Congratulations, AAC Live Your Dream Grant Recipients!

Outdoor Research is proud to partner with the American Alpine Club, and is happy to congratulate the winners of this year's Live Your Dream Grants. Here are a few highlighted winners, according to region.


Northeast Region: Wendy Ong: Cambridge, MA: $1,000

Wendy seeks to climb the Nose, the most famous line on Yosemite's El Capitan, in a day. In 2010 Wendy was dropped and fell 140 feet and sustained serious spinal cord and pelvic injury, as well as permanent physical disability. Her goal of NIAD is based in her desire to train hard, make the most of the gifts and abilities she still has, and embark on this adventure to prove to herself and others just how resilient the human mind and body can be.

The other winners in the Northeast Region are:

Craig Muderlak: $1,000
Ben Teasdale: $1,000
Enock Glidden: $1,000
Brian O’Leary: $500
Lucas Weiss: $400
Garrett Drayna: $500
Joanna Sweetgall: $500
Kelly Prime: $600
Ryan Wichelns: $1,000


Central Region: Tyler Tworek: Elk Mound, WI: $500

Tyler will spend 14 days developing sport routes at a new privately developed area in the Columbian Andes, Volcán Cerro Bravo. Tyler wishes to broaden his scope of establishing new routes by learning the art of bolting. This will be the next step in the progression of his climbing by giving him the knowledge and skills to find, clean, and safely bolt new routes. He’ll attempt to establish up to four new routes with the supervision of experienced individuals.

The other winners in the Central Region are:

Jordan Horner: $1,000
Greg Fischer: $500


Western Region: Ian Bolliger: Berkeley, CA: $500

Ian's dream trip unites mountaineering with skiing objectives. Ian will travel to Alaska to attempt the Cassin Ridge on Denali, spending time acclimatizing and skiing the slopes and couloirs around 14k camp. One specific ski objective is the Orient Express. This ascent of Denali and technical ski descents combine skills built through numerous past experiences in the Sierra Nevada and North Cascades.

The other winners in the Western Region are:

Lucas Barth: $200
Allyson Gunsallus: $600
Brett Bloxom: $500
Peter Carey: $300
Miguel Diaz: $200
Jonathan Foley: $500
Logan Fusso: $250
Chelsea Gelbart: $600
Lars Hedin: $350
Eric Hengesbaugh: $300
Diana Hitchen: $200
Nathan Kalish: $400
Kate McHugh: $400
Hari Mix: $850
Alix Morris: $350
Tomasz Podkanowicz: $300
Alex Rosenthal: $700
Sarah Steele: $450
Bob Thompson: $500
Keegan Wilson: $300
Paul Koubek: $650
Nilo Batle: $400
Tara Bhuthimethee: $200
Bernadette Regan: $600
Jordan Shackelford: $300
Brandon Thau: $850


Rockies Region: Madeline Pickering: Boulder, CO: $800

Placing her first cam this past November, Madeline has been bitten by the traditional climbing bug. She'll spend the next nine months on the road honing those trad skills and culminating in a classic tower tour of Utah. After spending her first year of climbing in a Boston gym, Madeline is ready to live her dream of climbing in wild places in the Western U.S. The next step for her is to lead every pitch on Kor Ingalls, Castleton Tower; Off Balanced Rock, Arches; West Crack of Owl Rock; Entry Fee, Lizard Rock; Stolen Chimney on Ancient Art; and Otto's Route in Colorado National Monument.

The other winners in the Rockies Region are:

Alton Richardson: $1,000
Micah Howard: $850
Owen Witesman: $800
Emily Hendrick: $600
Hannah Trim: $600
Jonathan Byers: $1,000
Jessica Meiris: $1,000


Southeast Region: Alan Goldbetter: Winchester, VA: $500

Alan will be attempting a free climb of the Atlantis route on the north face of Stora Blåmannen. This route ascends a 1,000-meter granite wall in northern Norway. Over the last decade, Alan has worked diligently to acquire the skills and fitness necessary to competently travel in the alpine environment, mostly in Scotland.

The other winners in the Southeast Region are:

Andrew Blease: $950
Brandon Phillips: $325
Cathy Cramer: $1,800
Corey Winstead: $275
David Hurley: $1,220
Gary Owen: $300
Joe DeGaetano: $400
Kayah Gaydish: $1,000
Naz Ahmed: $900
Sharon Stolberg: $1,000
Blake Salmony: $300
Rick DeJarnette: $850


Northwest Region: Sol Wertkin: Leavenworth, WA: $750

Sol is a fixture in the small climbing community in Leavenworth and has given much of his time volunteering as well as raising his family. Sixteen years of high-level Cascade alpinism culminates in his objective of doing the second free ascent of the Walsh–Levigne variation (VI 5.12- R) to Spicy Red Beans and Rice, on the West Face of North Howser Tower in Canada's Bugaboos.

The other winners in the Northwest Region are:

Toby Butterfield: $300
Katie Mills: $300
Jenn Carter: $500
Carolyn Graham: $500
Leigh Ann Wolf: $500
Meredith Trainor: $500
Emilie Cortes: $500
Matthew Farrell: $650
Nicolas Frazee: $1,000
Spencer Hennigan: $500
Ezekial Hocking: $300
Jon Jantz: $1,000
Megan Kahnle: $350
Jason Luthy: $750
Johan Ugander: $400
Stephanie Safdi: $400
Barbara Schwarz: $750
Audrey Sniezek: $800
Mimi Stone: $800
Jaren Watson: $400