2018 Climbing Awards Announced by The American Alpine Club

January 11, 2018

America’s Top Climbing Awards Honor Alex Honnold and Sally Jewell, among others

Golden, CO (Jan 11, 2018) — The American Alpine Club is delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 Climbing Awards honoring the most impactful climbers and conservationists within the North American climbing community. Among this year’s award honorees are big-wall free-solo pioneer Alex Honnold, teenage climbing prodigy Margo Hayes, and former US Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell.

The Annual Climbing Awards, presented by The American Alpine Club, are the longest running and most prestigious awards honoring climbing and conservation achievement in North America. The awards recognize the most dedicated and prolific climbers of their generation as well as those who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to conservation issues.

Phil Powers, American Alpine Club CEO, commented, “Though climbing’s popularity has exploded recently, it was long the domain of a few bold souls. Difficult and dangerous, it is a metaphor for much in life and an inspiration to many. These awards and the people who have earned them are that inspiration.”

Top athletes recognized by the 2018 Climbing Awards include Alex Honnold, Margo Hayes, and John Roskelley. Conservation and volunteerism awards will go to Sally Jewell and Ellen Lapham.

Alex Honnold, winner of the 2018 The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award, is best known for his bold free-solo ascents in Yosemite as well as visionary ascents in Zion, El Potrero Chico, and Patagonia. Margo Hayes, winner of the 2018 The Robert Hicks Bates Award, is a climbing prodigy who as a teenager successfully climbed two 5.15a routes; considered among the most difficult routes in the world ever climbed by a woman. Roskelley, nominated for Honorary Membership, was a leader on the original American ascent team of K2 in 1978 and is renowned for high-altitude first ascents across the Himalaya.

The Annual Climbing Awards will be presented in-person to awardees at the 2018 American Alpine Club Annual Dinner, Feb 24 in Boston, MA. Past award-winners have included Yvon Chouinard, Fred Becky, Tommy Caldwell, Michael Kennedy, among other climbing legends. To purchase tickets to the Annual Dinner Event and learn more about the American Alpine Club’s Climbing Awards, please visit http://americanalpineclub.org/abd-awards/

2018 Climbing Award Recipients:

Honorary Membership
For having had a lasting and significant impact on the advancement of climbing.
Recipient: John Roskelley 

The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award
For his vision and commitment to achieving new standards of climbing.
Recipient: Alex Honnold

Heilprin Citation
Recognizing those who have worked to maintain and strengthen the American Alpine Club.
Recipient: Ellen Lapham

The Robert Hicks Bates Award
Recognizing a young climber with outstanding promise.
Recipient: Margo Hayes

The David R. Brower Award
Recognizing leadership and commitment to preserving mountain regions worldwide.
Recipient: Sally Jewell

About 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 Climbing; cares for the world’s leading climbing library and country’s leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $100,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at www.americanalpineclub.org