The 2012 Annual Benefit Dinner for the American Alpine Club will be held at the Seaport Hotel on the waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts this weekend on March 2-3. The theme and celebration for this year’s benefit dinner is “Climbing through the Generations” as new programs were implemented, advocacy milestones were attained and more resources have been provided for climbers to have access to online just in the past year.
The weekend’s events will kick off on March 2nd with a Friday night Member’s Meeting and Climbers Gathering which is a social evening open to all climbers and attendees. This will be held at the Westin Waterfront Hotel and will begin at 4:00 p.m. with the Annual Members’ Meeting in the Otis Room. A welcome reception will follow, sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, in the Saucity Bar at the hotel. At 7:00 p.m., attendees have the wonderful opportunity to hear legendary Austrian climber Kurt Diemberger speak about the first ascent of The White Mountain: Tales from the First Ascent of Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), which he accomplished back in 1960. Dhaulagiri is the world’s seventh highest mountain entirely in Nepal. Diemberger is the only person alive to have the distinction of making first ascents of two of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks, Broad Peak in 1957 and Dhaulagiri in 1960, both of which he climbed without supplemental oxygen.
On Saturday, March 3, attendees will have a chance to get their climb on at the MetroRock Climbing Gym for a couple of hours. The Annual Benefit Dinner will take place after book signings by Freddie Wilkinson, Bernadette McDonald and Ed Webster and a film, The Grand Rescue. The keynote presentation will be given by Mark Richey, Freddie Wilkinson, and Steve Swenson where they will share their experience of the August 2011 expedition, Saser-Kangri II (7,518 m). This peak was the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world and one of the last frontiers of Himalayan climbing. This will be the first time the team shares the story of their successful journey.
The American Alpine Club is an organization that provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community. They advocate for American climbers domestically and around the world; provide grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; host local and national climbing festivals and events; publish two of the world’s most sought-after climbing annuals; and many other things. In 2011 alone, the American Alpine Club has:
• Hired staff around the country to ensure that the AAC is vibrant in your backyard. These regional coordinators regularly connect with Members by hosting local events, conservation projects, and more.
• Expanded its Member benefits to include rescue insurance, climber-friendly
insurance, expansive discounts, and new and improved places for climbers to stay, such as the rebuilt Snowbird Hut in Alaska and the new AAC Clubhouse in Kathmandu, Nepal.
• Purchased 40 acres of land on the rim of West Virginia’s New River Gorge. The AAC is
working with local conservation and climbing organizations to plan a Climbers’
Campground with amenities walking distance from popular crags.
• Launched a new website, bringing local communities together in a more
user-friendly and attractive online space.
This is definitely an event you won’t want to miss out on if you’re in Massachusetts this weekend. There will be giveaways and a live and silent auction of some fantastic gear in addition to all the other festivities. For more information on this event, visit the American Alpine Club Web site.
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