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Four recipients selected for 2019 Kyle Dempster Solo Adventure Award

Kyle Dempster. [Photo] Andrew Burr

Kyle Dempster. [Photo] Andrew Burr

Four recipients have been selected for the second annual Kyle Dempster Solo Adventure Award.

Cassady Bindrup, Gabe Dirksen, Talley Kayser and Max Neale are each receiving $1,000 for solo trips, respectively, to the Scottish Highlands, the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Sierra Nevada Range, California, and Baranof Island, Alaska. Last year, a total of $4,000 was distributed among three recipients.

Dempster’s family, friends and sponsors created the grant to honor his legacy after he disappeared on the north face of Ogre II (6980m) in Pakistan with Scott Adamson in August 2016. Each year, the KD Award recipients are announced around Dempster’s birthday on March 27; this year would have been his 36th birthday.

A press release on the KD Solo Award’s website reads:

This year’s recipients proposed exciting and challenging trips that embody Kyle’s creative spirit and his desire to explore wild places, and they demonstrated both a willingness to push their personal limits and a passion for storytelling that will inspire future adventurers. We are excited to support the following adventures in 2019 and to hear the stories that come from them.

Max Neale, Anchorage, Alaska
Max will make his third attempt at a complete ridge traverse of Baranof Island, a remote island of rugged mountains, glaciers, temperate rainforest, and pristine salmon streams on the outer coast of southeast Alaska. Max’s route traces 120 miles of off-trail ridges and technical mountain terrain from north to south, with over 120,000 feet of vertical gain.

Cassady Bindrup, Ogden, Utah
Cassady will travel to the Scottish Highlands, where he plans to make a coast-to-coast kayak journey from Inverness along the famous Great Caledonian Canal Crossing to Fort William. From Fort William at sea level, he’ll backpack through Glen Nevis before climbing the famous Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK.

Talley Kayser, State College, Pennsylvania
Talley will attempt to backpack the nearly 200-mile Sierra High Route solo. Most of the route covers off-trail terrain above treeline…. This rugged and remote route features around 62,000 feet of elevation gain and goes over 33 high passes.

Gabe Dirksen, Deadwood, South Dakota
Gabe will attempt a roughly 300-mile backpacking and biking loop in the Black Hills of South Dakota that links two existing north-to-south routes. Gabe hopes to highlight the value of close-to-home adventures that lessen our impact on the environment, as well as raise funds for Smile Train, a non-profit foundation that helps children with cleft lip/palates.

More information about Dempster and the Award can be found here.