Press Releases

Conrad Anker is Keynote Speaker for 2017 American Alpine Club Annual Benefit Dinner

December 13, 2016, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) is proud to announce Conrad Anker—the man who embodies the new age of super technical explorers—as the keynote speaker for the 2017 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner, presented by The North Face.

Conrad will speak February 25, 2017, at Seattle Marriott Waterfront, located at 2100 Alaskan Way, Seattle, Washington, 98121. The evening will feature Conrad Anker’s reflections on his personal history, climbing, and the Himalaya. With 30 years of adventure under his belt, Conrad’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 Conrad’s heart. There he found George Mallory’s body, summited Everest multiple times, founded a non-profit, and has climbed many of the most technical peaks in the region.

The main event the night of the February 27 will gather all generations for an unprecedented climbers’ celebration in Seattle. In addition to Conrad’s keynote address, every year AAC recognizes outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community. This year is no exception. Five individuals will be recognized, during the Annual Benefit Dinner weekend, 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.

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.

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, most notably a sustained 5.14- in Moab.

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.

Weekend festivities are open to the public and kick off on February 23 with a Memorial to Nick Clinch, 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 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 $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at