The American Alpine Club’s Cutting Edge Grant is now accepting applications for 2019 expedition proposals. The Cutting Edge Grant “supports ambitious climbers in pursuit of world-class climbing and mountaineering objectives.” Whereas the AAC’s Live your Dream Grants support climbers of all abilities with aspirations of all types, the Cutting Edge Grant offers serious and seasoned alpinists the chance to really go for it on virgin peaks and in untrodden mountain ranges.
Applications for the 2018 Cutting Edge Grant are due November 30.
The AAC awards recipients between $5,000 and $15,000 to execute their proposals. Winning proposals will lay-out plans to explore new mountains, ranges or establish “difficult new routes, first free ascents, or similar world-class pursuits.”
The criteria upon which applications are evaluated are numerous. In addition to the experience necessary to undertake the expeditions, applicants should strive for a”low-impact style and leave-no-trace mentality” on their expeditions.
Think you’ve got an expedition that might fit the bill? Got the chops, but not sure what objective you should attempt? Below, check out 2018 recipients and their expeditions (completed or not) for some inspiration!
2018 Cutting Edge Grant Recipients
Kurt Ross ($6,000)
A visit to the seldom traveled region in the eastern Pakistani Karakoram to establish a first ascent on the unclimbed peak, Karmading Brakk — a beautiful 6000m peak, only recently released from military control. With government-issued permits, Kurt and his team successfully made Karmading Brakk’s first ascent. TRIP COMPLETED.
Alan Rousseau ($6,000)
An attempt on the remote north face of Chiling II (6400m), in Zanskar-Kashmir- Kishtwar region of Himal India. With a difficult, mostly unsupported approach and hard climbing at altitude, this objective represents a step forward in Alan’s climbing and likely one of the harder north faces he and his team have ever attempted. TRIP IN PROGRESS.
Whitney Clark ($5,000)
An all-woman expedition to the Zanskar-Kashmir-Kishtwar region of Himal India to attempt the main summit of Arjuna’s (6230m) West Face. Their chosen route takes the team up a steep 1400m unclimbed buttress, which lies to the left of all current established routes. The peak is accessed via a complex icefall, followed by technical high-alpine climbing. It is their goal to climb the route free and operate in a fast, light ethic. TRIP IN PROGRESS.
Ryan Johnson ($3,000)
Travel to the Alaska Range to attempt the East Face of Mt. Hayes (4215m). Ryan attempted the line in 2013 but extreme cold and illness shut down the expedition. The line on Hayes is primarily an ice hose, with a 600m steep mixed section. TRIP CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER.
These grants award $1,500 to “support amateur backcountry snowboarders and their dreams of mountain adventure and winter exploration. Applications for the Jones Backcountry Adventure Grant are considered based on objective remoteness, exploratory nature, carbon footprint, creativity.”
The Backcountry Adventure Grant is open to all and the Live Like Liz Award, judged on the same criteria as the Backcountry Adventure Grant, is open exclusively to female applicants, and is named in honor of Liz Daley, who was killed in Argentina in 2014 in an avalanche.