Dougald MacDonald to Head American Alpine Club Publications

Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) has hired Dougald MacDonald to spearhead AAC publications as the organization’s first Executive Editor. The announcement marks another milestone in the Club’s ambitious Five-year Plan.

—Dougald MacDonald to Head American Alpine Club Publications—

Famed Mountain Editor Will Usher Digital Era for AAC

7/27/2012, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) has hired Dougald MacDonald to spearhead AAC publications as the organization's first Executive Editor. The announcement marks another milestone in the Club's ambitious Five-year Plan.

The Executive Editor will infuse digital life into the AAC and its publications—starting with the Club's beloved flagship annuals: the American Alpine Journal (AAJ) and Accidents in North American Mountaineering (Accidents).

“For decades AAC publications have been celebrated as the world's finest climbing resources,” said AAC Information & Marketing Director Erik Lambert. “I've frequently heard the Journal referred to as the world's climbing ‘Bible.' And yet in 2012 we do not have a great digital delivery system for these thousands of notable routes and accidents that we've meticulously reported over the years. That's about to change in a huge way.”

The AAC is deep in a massive digitization project that will redefine how the world accesses climbing information. With high-resolution, fastidiously catalogued scans of the AAJ and Accidents, as well as other assets from the AAC Library (one of the world's largest collections of climbing history and culture), the AAC will be able to deliver essential, easily searchable information on a variety of online and mobile platforms, throughout the world.

“I've been devouring the AAJ and Accidents cover to cover since I was a young climber in college, and I helped edit the Journal for five years, from 2006 to 2010. I'm thrilled to be coming back to work on AAC publications at such an exciting time,” MacDonald said. “The AAC remains committed to printing the AAJ and Accidents for those members who prefer hardcopies. But digitization opens up vast new possibilities for delivering content, new and traditional, in exactly the form that climbers need and want it.”

MacDonald has most recently been Editor-in-Chief of Climbing Magazine. In just two years, he refocused that publication, rebuilt its look, and released its first digital editions—all while nearly doubling the number of paid subscribers. Even as he takes up similar challenges as AAC Executive Editor, MacDonald will continue to play an advisory role for Climbing as its Editor-at-Large.

Before he edited Climbing, MacDonald was Associate Editor of the American Alpine Journal, News Editor of, and publisher of The Mountain World and Colorado Mojo blogs. He previously ran Rock & Ice Magazine as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, founded Trail Runner Magazine, and wrote a popular book about Longs Peak in Colorado. He has been an active climber for 35 years, with numerous new routes and many climbing trips on four continents.

Jed Williamson, the longtime editor of Accidents in North American Mountaineering, will continue his post, as will AAJ Associate Editor Lindsay Griffin. John Harlin III has been honored as AAJ Editor Emeritus and will continue working with the American Alpine Club by introducing digital publications to new markets, especially overseas.

In addition, MacDonald will be supported in-house by a talented multimedia Assistant Editor, Erik Rieger, also new to the organization, having graduated from Colorado College in May. Rieger's editorial leadership from 2010–12 evolved the Colorado College Alpine Journal into the finest university climbing publication in the country, if not the world.

About The American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community. 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 Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch and Hueco Rock Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives about $100,000 toward climbing, conservation, and research grants to adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at Join the AAC's online community at,, or follow all the latest press on the Club's Press Room RSS feed at