AAC Plans Wild Weekend for Annual Meeting

The AAC builds on its new tradition of putting climbing first at its 2007 Annual Meeting and Mountain Fest. “We like to go where there is great climbing nearby, and you can’t beat Smith Rock,” say AAC President Jim Donini. The gathering—in Bend, Oregon, from March 30 through April 1—will feature a group of presenters that represents “a virtual who’s who of American climbing,” adds Donini.

The AAC builds on its new tradition of putting climbing first at its 2007 Annual Meeting and Mountain Fest. “We like to go where there is great climbing nearby, and you can't beat Smith Rock,” say AAC President Jim Donini. The gathering—in Bend, Oregon, from March 30 through April 1—will feature a group of presenters that represents “a virtual who's who of American climbing,” adds Donini.

The featured speakers include Steve House on Friday night. House, a Bend local, is one of the world's leading alpinists, having received the Piolet d'Or last year for his new route, with Vince Anderson, on Nanga Parbat. Saturday's awards banquet will feature Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden, who both have opened our minds to what is possible in rock climbing. Each climber has free climbed El Capitan, and Caldwell recently repeated Lynn Hill's amazing one day free ascent of the Nose and added a second ascent of “the Captain” in the same day.

“These meetings are meant to be about climbing,” adds Executive Director Phil Powers, “so we reserve most of the daylight hours for climbing, either in clinics with great athletes or on your own.” This year's clinicians include Lynn Hill, Chris Sharma, Dave Graham, Chris Lindner, Kate Rutherford, Beth Rodden, Tommy Caldwell, Josh Wharton, and, of course, Steve House.

Add the fact that people like Steve Swenson, Jack Tackle, and Jim Donini populate the AAC board, and that the membership includes a wide array of currently notable climbers as well as most of American climbing's great historical figures, and this weekend will be one gathering climbers will not want to miss. Charley Mace and Brittany Griffith, who are planning the weekend, point out that, “Although we want you to join the AAC, there are plenty of reasons for non-members or those who don't want to pay for a full weekend ticket to come to Bend.” The Friday-night Steve House show, the trade fair at Smith Rock, a pancake breakfast, a Sunday-night BBQ, and a yet-to-be-announced late-night “after party” will all be available to folks who don't want spring for the banquets and access to the clinics.

The AAC will also uphold its deepest traditions and strengths at the meeting. During Friday and Saturday nights' banquets, awards will honor a range of achievements, from the coveted Underhill Award for lifetime prowess in climbing to the Bates Award for youth and the Brower Conservation Award.

Conservation will be front and center at the meeting, as an afternoon symposium will focus on the changes our mountains are experiencing in the face of climate change, with commentary from these experts:
•Dr. Henry Vaux Jr., who will introduce the topic and show us the change that has occurred on the Vaux Glacier
•Dr. Maynard M. Miller, who will talk about the alterations in Alaskan glaciers
•Tomatsu Nakamura, from Japan, who will report on the eastern Himalaya—good first-ascent information will be hiding in this presentation
•Mark Bowen, author of the recently published Thin Ice, who will discuss the scientific situation going forward.

About The American Alpine Club
Founded in 1902, the not-for-profit American Alpine Club is the premier national organization in the United States devoted to mountaineering, rock climbing, and the multitude of issues facing climbers. For more than 100 years, the AAC has led mountaineering adventure, scientific research, and education in the U.S. The Club's active membership ranges from beginning climbers to a “who's who” of the world's most experienced mountaineers, working together to cultivate mountaineering and fellowship among climbers. The organization's dedication to education drives dissemination of knowledge, as well as continued study and scientific exploration of the high mountains of the world, from the Arctic to Antarctic circles.

The AAC's world-renowned American Alpine Club Library, founded in 1916, is one of the oldest and most complete alpine research facilities in the United States. Located alongside an indoor climbing wall at the AAC headquarters in the American Mountaineering Center, Golden, Colorado, the library and soon-to-open Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum educate students and other visitors, hosting conferences and symposia. The American Alpine Club produces a variety of publications for the climbing community, including the American Alpine Journal, the premiere record of significant mountaineering and long rock climbing ascents worldwide. For more information on the AAC, and to learn how to become active in the organization and the sport of climbing, visit the AAC Web site at www.AmericanAlpineClub.org.

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