A.A.C., New York Section. Several new overtures marked the year of 1990. The New York Section Environmental Fund, designed to assist clean-up operations, made its first grant—for $1,000—to the Everest Environmental Expedition organized by Bob McConnell and Liz Nichol. A second grant—for $1,250—was made to the Earth Day 20 International Peace Climb organized by Jim Whittaker. This fund was created from the proceeds of a Reinhold Messner lecture in 1989. Another significant first was the inaugural premiere of “Alpin film,” New York’s first international mountain film festival. A capacity audience of 400 was on hand in February for a one-evening showing of six films, all prize-winners at other film festivals. Jury Awards were as follows: Best Technical Merit: “Over the Edge,” a dramatization of an El Capitan Climb by Iain Stobie and Kathryn Johnston; Best Mountain Spirit: “Le Comeback De Baquet,” by Nicholas Philibert; and the overall winner: “K2 Triumph and Tragedy,” a British documentary by Jim Curran on the disastrous 1986 season on K2. “Alpinfilm ’90” was run as a benefit for the U.S. Climbing Team. Given the large attendance and enthusiastic audience response, “Alpinfilm” appears to have established itself as an annual fixture on New York’s lively cinema festival calendar.
Other events sponsored by the Section included lectures by Fred Selby on the “Trekking Peaks of Nepal” and Jed Williamson on “Staying Alive on Rock, Ice and Snow.” The latter program included first-person narratives by Bill Mosconi and John Thackray on their “near-misses” on rock and snow and how these accidents could have been avoided. The annual Adirondack outing attracted a record 40 members and guests to the Ausable Club in June. An active day on the rocks concluded with a reception and banquet in Lake Placid, followed by a lively after-dinner slide presentation on the Syracuse 1989 Baffin Island expedition by Bill Morris and Jim Vermeulen.
The year’s events ended in October with the traditional Annual Dinner, a gala Black Tie event attended by 140 members and guests, featuring a retrospective by Jim Whittaker on his life as a climber including the 1990 success on Everest. The John Case Award for accomplishment by a Section member was presented to Ian Wade, a summit team member of the Whittaker expedition, who thus became the first member of this Section to have climbed Everest. Twenty new members were introduced and presented their membership pins.
On the Access front, the Section intervened on behalf of local climbers seeking State support for a specifically designated parking area at Ragged Mountain, Connecticut, long a source of friction between climbers and local residents.
The Section is entirely self-supporting and receives no financial assistance or share of dues from the Club at large. To the contrary, it has been a sizeable contributor over the years to various A.A.C. causes, including the Library,
Journal and Club House renovation, as well as providing a social focus for its members. The Section’s mailing address is P.O. Box 5475, Rockefeller Station, New York, NY 10185
Philip Erard, Chairman