A.A.C., New York Section. The year 1991 was a busy and productive one for the Section. Alpinfilm ’91, a festival of prize-winning mountain films from all over the world, attracted another large and enthusiastic audience to Manhattan’s Florence Gould Hall on March 21. Thanks to the success of last year’s festival and sponsor support, Alpinfilm now offers cash awards to outstanding filmmakers. Prize winners were “E Pericoloso Sporgersi” by Robert Nicod, “Moj Mahly Everest” by Poland’s Miroslaw Dembinski, “To Climb A Mountain” by Rick Ridgeway and Diane Baker, and “Le Skieur du Vide” by Alan Tixier. Among the celebrities in attendance was Sir Edmund Hillary, who received a standing ovation. This year’s festival was run as a fund-raiser for the Mohonk Preserve, which is engaged in ongoing conservation efforts in the Shawangunks. A special tribute was paid to the Smiley family for their years of enlightened custodianship of the East’s premier rock climbing area.
Our lecture series featured Ian Wade, climbing team leader of Jim Whittaker’s successful 1990 Everest Peace Climb, and Larry Huntington, a member of the 1991 American Everest North Face Expedition. Larry, a bank chairman in real life, narrowly missed making the summit and beating Dick Bass’s age record. These slide shows are followed by a social hour.
June was another successful Adirondack climbing outing with approximately 35 members and guests in attendance. After a busy day on the rocks, members and guests attended a Saturday evening banquet in Lake Placid followed by an absorbing slide show on climbing in the Pamirs by Nola Royce.
Finally, Bill Putnam, former A.A.C. President and its newest honorary member, was the special guest speaker at the Section’s Annual Dinner. This year’s gala black tie event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the formation of the 10th Mountain Division, America’s mountain troops in World War II. Bill, a twice decorated veteran of the illustrious unit, recounted its history from the early days of training at Camp Hale to the final, decisive Italian campaign of 1945. A special tribute to the 10th was paid by the West Point Cadet Drill Team. Robert Anderson, leader of the 1988 Everest East Face Expedition, gave a short preview of his attempt to be the first to solo the Seven Summits, thus rounding out the evening’s program. Twelve new members were introduced and presented their membership pins. The evening benefited the American Alpine Journal Publishing Fund.
With membership rolls reaching a new high of 250, the Section looks forward in 1992 to continued membership growth, fun and camaraderie for its members and constructive support of climbing-related causes. Out-of-town A.A.C. members who wish to receive invitations to New York events should write to: NY Section A.A.C., Box 5475, Rockefeller Station, New York, NY 10185.
Philip Erard, Chairman