2016 Copp-Dash Inspire Award Grant Recipients Announced

March 2, 2016

The Copp-Dash Inspire Award, sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia, announced the 2016 winners of the climbing grant established in memory of American climbers Jonny Copp and Micah Dash who were killed in an avalanche in China in May 2009, along with filmmaker Wade Johnson. In addition to providing financial support to perspective expedition teams, the goal of the Copp-Dash Inspire Award is to provide mentoring before and after the expedition to help the climbers bring back and share inspiring multimedia stories of their adventures in a variety of creative forms.

“The Inspire Award is not just a climbing expedition grant,” says Black Diamond Equipment’s Global Sports Marketing Director, Jonathan Thesenga. “One thing we all learned from Jonny and Micah is that it’s as much about the stories and experiences that we gain from our climbs, as the climb itself. This award has been designed to support small teams with big goals in the high mountains and empower them—as storytellers—to bring their adventures back and share their stories of inspiration in unique and creative ways that go far beyond a typical slideshow, video or article.”

The 2016 Copp-Dash Inspire Award awarded four teams a total of $22,000 in grants for expeditions and documentation plans that embody the spirit of the award. The 2016 winners and their objectives are:

  • Craig Muderlak with Drew Thayer and Rainbow Weinstock. Enchainment of the Neacola Bells, a massif of granite spires in the Aleutian Range of Alaska and then pack-rafting out 51 miles to the Lake Clark National Park.
  • Chris Gibisch and Jeff Shaprio. First ascent of 4000-foot west face of Arjuna, an alpine wall in the Kishtwar region of northwest India.
  • Zach Clanton with James Gustafson and Reese Doyle. First ascents of two unnamed granite peaks and buttresses in the Telaquana Mountains of the southern Alaska Range.
  • Whitney Clark and Crystal Davis Robbins. First ascent of Gupta, a steep, fin-shaped peak of snow, ice and granite in the eastern section of the Kishtwar region in northwest India.

For more information on the Copp-Dash Inspire Award, go to http://coppdashinspireaward.com/ or http://www.americanalpineclub.org/grants/g/5/Copp-Dash-Inspire-Award.

About the Copp-Dash Inspire Award:
Sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia, the Copp-Dash Inspire Award helps support small teams tackling difficult climbs in the great mountains of the world who plan to personally document and share their ascents through a multimedia blend of storytelling elements. Proposed trips or climbs should be focused on unclimbed objectives in distant ranges and regions, requiring a high level of skill and commitment and climbed in a fast, light and clean style that stays true to the progression of expedition climbing. Proposed documentation styles should be innovative and unique, and can include any creative mix of photos, social media, video, painting, or writing that will vividly capture the essence and adventure of the trip or climb.