Seven teams planning a variety of expeditions from big-wall free climbs to major new routes at nearly 8,000 meters, and from Alaska to Pakistan have won the first-ever Copp-Dash Inspire Awards. The new grant program was 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.
The Copp-Dash Inspire Awards provide financial support (a total of $20,000) as well as mentoring before and after the expeditions to help the climbers bring back inspiring multimedia stories of their adventures.
The 2010 Copp-Dash Inspire Award winners and their objectives are:
Sarah Garlick, northwest face of the Baroness, Greenland, with Danika Gilbert, Jim Surette, and Dave Nettle. New free route on the 2,000-foot northwest face of the Baroness.
Sam Johnson, South Face of Mt. Shand and traverse of Mt. Hayes massif, Alaska, with Ryan Hokanson. Alpine-style first ascent of a 1,500-meter face on Mt. Shand and a 12-mile traverse of Hayes massif, entailing thousands of vertical meters of climbing.
Kevin Mahoney, South Face of Nuptse, Nepal, with Ben Gilmore and Freddie Wilkinson. Alpine-style ascent on this circa 7,800-meter peak via a new route on the perimeter of the Cobweb Wall.
Matt McCormick, Southeast Pillar of K7 West, Pakistan, with Jim Shimberg and Tim Deroehn. Alpine-style first complete ascent of an important sub-summit of K7 West, requiring thousands of feet of rock climbing followed by a major mixed climb.
Will Meinen, North Face of Mt. Geikie, Canada, with Fred McGuinness and Scott Thumlert. New route on this 4,000-foot face.
Madaleine Sorkin, Southeast Face of Mt. Proboscis, Canada, with Lorna Illingworth and Emily Stifler. First complete free ascent of the 2,000-foot Original Route.
Zack Smith, traverse of the Mooses Tooth massif, with Renan Ozturk and Freddie Wilkinson. A full traverse of the massif, entailing an estimated 12,000 feet of ice, rock, and snow climbing.
The Copp-Dash Inspire Awards are funded by Black Diamond, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear, and Patagonia, with support from Alpinist magazine, the American Alpine Club, the Jonny Copp Foundation, John Dickey, Mikey Shaefer, the Adventure Film Festival, and Sender Films.
For more information on the Copp-Dash Inspire Award and how to apply for 2011, click here.