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Press Releases

Annual AAC Benefit Dinner to be in Seattle, WA

The American Alpine Club invites you to attend the 2011 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner in Seattle, WA. The evening's theme "On Commitment," will be presented by Dr. Tom Hornbein and Steve House, two of America’s most accomplished climbers.

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Commitment: Dr. Tom Hornbein, Steve House Keynote Speakers at 2011 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner

Registration Now Open to Public

Seattle, Washington

February 25-26, 2011

Film actors convene every year for the Oscars. Musicians gather for the Grammys. For climbers and mountaineers, our nation’s best come together for an annual gala hosted by The American Alpine Club.

This year the AAC Annual Benefit Dinner features a unique conversation about the risks, sacrifices, joys, and freedoms that come with deep commitment in the mountains. Leading the discussion are two of America’s greatest climbers from different generations, Dr. Tom Hornbein and Steve House.

After dinner, five climbing greats, ages spanning from 20 to almost 90, will receive awards: Fred Beckey, Bob Craig, Tom Frost, Hayden Kennedy, and Royal Robbins.

“On Commitment: A Conversation between Dr. Tom Hornbein and Steve House” is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. These climbing legends may never all come together again. And unlike the Oscars or Grammys, this annual meet-up has been running for more than a hundred years, since 1902.

The events on February 26, 2011 are open to the public. The evening features waterfront dining, cocktails, and silent and live auctions in the International Promenade of the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle. Seat reservations are required. The dinner is open to AAC members and non-members alike. New this year is a deeply discounted youth ticket for those 28 and younger.

Weekend events also include slideshows, a climbers’ party, award ceremonies, and the annual AAC member meeting. Full schedule details are available at

About the Speakers

Dr. Tom Hornbein
is an anesthesiologist, author, and member of the first team to traverse an 8000-meter peak. In late May of 1963, Horbein and Willi Unsoeld, members of an expedition that had, only weeks before, made the first American ascent of Mt. Everest, set out to climb the unexplored west ridge of the mountain. After a multi-day ordeal, exhausted, frostbitten, and long out of oxygen, they became the first men to traverse the world’s highest peak. Horbein went on to climb numerous other mountains, became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and is author of Everest: The West Ridge.

Steve House won the 2005 Piolet d’Or climbing award for an alpine-style first ascent on Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face. Once dubbed “The Great White Hope of Alpinism,” House has made first ascents and formidable climbs on some of the world’s most notable walls—the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat, the south face of Denali, the Emperor Face of Mt. Robson. He is a Patagonia Ambassador, mountain guide, and author of Beyond the Mountain. Climbing legend Reinhold Messner calls him “the best high-altitude climber in the world today.”

About The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community. The Club unites climbers at events like the AAC Annual Benefit Dinner, manages a climbers’ campground in Grand Teton National Park, publishes the world’s most sought after annual climbing publication, the American Alpine Journal, cares for the world’s leading mountaineering library and offers annual climbing, conservation, and research grants to budding adventurers. Learn about additional programs and become a member at Join the AAC’s online community at


Erik Lambert

Information & Marketing Director

The American Alpine Club

(303) 951-4572

Chris Dickey

Public Relations

Purple Orange LLC

(603) 321-1382