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Decades of big-wall and mountain first-ascent information available to anyone with access to the internet
Golden, Colorado, March 1, 2007. The American Alpine Club (AAC) today released the online version of its world renowned American Alpine Journal. The AAJ Online is available on the American Alpine Club website. Go directly to the page at www.americanalpineclub.org/AAJO. There are no fees or registration requirements.
Published since 1929, the American Alpine Journal (the Journal) is the premier annual record of significant mountaineering and long rock-climbing ascents worldwide. The 500-page Journal is has long been prized as a benefit to members of the AAC who look forward to its arrival by mail every summer. Now, the world will have access to an electronic version.
The initial launch of the AAJ Online includes volumes back to 1966. Over time, all volumes back to 1929 will be added. Gary Landeck, head librarian at the American Alpine Club’s Henry S. Hall Library in Golden, CO adds, “We receive calls almost every day from climbers and the media who have questions that can only be answered by the American Alpine Journal. Now everyone’s questions can be easily asked and answered with this simple search tool.”
“This is part of a larger effort by the club to make our substantial information resources more available. We made our 30,000 volume library catalog searchable last year and we now mail books to members around the world. The Journal is extremely useful as a climbers’ research tool but only if you are one of the few who have a complete set. This makes decades of new route information available to anyone with access to the internet,” says executive director Phil Powers. “We could not have done it without the work of dozens of volunteers who did the scanning and Ray Snead who put this all together.”
The Journal gathers reports from all the first ascents of mountain and big wall routes worldwide. Reporting is generally limited to all-day routes (climbs of U.S. Commitment Grade IV and longer). As much as possible, articles and reports are written by the climbers themselves. The Journal reports on new routes, significant attempts, and occasionally on important repeat ascents.
The Journal is edited by long-time climber and writer, John Harlin III. “I think the AAJ Online will prove to be the single greatest research tool that mountain exploration has ever known,” says Harlin who has been climbing, and writing about it, for decades. His book The Eiger Obsession: Facing the Mountain That Killed My Father releases from Simon & Schuster in early March, as does the Imax film The Alps.
The American Alpine Club is the premier national organization in the U.S. devoted to the multitude of issues facing rock climbers and mountaineers. For more than 100 years, the AAC has led mountaineering adventure, scientific research and education in the U.S. The Club’s active membership ranges from beginning climbers to a “who’s who” of the world’s most experienced mountaineers. The organization’s dedication to education and conservation drives dissemination of knowledge, continued study and scientific exploration of the high mountains of the world, from the Arctic Circle to the peaks of Antarctica. For more information on the AAC, and to learn how to become active in the organization and the sport of climbing, visit the AAC Web site at www.AmericanAlpineClub.org.