[The following information is a press release produced by the Mugs Stump Award committee. It is republished here with their consent–Ed.]
The recipients of the 2017 Mugs Stump Award were announced at the Bozeman Ice Festival on Thursday, December 9. The award, a collaborative effort of Alpinist Magazine, Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., Mountain Gear, Patagonia, Inc., and W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., was created in 1993 in memory of Mugs Stump, one of North America’s most visionary climbers. In the 25 years since its inception, the Mugs Stump Award has provided over $425,000 to small teams pursuing climbing objectives that exemplify light, fast and clean alpinism. Five teams with outstanding talent and objectives received a total of $25,000 in grants this year.
The 2017 Mugs Stump Award recipients are:
* Revelation Mountains, Alaska. Clint Helander and Andres Marin will visit the remote Revelations, aiming for a direct new route on the East Face of Golgotha. Helander, who made the first and only ascent of Golgotha in 2012 with Ben Trocki, attempted the line in 2015 with Marin; they were turned back by avalanche danger in the narrow cirque below the face….
* Arrigetch Peaks, Alaska. The West Face of Xanadu, Adam Ferro, Vitaliy Musiyenko and Brian Prince’s objective, is perhaps the biggest unclimbed wall in the range, looked at by many by never attempted. “We are hoping to climb it in a long push, employing big wall tactics of short fixing when possible,” said Musiyenko. “Our hope is to connect natural features and free climb as much as possible.”
* Zanskar, India. Alan Rousseau and Tino Villanueva will explore the Suru Valley and attempt a difficult mixed route on the North Face of Rungofarka and a prominent rock buttress on the nearby Northwest Face of Peak 5780. Both peaks are unclimbed. “In 2009 India opened over 100 peaks for climbing after being formally closed forbidden for many years due to the armed conflict in the region,” says Rousseau. “Rungofarka and Peak 5780 are among the newly opened peaks. Reports of good rock in the Suru Valley lead me to believe we will find high quality stone on these formations.”
* Kishtwar, India. The Kishtwar region, also recently reopened to climbers after a 20-year hiatus, is still relatively unexplored. Sam Hennessy, Seth Timpano and Jared Vilhauer will make their second attempt on the 1700-meter North Face of Barnaj II. The peak is an unclimbed gem, and, says Vilhauer, “Will provide world class ice and mixed climbing on a big alpine face….”
* Karakorum Himalaya, Pakistan. Steve Swenson, Chris Wright and Graham Zimmerman have their sights on a long and technical ridge on Mucho Chhish, the world’s second highest unclimbed peak at 7453 meters. “The line is stunningly beautiful and safe from objective hazard, while providing a logical and challenging 3400-meter alpine style objective,” says Zimmerman. “We’ll be traversing a mile of ridge above 7000 meters to reach the elusive summit of Muchu Chhish.”
These climbers–and all of this year’s Mugs Stump Award applicants–share Mugs’ vision of climbing as a celebration of boldness, purity and simplicity. For more information on the Mugs Stump Award, please visit mugsstumpaward.com.