AAC Backs Four Cutting-Edge Expeditions

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The southwest side of Hathi Parbat in India. Photo by Alok Prasad / Wikipedia Commons.

The southwest side of Hathi Parbat in India. Photo by Alok Prasad / Wikipedia Commons.

2/12/15 - The American Alpine Club has named four recipients of its annual Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Awards, a grant for small teams attempting bold first ascents. The winners are:

• Skiy DeTray and Justin Griffin, for an attempt on the south face of Ngadi Chuli in Nepal, slated for this fall. The 7,871-meter mountain, which rises south of Manaslu, has only been climbed once or twice, and the steep, 2,700-meter south face has never been attempted.

• Anne Gilbert Chase and Jason Thompson, who will attempt the unclimbed southwest face of Hathi Parbat in the Garhwal Himalaya of India. The two Bozeman climbers are gunning for the  6,727-meter peak this fall. “This line has not been climbed or attempted,” Chase said. “Hathi Parbat was climbed in 1963 but has not been climbed since then. Neither of us have climbed in India, so this will be a completely new experience.”

• Utah-based climbers Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson will attempt the famed north ridge of Latok I and/or the north face of Ogre II in Pakistan. Both lines are well-known targets for alpinists in the Karakoram—the north side of 7,145-meter Latok has resisted more than two dozen attempts.

The north side of Shispare Sar in Pakistan, with the red line showing the planned ascent route and the black showing the planned descent. Photo by Doug Chabot.

The north side of Shispare Sar in Pakistan, with the red line showing the planned ascent route and the black showing the planned descent. Photo by Doug Chabot.

• Doug Chabot, Steve Su, and Rusty Willis plan to attempt the north ridge of 7,611-meter Shispare Sar in Pakistan this summer. The peak has only been climbed twice, and the 2,000-meter-plus north face has never been attempted. “This award was actually given to us in 2013, but they allowed us to postpone it after we did not go because of the Nanga Parbat base camp killings,” Chabot said.

Each of the teams will receive $3,000 in funding from the AAC. "Every year the committee is wildly impressed by the amazing objectives award applicants plan to pursue, and it is always a challenge to narrow the applicants down to a few," said Paul Gagner, chair of the Spitzer Awards committee.

The AAC also funds the ambitions of ordinary climbers through its Live Your Dreams Grants. This regional program awards dozens of $200 to $1,000 grants to climbers hoping to expand their climbing horizons. The 2015 application period ends March 1.