Talking about emotions isn't exactly something climbers are famous for. And when it comes to losing a loved one to a climbing accident, that can make survival even tougher. That's why we're partnering with the American Alpine Club to support a new fund to help survivors work through loss. Affected by the many tragic events of 2017 (the deaths of Hayden Kennedy and Inge Perkins, and climbing accident of Quinn Brett), Madaleine Sorkin, an Outdoor Research Climbing Ambassador, approached the AAC to create a community resource for grief—“a place that bears witness to death, our pain and a way to return to the vitality of ourselves.” The fund is expected to be available in the Fall of 2018.
To help ensure a successful kickoff fundraising period, Outdoor Research is providing a match, of up to $5,000, for all donations made to the fund between May 15th and June 15th. “For as long as climbers have been venturing to the mountains, the unavoidable specter of loss and grief hang over the community, and we here at Outdoor Research hope that this fund will help future victims of loss and grief cope,“ said Christian Folk, Director of Marketing.
The Climbing Grief Fund will include the development of a grief resource webpage to provide education and a community platform for sharing stories about grief or individuals lost, individual grief counseling grants, group counseling sessions at AAC Craggin' Classic events, and development of a proactive response network after a trauma or death in the climbing community.
“This fund is overdue and we hope it will build tremendously over the years through individual, company and organizational donations,“ comments Vickie Hormuth, Director of Strategic Partnerships AAC.
24 Hours into the Black is launching a fundraiser climb for The Climbing Grief Fund. On May 24 Madaleine Sorkin and Carbondale-based pro climber Mary Harlan will attempt to link-up three major routes in the Black Canyon within 24-hours. Follow them live on the fundraiser page, look for updates on AAC’s Facebook & webpage.
“This climb is motivated by the trauma of loss and change. People we knew, people we know, people we didn’t know and wish we had. Grief is part of the climbing experience, and while climbing is often fixated on stoke and sending, the expression of grief is also essential. We experience loss, we experience unwanted change, and inevitably we all find ourselves staring into the abyss, the void, the BLACK,” explains fund founder Madaleine Sorkin.
For more information about The Climbing Grief Fund visit: americanalpineclub.org/climbing-grief-fund/.
To Donate to The Climbing Grief Fund visit: chuffed.org/project/climbinggrieffund.