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2013 Mugs Stump Award Recipients Announced

The recipients of the 2013 Mugs Stump Award were announced today. 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 21 years since its inception, the Mugs Stump Award has provided $350,000 in grants to small teams pursuing climbing objectives that exemplify light, fast and clean alpinism.

This year’s applications received for 2013 included many strong teams with objectives in far-flung corners of the mountaineering world, from Alaska to Patagonia and the Himalaya. “The climbs proposed this year were as imaginative, bold and committing as any we’ve seen since the Mugs Stump Award began,” said Michael Kennedy, one of the grant’s founders. “It’s great to see so many motivated climbers getting after it.” In the end, nine teams with outstanding talent and objectives will receive a total of $33,500 in grants.

2013 Mugs Stump Award recipients:

Tahu Rutum (6651m), Karakoram, Pakistan. Scott Bennett and Graham Zimmerman will attempt the northwest ridge, which Bennett calls “a perfect big mountain route… aesthetic, vast, remote and consistently steep, presenting technical challenges from hard free and wall climbing to steep ice and mixed terrain.”

Shispare Sar (7611m), Karakoram, Pakistan. Doug Chabot, Rusty Willis and Bruce Miller will explore the dramatic north ridge. “The route is obvious,” says Chabot. “It’s a beautiful line, not convoluted or hidden. And it’s only a two-day walk from the road.”

Middle Peak, Saint Elias Range, Alaska. John Frieh will return for his second attempt on the 5,000-foot west face of this unclimbed peak, this year with Daniel Harro and Colin Haley. Middle Peak, says Frieh, “will hold unique challenges that test the abilities of our team.”

Cerro San Lorenzo, Patagonia, Argentina. Bryan Gilmore, Mikey Schaefer and Josh Wharton will head south to the seldom-visited Perito Moreno National Park to attempt the formidable east face of this peak. Having climbed in the more popular Fitz Roy/Cerro Torre region, says Gilmore, “We’re looking for a more remote adventure, akin to a Himalayan expedition in terms of commitment.”

Panbari (6905m), Nepal. Clint Helander and Mark Westman will attempt the south pillar of this remote peak. “Panbari was off limits to climbers until 2002, and received its first and only ascent in 2006,” says Helander. “Though close to the increasingly popular and accessible Manaslu trekking circuit, Panbari has seen no further attention from climbers.”

K6 West (7100m), Karakoram, Pakistan. Jesse Huey, Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted will visit the Charakusa valley to attempt the massive northwest face, which Huey calls “one of the largest unclimbed pure alpine objectives in the world.”

Mount Hayes, Alaska. Closer to home, Ryan Johnson and Samuel Johnson will attempt the east face of the south summit, “one of the biggest unclimbed walls in North America with over 6,000 feet of vertical relief,” followed by a ridge traverse to the higher main summit of Mount Hayes.

Lunag Ri (6909m), Nepal. Chad Kellogg and David Gottlieb will make their second attempt on the northwest face of this unclimbed peak. “Lunag Ri is currently the highest permitted unclimbed peak in Nepal,” says Kellog. “The northwest face is one of the peak’s most challenging routes, but also one of the safest due to the lack of seracs.”

Tahu Rutum (6651m) and Kunyang Chhish East (7431m), Karakoram, Pakistan. Kyle Dempster, Hayden Kennedy and Urban Novak will return to the west face of Tahu Rutum, which Dempster tried solo in 2010, and then move down the glacier to attempt the unclimbed southeast face of Kunyang Chhish East. “Summer 2013 will be our third season climbing together in Pakistan,” says Kennedy. “We know well each other’s abilities and what it takes to succeed in the high hills of the Karakoram.”

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, including reports from previous years, please visit For a recap of the 2012 expeditions, click here.

Contact: Michael Kennedy, (970) 309-4651,