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The 2011 American Alpine Club Awards

Submitted by admin on 2011-03-14

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The American Alpine Club is proud to announce this year’s award recipients. Every spring, during the Annual Benefit and Dinner, the Club awards outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, mountaineering, and service to the climbing community. This year, five climbing greats, ages spanning from 20 to almost 90, will receive awards: Fred Beckey, Bob Craig, Tom Frost, Hayden Kennedy, and Royal Robbins. All have displayed monumental drive, courage, and commitment in the mountains and in their lives.

The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award is to be given annually to a 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 the various fields of mountaineering endeavor. This year’s winner, Fred Beckey has displayed these attributes in abundance over his long career.

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. It is specifically understood that service to the club itself can be differentiated from outstanding mountaineering accomplishment or service through the club to the climbing community. 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. Bob Craig has been tireless in his dedication to the American Alpine Club and, as such, is eminently deserving of this award.

The David R. Brower Award, created in 1991, is an annual award recognizing leadership and commitment to preserving mountain regions worldwide. This year’s awardee, Tom Frost, whose active personal role deserves public recognition, has made an important difference as a pathfinder, innovator and on the ground contributor who has motivated others to take action.

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. Hayden Kennedy certainly meets those criteria.

The Literary Award was established to recognize excellence in alpine literature by American writers. Royal Robbins, this year’s winner, meets the definition of excellence, with many books—instructional, philosophical, and auto-biographical—to his credit. Robbins will be signing his latest book during the pre-dinner cocktail hour this year.

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 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


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