Graham Zimmerman

alpine

Graham is an alpinist focused on cutting edge routes in the big mountains of the world and using the stories that he gathers there to make the world a better place. He cut his teeth in the high mountains of New Zealand and has been focused on climbing as it applies to alpinism ever since. This has taken him on over 20 expeditions from Alaska to Patagonia to Pakistan as well as climbing all over the lower 48 and Canada. In these ranges, he has established dozens of significant new routes on rock, ice and snow. For his climbing exploits, Graham won a 2020 Piolet d’Or (alpine climbing’s equivalent to an Olympic gold medal), as well as the 2017 Cutting Edge Award from the American Alpine Club. He was a finalist for the 2014 Piolet d’Or, and was named 2010 New Zealand Alpinist of the Year.

As a storyteller and activist, Graham is focused on the issue of human-driven climate change and seeking systemic solutions that lead us toward a carbon-neutral economy. To this effect, he is the captain of the Protect Our Winters CLIMB team and on the board of the American Alpine Club. He is also a partner at the production company Bedrock Film Works.

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Passion Project

As a member of the Protect Our Winters leadership team, Graham spearheads initiatives to empower athletes for climate advocacy. His team represents their communities in places like the United Nations and Washington, D.C., ensuring athletes have the resources and opportunities to make a tangible impact on systemic climate solutions and justice.

During his two-year term as president of The American Alpine Club, Graham worked with the board to hire a new executive director, launch a new strategic plan, and update the board's governance structure. This work set the organization up for a fruitful and impactful future, leading the American climbing community.

Graham's roles as a professional alpinist and advocate are not just separate endeavors, but a harmonious blend. His climbing pursuits provide a platform for ambitious thinking and tackling audacious goals, while his advocacy work infuses those endeavors with purpose and impact. This unique duality, which Graham has embraced, is a testament to the transformative power of the outdoors.

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Professional Accomplishments

THE PACE OF COMFORT, NORTHWEST FACE OF KICHATNA SPIRE, ALASKA (VI 5.10, A3+, M6, 70° snow, 950M)

 

SOUTHWEST RIDGE OF K6 WEST (7040M), PAKISTANI KARAKORAM

(M6, 90°, 1800M)

 

NORTH RIDGE OF CHANGI TOWER (6500M), PAKISTANI KARAKORAM

(M6, 5.10, A2, 1200M)

 

NORTHEAST BUTTRESS OF MT LAURENS, ALASKA

(AI4, M7, A1, 1400M)

 

SOUTHEAST FACE OF LINK SAR (7041M), PAKISTANI KARAKORAM.

(M6+, WI4, 90°, 2300M)

 

2020 Piolet d'Or Recipient