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Today The American Alpine Clubâ€”dedicated to knowledge, inspiration, conservation and advocacy for the climbing communityâ€”announced the theme, featured speakers, and destination for its 2012 Annual Benefit Dinner weekend, March 2â€“3, 2012. The dinner will be held at the Seaport Hotel on the waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts, and will celebrate a year of change and success through the theme of Partnership: Climbing through the Generations.
The weekend will kick off March 2nd with a Friday night Member’s Meeting and Climber’s Gathering, a social evening open to all climbers and attendees. Saturday night’s Annual Benefit Dinner will include waterfront dining, annual awards honoring climbing’s luminaries and rising stars, an auction, and a keynote presentation.
Boston native Mark Richey and climbing partners Freddie Wilkinson and Steve Swenson have been tapped to deliver the keynote, sharing inspiration from their August 2011 Saser Kangri II expedition. The goal was to reach the 7,518-meter summit of the second-highest unclimbed mountain in the worldâ€”one of the last frontiers of Himalayan climbing. For Mark and Steve, both in their 50s, the climb was the capstone of their long and already distinguished climbing careers. The story of their expedition will provide a glimpse into the future of exploratory alpinism, highlight the powerful tradition long exemplified by the New England climbing community and The American Alpine Club, and amplify the evening’s theme of partnership across generations.
The Annual Benefit Dinner is the AAC’s signature and largest annual event. In addition to fine dining and entertainment, the Dinner mingles climbers of all generations and abilities to celebrate the vibrant state of this 110-year-old organization.
â€œThis year’s program speaks to themes that resonate deeply at The American Alpine Club. The Swenson-Richey-Wilkenson route on Saser Kangri IIâ€”previously the second highest unclimbed peak on Earthâ€”is bold and adventurous,â€ said Phil Powers, Executive Director at The American Alpine Club. â€œThe intergenerational nature of the team and the amazing story of Steve Swenson’s rescue at the end of the trip resonate with what we value at the AAC.â€
In 2011, The American Alpine Club implemented new programs, attained advocacy milestones, and expanded its online and grassroots community resources to provide climbers with more resources and ways to connect with each other. In just the past year, the Club has:
â€¢ Hired staff around the country to ensure that the AAC is vibrant in your backyard. These regional coordinators regularly connect with Members by hosting local events, conservation projects, and more.
â€¢ Expanded its Member benefits to include rescue insurance, climber-friendly
insurance, expansive discounts, and new and improved places for climbers to stay, such as the rebuilt Snowbird Hut in Alaska and the new AAC Clubhouse in Kathmandu, Nepal.
â€¢ Purchased 40 acres of land on the rim of West Virginia’s New River Gorge. The AAC is
working with local conservation and climbing organizations to plan a Climbers’
Campground with amenities walking distance from popular crags.
â€¢ Launched a new website, bringing local communities together in a more
user-friendly and attractive online space.
â€¢ And in 2012, the Club will break ground on a new Climbers’ Campground with easy access to climbing in New York’s Shawangunks.
â€œThe AAC is at its best when we can be helpful to climbers where they climbâ€”in their own backyards. Bringing the annual dinner to Boston is a tiny example of our increased support of local sections. Just in the last year we have added regional coordinators and new conservation and climbing grants to support needs at the local level,â€ Powers said.
For more information and tickets, visit americanalpineclub.org/2012dinner
About The American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club 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 as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants to adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org. Join the AAC’s online community at facebook.com/americanalpineclub.