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A.A.C., New York Section

A.A.C., New York Section. The New York Section offers its 200-odd members a diversity of activities including lectures, outings, an annual dinner and other social events. In 1987 members received invitations to six lectures followed by a social hour. Topics covered a wide range of subjects including Sacred Mountains of the World by Edwin Bernbaum; Adventure Skiing by John Harlin, III; a High Altitude Medical Symposium featuring Charles Houston, M.D., Drummond Rennie, M.D., and moderated by Samuel Silverstein, M.D.; the First Winter Ascent of Ama Dablam’s Northeast Face by Carlos Buhler; Skiing the Haute Route by Fred Selby; and a documentary on the yeti by Tony Wooldridge, a British physicist and mountain runner.

The 1987 Annual Dinner, a gala black-tie benefit for the Library attended by 150 members and guests, featured Bob Bates as the after-dinner speaker discussing “Fifty Years of Mountain Exploration” in the Yukon, Karakoram and China. The inaugural John Case Award for accomplishment by a New York Section Member was presented at the Dinner to Lynn Hill for her first place finish in the women’s division of this year’s European Rock Climbing Competitions and to Girard Bloch for his ascent, at age 68½, of the Nose Route on El Capitan, beating the previous age record by 20 years. The award, a gold carabiner appropriately mounted and inscribed, commemorates the late AAC President, Section member and pioneer Adirondack climber and skier. Proceeds from the Dinner are being used to fund the country’s largest climbing video collection, which will be housed at the Clubhouse and available to the membership on a circulating basis, as well as funding rare book restoration and preservation.

A climbing outing in the Adirondacks attracted 20 members to the Ausable Club on the weekend after Memorial Day. Despite torrid weather and a Sunday afternoon thunderstorm, numerous routes up to 5.11 were completed in the area. A cocktail party and dinner at the Lake Placid Club golf house, with slide shows by Don Mellor and Olaf Sööt, topped off the festivities. In June, the Section co-sponsored a buffet dinner and award ceremony with the Explorers Club and The Society of Woman Geographers featuring the first award of the Tenzing Norgay Trophy to the Professional Mountaineer of the Year. The 1987 recipient was Sharon Wood of Banff, Alberta, for the first ascent of Everest by a North American woman; the presenter was Sir Edmund Hillary.

During the year Section members distinguished themselves in numerous climbs and expeditions in Alaska, South America and the Himalayas. Particularly noteworthy was a successful pre-monsoon ascent of Ama Dablam’s southwest ridge by John Iacovino and Chip Kamin, their first major Himalayan expedition.

Philip Erard, Chairman