THE AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB AND SWISS SPORT WATCH MANUFACTURER, ALPINA BESTOWED THE FIRST ALPINA AAC CUTTING EDGE AWARD TO AN EXCEPTIONAL CLIMBING DUO, HAYDEN KENNEDY AND KYLE DEMPSTER. THE PRESTIGIOUS AWARD WAS PRESENTED AT THE 2016 EXCELLENCE IN CLIMBING AWARDS DINNER, CELEBRATING THE SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT OF THESE CLIMBERS, WHO ESTABLISHED TWO NEW ROUTES IN PAKISTAN'S KARAKORAM, THE EAST FACE OF K7 AND THE SOUTH FACE OF OGRE I. THE ALPINA AAC CUTTING EDGE AWARD WILL BE PRESENTED EACH YEAR TO ONE AMERCIAN CLIMBING TEAM WHO, WITH THE AID OF AN AAC CLIMBING GRANT, DEMONSTRATES EXCELLENCY IN SKILLS AND ACCOMPLISHMENT IN CUTTING EDGE CLIMBING OBJECTIVES AND WHO UPHOLDS THE VALUES OF THE AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB, ACTING AS WORLD-CLASS AMBASSADORS TO AMERICAN CLIMBING BOTH DOMESTICALLY AND ABROAD. KENNEDY AND DEMPSTER WERE EACH AWARDED AN ALPINA HOROLOGICAL SMARTWATCH, A REVOLUTIONARY SPORTING WATCH WHICH MEASURES INVALUABLE HEALTH, ACTIVITY AND SLEEP DATA FOR ATHLETES ON ITS OWN PLATFORM, COMPLIMENTED BY SWISS-MADE QUALITY AND VISUAL APPEAL.
Hayden Kennedy and Kyle Dempster made two attempts on peaks in the Karakoram, both proving successful in establishing new routes. K7 was particularly challenging as the team faced whiteout conditions, resulting in a grizzly 49-hour push. The team demonstrated true excellency in skill and championed the brotherhood of the rope. Hayden and Kyle's 2012 achievements in Pakistan were funded in part through the AAC's Lyman Spitzer grant.
Each peak measured 7,000 meters, and Kennedy and Dempster pursued and conquered both in a single summer, dubbing the adventure the "Pakistani Doubleheader." Through treacherous conditions of deep, unconsolidated snow, the pair made their successful ascent to K7. In only a matter of days after this significant accomplishment, Kennedy and Dempster departed for the second expedition of their "Doubleheader" up the Choktoi Glacier.A whiteout snowstorm raged around the team for 8 days as they patiently waited to begin their ascent. On August 19th, exactly one month after summiting K7, Hayden and Dempster began their trek to Ogre 1 climbing un-roped on 60-degree ice and snowfields. Two days later the summit was conquered, forging a new path and a lifelong bond along with it.
Alpina Watches CEO, Guido Benedini said, "The feats accomplished by these two Alpinists is nothing short of magnificent. Their passion for shattering boundaries and pushing themselves to the human limit should be an example and source of inspiration for all of us. Alpina is proud to support and award Hayden Kennedy and Kyle Dempster who reflect the very best qualities of alpinism and sportsmanship."The 2016 Excellence in Climbing Awards Dinner also featured a keynote by Libby Sauter and honored the 2016 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Awardees: Tom Frost, Hugh Herr, John Roskelley, Libby Sauter, and Geoff Tabin. These climbers have inspired a legacy for future climbers, positively impacted the environment, and advanced the fields of science and medicine, all while accomplishing incredible climbing feats.To learn more about the duo's trek through Pakistan, click here: http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201212367/DoubleheaderAbout Hayden Kennedy
Hayden climbed his first multi-pitch climb, the Kor-Ingalls route on Castleton Tower, when he was 13. He was petrified the entire day. Rather than deter him, the experience solidified his climbing obsession. Today Hayden works toward the goal of mastery in all aspects of climbing. He finds inspiration from the struggle of a hard redpoint or the mental challenge of a dicey alpine lead. In addition to the aforementioned success, his career highlights incude: Ascent of Exocet Chimney (6a WI5 MI3), Cerro Standhardt, Patagonia, Ascent of the Huber-Schnaf (6b+ MI3), via a link up with the Spigolo dei Bimbi (6b MI5) on Torre Egger, Patagonia, and the first "fair means" ascent of Cerro Torre's Southeast Ridge.
About Kyle Dempster
American Kyle Dempster is one of the world's leading alpinists with cutting edge first ascents around the globe. Despite being one of the leading talents, Dempster is known by few outside the small alpine climbing circle. He began climbing in 1994 at the age of 12 with his cousin Drew. In 2005, Kyle and Drew embarked on their first international adventure to frozen big walls of Baffin Island. Kyle was just 21. After completing a new route, Drew rappelled off the end of his rope and fell several hundred feet to his death. Drew's accident left a profound impact on Kyle, who after nearly giving up climbing returned to Baffin to make peace with Drew's memory. Since then, Dempster has made a name for himself pioneering difficult and dangerous routes up remote, high altitude walls. His trips are characterized by creativity. He's been nominated three times(winning twice) for the Piolet d'Or, alpine climbing's highest honor.
About The American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.