him all over the world: from Alaska to Antarctica, Pakistan to Patagonia, from his home near Hyalite Canyon to the top of Everest. Nepal is an area especially dear to [him].... There he found George Mallory's body...founded a nonprofit, and has climbed many of the most technical peaks in the region."

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Anker recently had to be evacuated from a climb on 6907-meter Lunag-Ri in Nepal after he had a heart attack while attempting a new route with the 26-year-old Austrian climber David Lama Nov. 16. Anker is currently recovering at home.

Along with the keynote address, the yearly AAC event celebrates "outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community." During the 2017 Annual Benefit Dinner weekend, the AAC will honor five people for "displaying monumental drive, courage and commitment in the mountains and in their lives": Kris McDivitt Tompkins, Dave Riggs, Mark Twight, Mason Earle and David Stevenson.

"Every year our Annual Dinner celebrates important climbing achievements and brings together generations of climbers for an evening like no other," said AAC CEO Phil Powers. "This year is extra special because of the range of talent in the room. Conrad Anker will be headlining the event, and we'll be honoring alpine legend Mark Twight alongside young talent such as Mason Earle, who is pushing the envelope of our craft today."

Below are the Award announcements and ticket information as presented in the AAC press release:

The Angelo Heilprin Citation is awarded annually to that person who has, in the opinion of the citation committee, shown exemplary service to the Club. The purpose of this citation is to recognize those who have worked to maintain and strengthen the organization and thus further its ability to serve its fundamental purposes. Dave Riggs is being recognized for his time as the board chair of the AAC's Community Committee for the AAC and volunteer chair of the Sierra Nevada Section.

The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award is given annually to that person who, in the opinion of the selection committee, has demonstrated the highest level of skill in the mountaineering arts and who, through the application of this skill, courage, and perseverance, has achieved outstanding success in various fields of mountaineering. This year's winner, Mark Twight, has first ascents and notable climbs all over the world and has written several award-winning books [including Kiss or Kill and Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, Fast and High—Ed.].

Mark Twight, pictured here on Denali (20,310') in 2009, is receiving the Robert and Miriam Underhill Award [Photo] Courtesy of the American Alpine ClubMark Twight, pictured here on Denali (20,310') in 2009, is receiving the Robert and Miriam Underhill Award. [Photo] Courtesy of the American Alpine Club

The David R. Brower Award, created in 1991, is an annual award recognizing leadership and commitment to preserving mountain regions worldwide. Kris Tompkins, former CEO of Patagonia, is an accomplished conservationist who has created large wilderness conservation areas in Chile and Argentina.

The Robert Hicks Bates Award's purpose is to recognize a young climber who—in the judgment of the selection committee—has demonstrated exceptional skill and character in the climbing or mountaineering arts and has outstanding promise for future accomplishment. Mason Earle is being recognized for his many ascents of difficult, technical crack climbs, notably a sustained 5.14- in Moab [The Bartlett Wash Project].

Mason Earle, pictured here climbing The Bartlett Wash Project (5.14-, 115'), which he completed in 2015, is receiving the Robert Hicks Bates Award. [Photo] Courtesy of the American Alpine ClubMason Earle, pictured here climbing The Bartlett Wash Project (5.14-, 115'), which he completed in 2015, is receiving the Robert Hicks Bates Award. [Photo] Courtesy of the American Alpine Club

The H. Adams Carter Literary Award was established to recognize excellence in alpine literature. David Stevenson is the director of the Creative Writing and Literary Arts Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is the author of the short fiction collection Letters from Chamonix, winner of the Banff Mountain Festival Fiction Prize.

David Stevenson is receiving the H. Adams Carter Literary Award. [Photo] Courtesy of the American Alpine ClubDavid Stevenson is receiving the H. Adams Carter Literary Award. [Photo] Courtesy of the American Alpine Club

Weekend festivities are open to the public and kick off on February 23 with a Memorial to Nick Clinch, and February 24 with an Annual Membership Meeting and Climbers' Gathering at Vertical World.

Dinner attendees will have access to special panel discussions during the day on Saturday. Ticket sales to benefit AAC programs. For more information and to reserve your spot, visit americanalpineclub.org/annual-benefit-dinner/. Registration closes at midnight on February 19, or when sold out.

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, The American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives more than $80,000 toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.

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