Holiday Reading, Holiday Shopping and Holiday Hours

Happy Holidays!

Here is your reminder that the last day for bookmail is December 22, 2011. The American Mountaineering Center and the American Alpine Club Library will be closed from December 23, 2011 through January 2, 2012.

Need some ideas for escapist reading? Try some mountain-related fiction!

If you are hunting for some last minute gifts, we’ve got some ideas!

A gift AAC membership!



A beautiful new book by Sandy Hill (sales of which benefit the library).


Mountain celebrates every dimension of the beauty, wonder, and spectacle of the heights, and is a unique and spectacular tribute to the mountains of the world. With more than 300 oversized pages of photographs by: Ansel Adams, Barry Corbet, Arnold Fanch, Laura Gilpin, Edmunch Hillary, Eadweard, Muybridge, Gerhard Richter, Royal Robbins, Galen Rowell, Vittorio Sella, John Scurlock, Frank Smyth, Bradford Washburn—including never-before-seen photographs and essays from AAC Members Ellen Lapham, Phil Powers, Jack Tackle, and more.

Pre-order your copy of Mountain today and support the American Alpine Club Library.

Regular Copy: $85.00 plus $15.00 shipping

Limited edition copies signed by Sandy Hill and Jack Tackle, enclosed in a custom handmade cloth slip case, are only available through The American Alpine Club for $130.00 plus $15.00 shipping.

Holiday Mystery Book Gift Box

Everyone likes surprises right? Well, surprise a climber in your life with an AAC Library Holiday Mystery Book Gift Box!

We have thousands of collectible books on our shelves—ranging from $5-$300 in value—and we’d like you to have some of them! Buy a Gift Box and you’ll get twenty randomly selected books from our storeroom. Topics include mountaineering and climbing all over the world, with publication dates mostly from 19th and 20th century.

Each purchase helps support climbers, the AAC Library, and the climbing community.

Member Price: $499.96


Mountain, by Sandy Hill: Pre-order Now!

Sandy Hill has created a gorgeous book of photographs and essays and has generously donated proceeds of sale to benefit the library.  Please pre-order by mailing in this flyer, or by visiting our website.  Thank you for your support!

Here is the downloadable PDF: Mountains Appeal Insert

Your Barnes and Noble Shopping Supports The Library

Barnes and Noble stores nationwide are giving the AAC Library and Museum a percentage of your sale on ANY book or dvd!

Use this code at check out:  10135614

Here’s the beta:

ONLINE May 20-28th: On the payment page for your online purchases, you will see a prompt “Is this a Bookfair order?” When you click on it, you will get a payment screen where you can enter your book fair ID number (above) in the space provided.

IN STORES May 20-23rd: You must present this voucher in the store -don’t forget to take it with you!

North Face Spire 40 PackPRIZES! Because we love gear as much as we love books…

Send an email with a picture of you purchasing in any B&N store through May 23rd or forward your online receipt by May 28th to win a North Face Spire 40 climbing day pack! Put “I got beta!” in the subject line to enter the drawing and win!

For those in the Front Range….

May 22nd at Barnes and Noble West
14347 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood, CO

Prizes, contests, artifacts, book signings, movies and more!

1:00 Dave Muller, Best Colorado Lake Hikes and Summit Hikes
presentation and book signing.

2:00 Trivia
3:00 – 5:00 Kids Dress Like a Climber
4:00 NOVA Film Everest: The Death Zone
6:00 Prize drawing for a FREE pair of KEEN shoes!


The AAC Would Like Your Comments

We strive to be relevant to the needs of the climbing community and to individual climbers. We frequently get and read comments from members and non-members alike on various blogs, forums, events, and emails. Your ideas and your input help make us better and help us understand the ways we can make the American Alpine Club serve your needs and the needs of the broader community. Once again we would like your input. Every idea and comment is valuable, so please comment away; however we have identified a few areas where your specific comments would be helpful:

Conservation – Protecting the areas we climb: the AAC continues to do work pertinent to climbing area needs, specifically much-needed infrastructure (toilets, trails, etc.) and other projects that show that climbers are good stewards of the places where they recreate. We are considering some strategy changes in this area: 1) Developing the core competencies within the organization to be a resource for local organizations or land managers. This would probably be accomplished via an AAC funded Climbers Conservation Corps that would travel to areas where their expertise is required. 2) Create a new grant program specific to conservation where the AAC would receive applications for work that needs to be done. The club might provide expertise, volunteers, or money for approved projects. 3)  A hybrid of the two strategies above.

Local Empowerment – We believe that local sections should be empowered to do what they are passionate about. In fact, we are thinking about changing our section strategy to instead be an opt-in structure based on passions and interests. You may live in Colorado, but love Yosemite, and want to engage with other Yosemite lovers. You may love sport climbing in the southeast and want to engage with others that also love that. In essence, we would like to engage and empower our membership by providing them with community based on similar interests and passions. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and on creative ideas for empowering and engaging local, volunteer groups.

– The AAC has long been the source for reliable information on all forms of climbing and mountains worldwide.  When the AAC started, to recent times, we were effective in this area with our library, the American Alpine Journal, and Accidents in North American Mountaineering – the latter two being print publications. What should the knowledge area look like at the AAC in the 21st century – a time when digitization, videos, and instant information is the norm?

Mentoring – Thousands of new climbers enter our sport every year – most through climbing gyms. The transition from indoor to outdoor climbing can be a confusing, and sometimes dangerous, process. We believe the club needs to create opportunities to mentor climbers no matter where they are at in their climbing career. We are exploring several strategies, including partnerships, training standards, and volunteer mentor programs.  Please give us your ideas.

While you are welcome to leave your comments here on the AAC Library blog, we ask that you participate in the conversation over on the AAC’s Blog, Inclined or on the AAC’ s Facebook page.

Thank you for your input on these, and any other ideas you might have. If you are uncomfortable posting your thoughts on a public forum, please email them to:

Hooking Up With Books

Here’s a new twist on a partner finder…

Alikewise is a dating service based on what books people like to read.

I found 10 books with “Climbing” in the title – and no one with profiles that include those books.  Get busy, people – time to take over that site, don’t you think?

April Fools? Not at all.  This public service message brought to you by the AAC Library – always looking after your interests!
If you are planning on buying some books to support your social life, don’t forget that the AAC Library and Mountaineering Museum are hosting a Barnes and Noble Bookfair  in May!  Here’s all you need to know…
Shop at Barnes and Noble on May 20-May 23rd in any store nationwide, or online from May 20-28th, and we get a percentage of the sale!  You must present this Voucher -don’t forget to take it with you!On the payment page for your online purchases, you will see a prompt “Is this a Bookfair Order”. When you click on it, you will get a payment screen where you can enter your book fair ID number in the space provided. This book fair ID number is the same provided by your organization for in store shopping.

Our BookFair ID is 10135614

Contact the library for more information at 303-384-0112 or library [at] americanalpineclub [dot] org

What our volunteers are doing this week

The AAC library could not function without the dedicated work of our volunteers and part-time staff.  There is a lot going on in here every day, and while Gary and I have a hand in each of these projects, we rely on the generosity and effort of these folks who show up every week (when they are not adventuring somewhere!).  Thank you for giving us the gift of your time.  You are incredibly special people.

Three new volunteers joined the team this week:

  • Bob Sorgenfrei, a retired librarian from Colorado School of Mines, is applying his expertise with rare books to help us get ready for some on-line and in-house book sales.  He is building on the mountaineering book appraisal work of Bob Ader, long-time and dedicated AAC member and volunteer.  Book sales fund the library, and we’ve got a LOT of books to sell!
  • Matt Harding, a very experienced project manager and long-lost AAC member, has broken the secrets of a very complex list of the Central Asia Library and is busy transferring it to spreadsheet form. This will allow you to see what is in this amazing collection as soon as we get it online.  It could be a while, and much work remains to be done.
  • CU Boulder Economics student Brenden McDonald hadn’t heard of the AAC till last week, and now he has committed to helping us get the Central Asia Library books onto the shelves, and to getting the word out about the AAC to his climbing friends.  The more climbers in the library, the better a resource it is as a club!

Long-standing volunteers have been continuing with their projects, and starting new ones:

  • Maryanne Brush marked her one year anniversary volunteering at the AAC Library.  Maryanne has brought her organizational and puzzle-solving skills from Jefferson County Libraries to us, helping to figure out the best ways to process the CMC’s summit registers, how to get the 30,000 books of the Central Asia Library onto the shelves efficiently, and how to organize 100 years of archival documents.
  • Pat Wallace has volunteered here since the library was moved to Golden in 1993.  She single-handedly manages the serial publications, checking in new magazines every week and sending them out for binding.  Pat is also nearly finished scanning 1500 color slides from the Harish Kapadia collection.  She’s on an east coast road trip to see family for the next month, but I’m sure we’ll see her when she gets back!
  • Many of you have probably talked with Adam McFarren.  He’s the guy that digs for the answers to your reference questions, in between his weekend trips to Colorado peaks.  He’s in the Wind River Range right now, but will be back soon too.  I hope so, because he shelves the books when you send them back to us, and there’s a lot of them!
  • Tom Halicki is recovering from a shoulder injury no doubt incurred on Long’s, but when he’s here, he’s either busy checking in the first batch of 5,000 Central Asia books, or he’s using his DC policy experience to offer improvements to our grant submissions.
  • Jim Moss, Elizabeth Feary and Sherry Richardson have been bending over backwards to make the book club an interesting place to be, with special guests and unique opportunities. Don’t forget to come to the one on August 11th!
  • Noah McKelvin and Barbara Blum hold down the desk on Saturdays so that Gary and I can have a weekend, and Bill Jackson is here most Friday afternoons.  Noah’s dream is to graduate high school and hit the road as a climber, and he is well on his way to reading every book in the library.  Barbara is a recent library school grad who has been helping to catalog new books.   When not trying to teach us our knots, Bill mans the desk and culls the most recent climbing mags for new books and dvds to order, or helps us move archive boxes from one place to another, and sometimes back again.  Adam Burris has proved himself a high school student of many talents – he’s the one who mails your books to you, but he is also transfers cassette taped interviews to mp3s and gets our mp4s onto the internet archive, enters data into spreadsheets and effectively does what needs doing.
  • Thanks also to the volunteers that show up when they can, like Lee SmithKristy Edwards and Erin Peach and the ones who do onetime projects, like Joe Brown of the Colorado Environmental Film Festival.

Again – we are so lucky to have all of you!

An interesting volunteer opportunity on Easter Island

We get newsletters and climbing journals from all over the world here at the AAC.   They’re not available for checkout because they are hard to replace, but they are a great resource.   The recent Expedition News has this blurb:

“Easter Island Cave Project Seeks Volunteers – The Cultural and Natural History of Rapa Nui Caves Project seeks volunteers from June 24 through July 19. The caves are located on Easter Island, called Rapanui by the natives, at the southeastern end of the Polynesian Triangle, with Hawaii at the top and New Zealand at the southwest. Team members must be physically fit, not claustrophobic, and own both their own caving equipment and vertical gear. Individuals with experience in caving, rock climbing and/or mountaineering are preferred. They also must be First Aid/CPR certified and must have passed a physical within the last year.  Participants are responsible for airfare from the U.S. to Easter Island, hotel accommodations, and other costs. (For more information: Jut Wynne,”