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"Make Your Own Legends": American Alpine Club announces new Copp-Dash Inspire Award, $20,000 in grants for climbing expeditions

The American Alpine Club announced this week that it is accepting applications through March 31 for its new Copp-Dash Inspire Award to help fund and document climbing adventures around the world.

The awards will come from an available pool of $20,000, administered by the AAC as a tribute to Boulder's Johnny Copp -- founder of the Adventure Film Festival -- and climber Micah Dash.

Copp, Dash, and filmmaker Wade Johnson died in China earlier this year in a failed climbing expedition later documented in National Geographic's First Ascent: Point of No Return (one of the featured films at this year's Adventure Film Festival).

The new awards - $20,000 in grants to help fund and document climbing adventures around the world - carries the spirit of Copp's Adventure Film Fest slogan: "Make Your Own Legends." Here's the press release from American Alpine Club and information about how to apply: 

The deaths of alpinists Jonny Copp and Micah Dash, along with young filmmaker Wade Johnson, last spring in Sichuan, China, left a huge void in American climbing. But it's not just their climbs we miss--it's also their unique and fresh perspectives as storytellers, whether in print, photos, slide shows, or video. Both Copp and Dash were great characters, and their passion for telling the tales of their adventures was as vital and enriching as the great new routes they completed.

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The brand-new Copp-Dash Inspire Award celebrates this spirit. These awards will fund bold climbing adventures in the remotest ranges on Earth, and, equally important, they will help talented storytellers bring back multimedia stories. The new grant, administered by the AAC and sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia, will provide a pool of $20,000 in grants to North American climbers for expeditions between May 1, 2010, and February 28, 2011.

Good candidates for the grant will propose first ascents in distant ranges and regions, requiring a high level of skill and commitment, and climbed in a fast, light, and clean style. Proposed documentation styles can include any mix of photos, video, or writing that will vividly capture the essence of the adventure, and these stories may be shared through many outlets: slide shows, the Internet, magazine articles, and more. Creativity is key.

Uniquely, the Copp-Dash Inspire Award also will provide recipients with mentoring before and after their expeditions. Instruction and storytelling advice will be provided by the Adventure Film Festival, Alpinist magazine, Sender Films, and professional photographers John Dickey and Mikey Schaefer, in order to help award winners achieve their goals.

Applications for the 2010 awards are due March 31. Click here to learn more and download an application for this exciting new grant program.

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