The Blog Has Moved!

The blog of the American Alpine Club Library has joined the AAC’s blog, Inclined.

More information about the AAC Library can be found on the AAC website as well as on our Facebook page.

The library catalog can be searched online, and members can check out and renew books here.

Email us at library [at] americanalpineclub [dot] org, or call 303-384-0112

Hope to hear from you!


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:

Tien Shan Glaciers Project

A lot of different kinds of research happens in the AAC Library:  short trips and expeditions, historic research to support books and articles, school projects,  graduate studies…we get all kinds of requests for information and do our best to help.

Recently, volunteer Adam McFarren has been working to find resources in the library to help an AAC grant winner. You can read more about the AAC Nikwax grant here.   Her project is described in her own words below:

The Tien Shan Glaciers Project is the blog of AAC member Ann Piersall, a Montana native spending the year in Kyrgyzstan.  Supported by a U.S. Fulbright Grant, an AAC Research Grant, and a Nikwax Bellwether Grant she is combining alpine pursuits and scientific research that highlights glaciation and mountain culture in the Tien Shan. Ann’s main project is an interdisciplinary evaluation of glacial retreat in the At-Bashy Range.  This project combines local physical data on climate change, exploratory mountaineering objectives, and a social analysis of climate change knowledge among the semi-nomadic Kyrgyz livestock herders utilizing the range’s high mountain pastures.  You can read about Ann’s research, her skiing and mountaineering objectives, life in Central Asia, and her collaborations with other projects at

The American Mountaineering Museum’s Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Gala and Induction Ceremony

hall logo

5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

American Mountaineering Center and Museum

Attire: Carabiners and Cummerbunds  (semi-formal)

Enjoy cocktails, dinner, live auction, induction ceremony

and special guest speaker, Ed Viesturs

The Event

Please join us for a spectacular night April 10th, 2010 at the American Mountaineering Center and Museum for the first annual Hall of Mountaineering Excellence awards gala, as we honor significant individuals in mountaineering’s past and present. The night will include fine dining, entertainment, a program honoring the first inductees into the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence and special guest speaker Ed Viesturs.

The American Mountaineering Museum will induct four members into the new Hall of Mountaineering Excellence celebrating the lives and achievements of American climbers Yvon Chouinard, Robert Craig, Robert Bates, and Dr. Charles Houston.

The evening will be filled with stories of each mountaineer’s greatest ascents and expeditions, memories of the inductees no longer with us, as well as an appreciative look at each man’s work beyond the climbing world.

In addition to being a pioneering ice and big-wall climber, Chouinard has been one of the most important outdoor equipment and clothing innovators of modern times and a leading voice of environmental activism. Bates, Craig, and Houston are perhaps best known as climbers for their roles in the dramatic K2 expedition of 1953, but each has had profound impacts outside mountaineering: Bates as a beloved educator; Craig as founder and longtime president of the Keystone Center public-policy conference center; and Houston as a doctor and medical researcher.

At the awards gala on April 10 in Golden, Colorado, Chouinard and Craig are expected to accept their awards in person; the family and friends of Bates and Houston, who both have passed on, will accept their awards.
Date: April 10th, 2010
Location: American Mountaineering Center and Museum
Tickets on sale now!

sponsored by
First Ascent Logo

2010 Inductees

Hall inductees

From left to right.  Robert Craig, Robert Bates, Dr. Charles Houston, Yvon Chouinard

The Award

In keeping with the goals, mission, and vision of the American Mountaineering Museum, the inductees are broad-spectrum in their accomplishments on and off the mountain. Criteris is listed below.

1.      Accomplished mountaineer: Any inductee must have a substantial list of mountaineering accomplishments under his/her belt. This can be in any discipline – mountaineering, rock, ice, mixed, etc. Inductees should have a background that includes significant achievements like ground breaking first ascents, etc.

2.      Multi-dimensional: The museum focuses not only on the sport of mountaineering, but also on the tangential aspects of climbing, namely environment, culture, art, teamwork, etc. Thus, any inductee must not be simply a great mountaineer, but must also have made contributions of significance in other areas relating to the mountains. These areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Giving back to the climbing community directly through advocacy, financial support (grants, etc.), activism, etc.
  • Giving back to the climbing community indirectly through the creation of an admirable and inspiring legacy which touches and inspires current and future generations of climbers.
  • Positively impacting the cultures and peoples of the mountains through various works.
  • Positively impacting the environment of the mountains through various works.
  • Preserving mountain and mountain climbing history through various works.
  • Contributing heavily and uniquely to mountain art, through poetry, painting, photography, video/film, etc.
  • Contributing to the field of mountain science and medicine.

* special thank you to Sam Spina for the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence logo design.

Book Sale and Other February News

Annual Book Sale! February 20th, 2-6pm, Inverness Hotel

In conjunction with the 2010 Annual Dinner.  Go HERE to register for the dinner.  Jim Collins is the Keynote Speaker.  There will also be a presentation, Wild in the Sierra, by Literary Award Winner Doug Robinson.  All are welcome

Stop by to see what we’ve got! We’ll have about 200-300 collectible books for sale, ranging from $20-$500. All proceeds benefit the library and the Armando Menocal Guidebook Collection. Read more about our ongoing book sales here.

CleggRoyal Robbins Booksigning!
We are pleased to have Royal Robbins as our guest at our Annual Book Sale! Robbins, one of climbing’s great figures, has a new book called To Be Brave, which we will have for sale for $19.95.

Robbins’ climbing resume is staggering: First ascents on Yosemite’s Half Dome, El Capitan, as well as the Aiguille du Dru in Europe. Robbins is also the author of two seminal works on climbing, Basic Rockcraft and Advanced Rockcraft.  Here is the Wall Street Journal’s review.

So, stop by to say hello. Royal will be available to make yours a signed copy!

CleggAAC Book Club
The AAC Book Club is celebrating its one-year anniversary! And what a year it’s been. We’ve had Tom Hornbein, Stephen Venables, Mark Obmascik, and other authors join us for book discussions.

For March, we’ll be featuring Beyond the Mountain, by Steve House. House is currently one of the world’s best alpinists. He and Vince Anderson forged a new direct line on Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face in 2006.  The book was the 2009 Boardman-Tasker winner.

You can find out what’s coming up if you click here!

Take A Look At the AAC’s New Trailer!

The AAC is excited to announce our brand new trailer to help share the message and heartbeat of the AAC with the climbing community. Many thanks to Scott Neel for creating the video, with help from climbers Alex Honnold, Beth Rodden, Conrad Anker, Dave Graham, Heidi Wirtz, Kevin Jorgeson, Lynn Hill, Naomi Guy, Pete Takeda, Phil Powers, Renan Ozturk, and Timmy O’Neill.

sPEAKer Series at the Mountaineering Museum: Jan.6, Feb. 3rd events

The Mountaineering Museum and Colorado Mountain School presents:
Avalanche Awareness Clinic

January 6th 2010 @ 7:00PM (Museum Reception @ 5:30)

Welcome back to the new year with an avalanche awareness clinic presented by the Colorado Mountain School!

Every year, avalanches are one of the leading causes of death among backcountry enthusiasts. Our home turf, Colorado, consistently leads the nation in avalanche fatalities.

If you plan on spending time in high, snowy country, be prepared.

In this one hour clinic our expert guides give an introduction to how avalanches happen, what they look like, and how to avoid them.

Our guides are American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) trained to teach avalanche courses, and they also spend some 300 days a year in the field-they know snow from an academic and practical perspective, and they share their knowledge with you.

Topics covered include:
Types of avalanches
Avalanche terrain
Snowpack analysis
Weather considerations
Avalanche decision-making
Trip planning and preparation
Travel techniques

Sponsored by: KEEN Footwear, and The Colorado Mountain School

$3 CMC/AAC Members, $5 Non-Members – FREE to Friends of the Museum and Friends of the AAC Library.

February 3rd: Mountaineering Museum sPEAKer Series: LOWA Boots presents Jeff Blumenfeld’s talk, You Want to Go Where? based upon his new book from Skyhorse Publishing that covers some of the world’s most historic expeditions and adventures with an eye towards how people can gain funding for their own travels. Museum reception: 5:30PM meet Jeff and explore the museum, 7:00 Presentation in Foss Auditorium. $5 non-members, $3 CMC/AAC members, FREE to Friends of the Museum and AAC Library. Visit for details.