Bozeman, Montana. The Hans Saari Memorial Fund, a grant-giving organization established to honor the life and values of ski-mountaineer Hans Saari, has announced award recipients for its spring 2008 grant cycle, including the recipients of the newly launched Hans Saari Memorial Ski Exploration Grant.

EXPLORATION GRANTS:Joe Stock of Anchorage, Alaska was awarded an exploration grant to fund his team’s proposed first ski traverse and documentation of the unexplored areas of the Tordillo Mountains in the Aleutian range of Alaska.

Jaimie Laidlaw of McCall, Idaho, was awarded an exploration grant supporting his participation in an international team’s attempt to climb and ski Himalaya’s 8163 meter Mount Manaslu.

Scott Cordner of Big Bear City, California, and his team have been awarded an exploration grant for their proposed attempt at first ski descents on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. The Corder expedition will be one of the first foreign ski expeditions to visit Kamchatka and will have the opportunity to raise awareness of the cultural and geographic features of the Peninsula.

Jason Thompson of Bozeman, Montana has been awarded a grant to support his ski exploration and documentation of the Caucasus Region of Georgia, an expedition that will focus not only on skiing, but also the political and social nature of this remote mountain region.

EDUCATIONAL GRANTS: Sara Lundy of Stanley, Idaho, has been awarded an education scholarship to fund her participation in the American Mountain Guides Association ski guide course.

Educational grants were awarded to the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club in Port Angeles, Washington to support a Level I Avalanche Course for club members and to the Montana Mountaineering Association in Bozeman, Montana to help fund the Junior Mountaineering Team’s ski and avalanche curriculum.

THE HANS SAARI MEMORIAL FUND: Grants provided by the Hans Saari Memorial Fund present a unique opportunity within the mountaineering community. The grants encourage the development of skills and qualities consistent with Hans Saari’s approach to skiing and travel in the mountains. Saari believed that mountains are an integral part of the cultural and spiritual lives of the people who live amongst them and understood that physical pursuits are only a part of mountain exploration. The grants support mountain education, innovative ski expeditions, and progressive exploratory projects in alpine environments while also encouraging the creative documentation of the experience through film, photography, writing and other media.

Applications for the fall cycle of education grants are due August 30, 2008. Exploration Grants will be next be awarded in March 2009. Applications and information can be found at hansfund.org For further press information contact: Hans Saari Memorial Fund, c/o Andrew Seessel, 7100 Jackson Creek Road, Bozeman, MT 59715; 406-556-1275; www.hansfund.org