Alpine Dream Team


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Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 8, 2014 - 09:08pm PT
The American Alpine Club is proud to announce its 2014 Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Awards. This grant, made possible by the generous support of Lyman Spitzer Jr., promotes state-of-the-art, cutting-edge climbing through financial support of small, lightweight climbing teams attempting bold first ascents or difficult repeats of the most challenging routes in the world.

...Kyle Dempster, Urban Novak, Hayden Kennedy: A new route up Gasherbrum 4 (Pakistan Karakoram) via the west-facing "Shining Wall" known for its intense difficulty and beauty….

Now that's a badass trio for a badass project.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 8, 2014 - 09:11pm PT
Why are we not included, Brian?

We're lightweights, after all. And I mean at the back of the line.

What about my ascent of the Whining Wall? Geeze, Louise...

Slightly miffed in merdeath,

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 8, 2014 - 09:33pm PT
Love those guys....they send and don't spew.

Jan 8, 2014 - 10:02pm PT
A worthy goal. Godspeed!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 8, 2014 - 10:09pm PT
Yo Ron, I have some pull, I'll see what I can do.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 8, 2014 - 11:59pm PT
7,925 m peak.

10,000 ft west face has a route by Robert Schauer (Austria) and Wojciech Kurtyka (Poland). In 1985. Stopped on north summit due to bad weather.

Also, Central Spur of the west face climbed by a Korean team in 1997.

Any route overlays or proposed route overlays? The face looks great.

How the hell do you get a visa to get in there?! I heard it is really hard for Americans these days..
Ham and Eggs

Mountain climber
Aoraki/Mt Cook Village
Jan 9, 2014 - 06:36am PT
Vitaliy: use to have to get in touch with the Pakistan Ministry of Tourism but they disbanded as a govt. dept. in 2011. These days you go through your local Pakistani High Commission - pretty straight forward.

The guys may have 'space' on their climbing permit if you wanted to hang out. Can also get in touch with a couple of the westerners that guide GIi and Broad if interested in some non-guided mountaineering - they will often have spare 'space' on their permits for sale.

It's usually 4k for the first 5 guys and 1000 or so for each additional on GIV. You could solo/scramble the Woolums route on Great Trango for your first visit - might be headed there next year with some Boulder locals


Jan 9, 2014 - 09:32am PT
Mr Stump would get a kick about the generational connection to G4

Trad climber
Jan 9, 2014 - 10:31am PT
Lyman Spitzer was the first guy to think of putting a telescope in orbit. He was basically responsible for the Hubble telescope but never worked on it directly. Apparently he was from a well off family and liked to climb, hence the award.
Bump for scientist/climbers! A few other climbers: Enrico Fermi, Frank Sacherer, Henry Kendall
Johnny K.

Jan 10, 2014 - 09:50am PT


sf, ca
Jul 16, 2014 - 05:47pm PT
Bump for update on the GIV climb this summer... anyone heard anything?

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jul 16, 2014 - 06:06pm PT
this sounds great. I only hope that the line is not just independent of the Kurtkya-Schauer route, but is non-contrived, hopefully even aesthetic

beautiful wall
Johnny K.

Sep 4, 2014 - 01:30pm PT
Alpine UP!

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Sep 11, 2014 - 07:50pm PT
apparently, only Kyle set foot in the mountains:


Topic Author's Reply - Dec 16, 2014 - 08:28pm PT
Here are some more sick objectives. Looks brilliant. Good luck to all!

Bozeman, MT (December 15, 2014)— The recipients of the 2015 Mugs Stump Award were announced at the Bozeman Ice Festival on Thursday. The award, a collaborative effort of Alpinist Magazine, Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., Mountain Gear, Patagonia, Inc., and W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., was created in 1993 in memory of Mugs Stump, one of North America's most visionary climbers. In the 23 years since its inception, the Mugs Stump Award has provided $400,000 in grants to small teams pursuing climbing objectives that exemplify light, fast and clean alpinism.

"This was perhaps the strongest group of applications we've ever seen," said Michael Kennedy, one of the grant's founders. "It will be exciting to follow these climbers as they pursue their alpine dreams all over the world." Eleven teams with outstanding talent and objectives will receive a total of $38,500 in grants.

2015 Mugs Stump Award recipients:

Revelation Mountains, Alaska Range, Alaska. Chris Thomas and Rick Vance will fly into the remote Revelation Mountains, in a southwesterly pocket of the Alaska Range, to attempt several new routes on its 8,000' and 9,000' peaks. "[T]o be honest, we were so excited about the huge number of options available in the relatively untapped Revelation mountain range that we couldn't pick just one," says Thomas. Their objectives include a first ascent of unclimbed Peak 9304 by its 4,000' southwest face; a new route on the steep and technical west face of Pyramid Peak (8,572'); and the first route up the runnel-streaked north face of Golgotha (8,940').

Mt. Deborah, Hayes Range, Alaska. Elliot Gaddy, Bayard Russell and Michael Wejchert will return for their second attempt on the unclimbed south face of Mt. Deborah (12,540'). In spring 2013, the trio established base camp below the face, expecting to try a 4,500' line connecting sharp buttresses to the peak's long, corniced summit ridge. "After two weeks of prolonged cold [as low as -40ºF], we were unable to make an alpine-style attempt," Wejchert says. "We are hungry to return."

Shispare Sar, Hunza Region, Pakistan. Veteran alpinists Doug Chabot, Steve Su and Rusty Willis will return to the Karakoram in pursuit of "the most promising untried line" Chabot says he's ever laid eyes on. Shispare Sar (7611m) has seen two previous ascents, by a Polish/German team in 1975 and by six Japanese climbers in 1995. Each ascent was aided by more than 1000m of fixed rope. Chabot, Su and Willis plan to climb the north face in alpine style, without fixed ropes or fixed camps.

Latok I and Ogre II, Charakusa Valley, Pakistan. Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson will spend more than three months in the Karakoram next summer, attempting light and fast ascents of two storied alpine objectives: the North Face of Ogre II (6960m) and the North Ridge of Latok I (7145m). "An ascent of either will be a milestone for Karakoram climbing and its history," Dempster says. "It would also mark a personal achievement that would frame a lifetime of alpine pursuits." This trip will mark Dempster's third attempt on these two objectives.

Ogre II, Charakusa Valley, Pakistan. The trio of Will Mayo, Josh Wharton and Stanislav Vrba will also attempt the North Face of Ogre II, where they'll find difficult and sustained mixed climbing and a lack of bivy options to the summit ridge.

Unclimbed Towers, Greenland. In 2014, Mike Libecki made his eighth trip to the east coast of Greenland, travelling 600 miles by boat, kayak and foot. Along the way, he found a handful of steep granite towers ranging from 800-1400m tall. "There is not evidence of any kind of climbing or exploration at all, on or near these walls and towers other than by [me] and my partners," Libecki says. In 2015, he and Ethan Pringle seek to free climb each of these by the steepest and longest natural lines they can find.

Svarog and Main Parus, Ashat Gorge, Kyrgyzstan. Jewell Lund and Angela Van Wiemeersch will pursue new routes on two 5000m peaks in the lesser-known Ashat Gorge, adjacent to the well-travelled Ak-Su and Karavshin valleys. They'll follow a narrow line of ice to the unclimbed summit of Svarog (ca. 5000m), and take one of several options up the intricate northwest face of Main Parus (5053m).

Nuptse East, Khumbu Region, Nepal. Colin Haley and Ueli Steck will team up to make the first pure alpine-style ascent of the infamous South Pillar of Nuptse East (7804m). After attempts by Jeff Lowe, Mark Twight, Barry Blanchard, Steve House, Marko Prezelj, and others, Valeriy Babanov and Yuri Koshelenko summited in 2003 by fixing lines up to 6400m. "I do not object to Babanov's decision to fix ropes on the route," Haley says, "but I do believe that the original and greater challenge remains and is as relevant as ever: to climb the route in alpine style."

K6 Central, Nangma Valley, Pakistan. Young alpinists Scott Bennett and Graham Zimmerman will join veterans Mark Richey and Steve Swenson in pursuit of the unclimbed central summit (7100m) of the K6 massif. As two teams of two, they will skirt objective hazard by climbing a steep pillar that rises directly up the south face to the summit. For Bennett, "This expedition is not only an opportunity for a group of strong alpinists to visit a significant unclimbed objective, but also a fantastic opportunity for a sharing of knowledge between two generations of alpinists."

Hathi Parbat, Garhwal Himalaya, India. Though Hathi Parbat (6727m), an oblong peak in Nanda Devi National Park, was first climbed by an Indian team over 50 years ago, its southwest face remains unexplored. In 2015, Bozeman climbers Anne Gilbert Chase and Jason Thompson will attempt the complex face in alpine style, weaving between steep snow, ice and a broad rock face to top the 1500m wall and continue to the summit.

Ngadi Chuli, Mansiri Himal, Nepal. Justin Griffin and Skiy DeTray will venture to the massive south face of Ngadi Chuli (aka Peak 29; 7871m), immediately south of Manaslu. They believe the face, estimated 2700m tall, to be "one of the great unclimbed challenges of this generation," Griffin says.
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