American Alpine Club announces Climb United initiative

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Sunday, April 18, 2021 - 23:00
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Through the Climb United initiative, the AAC is convening climbers, climbing organizations, and iconic climbing brands to strengthen our community's culture.

Climbing culture is rich with traditions—some worth celebrating, and some that need reexamining. 

On one hand, we celebrate values such as perseverance, conservation, and community. On the other, we allow practices that lead to the exclusion of some. Discriminatory route names, underrepresentation in imagery and story, and practices that limit access to climbing are some of the ways that women, people with disabilities, Black, Indigenous, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals are made to feel unwelcome and unsafe in the climbing community.

At the American Alpine Club, we know that our actions, or lack thereof, have made us complicit in furthering the issues that we see climbers facing today. We hear your feedback, and we know that we must do better.

To start, we’re introducing Climb United, a new initiative to engage the climbing community in the process of reflection, learning, and growth—read on to learn more and join us on this journey.

Climb United Route Name Task Force

The Climb United Route Name Task Force (RNTF), composed of a group of publishers and climbing community members, was gathered to build the best publishing practices to avoid harm caused by discriminatory or oppressive route names.

Participants in the working group include Alpinist Magazine, Climbing Magazine, the Climbing Zine, Gripped Magazine, Mountain Project, Mountaineers Books, Sharp End Publishing, and Wolverine Publishing.

Draft Principles + Guidelines

Please take a moment to read the draft Principles and Guidelines for Publishing Climbing Route Names. The Guiding Principles will serve to establish an agreed-upon philosophy toward publishing climbing route names, while the Guidelines provide an evaluation and management system for addressing discriminatory route names.

Posting Dates: 
Sunday, April 18, 2021 to Monday, April 18, 2022