AAC Annual Benefit Dinner
On Commitment: Dr. Tom Hornbein, Steve House
Keynote Speakers at 2011 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner
Registration Now Open to Public
February 25-26, 2011
Golden, CO (January 2011)—Film actors convene every year for the Oscars. Musicians gather for the Grammys. For climbers and mountaineers, our nation’s best come together for an annual gala hosted by The American Alpine Club.
This year the AAC Annual Benefit Dinner features a unique conversation about the risks, sacrifices, joys, and freedoms that come with deep commitment in the mountains. Leading the discussion are two of America’s greatest climbers from different generations, Dr. Tom Hornbein and Steve House.
After dinner, five climbing greats, ages spanning from 20 to almost 90, will receive awards: Fred Beckey, Bob Craig, Tom Frost, Hayden Kennedy, and Royal Robbins.
“On Commitment: A Conversation between Dr. Tom Hornbein and Steve House” is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. These climbing legends may never all come together again. And unlike the Oscars or Grammys, this annual meet-up has been running for more than a hundred years, since 1902.
The events on February 26, 2011 are open to the public. The evening features waterfront dining, cocktails, and silent and live auctions in the International Promenade of the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle. Seat reservations are required. AAC members and non-members alike are invited to attend. New this year is a deeply discounted youth ticket for those 28 and younger.
Weekend events also include slideshows, a climbers’ party, award ceremonies, and the annual AAC member meeting. Full schedule details are available at americanalpineclub.org/2011dinner.
About the Speakers
Dr. Tom Hornbein is an anesthesiologist, author, and member of the first team to traverse an 8,000-meter peak. In late May of 1963, Horbein and Willi Unsoeld, members of an expedition that had, only weeks before, made the first American ascent of Mt. Everest, set out to climb the unexplored west ridge of the mountain. After a multi-day ordeal, exhausted, frostbitten, and long out of oxygen, they became the first men to traverse the world’s highest peak. Horbein went on to climb numerous other mountains and became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He is author of Everest: The West Ridge.
Steve House won the 2005 Piolet d’Or climbing award for an alpine-style first ascent on Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face. Once dubbed “The Great White Hope of Alpinism,” House has made first ascents and formidable climbs on some of the world’s most notable walls—the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat, the south face of Denali, the Emperor Face of Mt. Robson. He is a Patagonia Ambassador, mountain guide, and author of Beyond the Mountain. Climbing legend Reinhold Messner calls him "the best high-altitude climber in the world today."
About The American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community. The Club unites climbers at events like the AAC Annual Benefit Dinner, manages a climbers’ campground in Grand Teton National Park, publishes the world’s most sought after annual climbing publication (the American Alpine Journal), cares for the world’s leading mountaineering library and offers annual climbing, conservation, and research grants to budding adventurers. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org. Join the AAC’s online community at facebook.com/americanalpineclub.
“One of the things I value about climbing is that we find community around this communal passion and share experiences that cross over generations. To be able to connect with Tom, one of the greatest mountaineers of all time, among our other peers—that’s incredible. But in another sense, it’s also ordinary. That’s what climbers do: come together, share wild experiences, storytell. At the Annual Dinner, everyone in the room will share that bond. They don’t need to have climbed the West Ridge of Everest or the Rupal Face to understand what we’re going to talk about.” —Steve House, 2011 AAC Annual Dinner Co-keynote Speaker
“There are 40 some odd years that separate when Tom and I climbed our signature routes, yet in many ways our experiences were similar. We went though so many of the same emotions, fears, doubts, successes. These unite climbers, if nothing else.” —Steve House, 2011 AAC Annual Dinner Co-keynote Speaker
“Our conversation is going to be just like a good climb—full of uncertainty until the very end.” —Tom Hornbein, 2011 AAC Annual Dinner Co-keynote Speaker
“Steve [House] is half my age. In the generation between, styles of climbing have changed humongously. We’ll be counterpointing those differences in our conversation ‘On Commitment.’ But there are also lots of universals about climbing—like risk and justification—that haven’t changed at all.”
—Tom Hornbein, 2011 AAC Annual Dinner Co-keynote Speaker
Why Join the American Alpine Club?
The American Alpine Club has been uniting climbers for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit Club provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community.
The AAC hosts events like the AAC Annual Dinner & Gala, advocates for climbers’ rights in the U.S. and internationally, manages a climbers’ campground in Grand Teton National Park, publishes the world’s most sought after annual climbing publication (the American Alpine Journal), cares for the world’s leading mountaineering library and offers annual climbing, conservation, and research grants to budding adventurers. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org. Join the AAC’s online community at facebook.com/americanalpineclub.
- AAC Members also enjoy the following benefits:
- Active support in climbing conservation, access and advocacy
- Opportunity to apply for over $50,000 in annual grants
- Discounts on mountain lodging worldwide and at AAC events
- Access to other climbers through an online membership database
- $5,000 rescue benefit (a value of $329+)
- Free copy of The American Alpine Journal (a $34.95 value)
- Free copy of Accidents in North American Mountaineering (an $11 value)
- Free guidebook and video rental–by mail–from the comprehensive AAC Library
- Magazine Discounts: 40% off Alpinist, 58% off Climbing, and 83% off Rock & Ice
- 50% off lodging at the Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch (a value of $10/night)
- Unique affiliate gear discounts