Photographer Cory Richards wins American Alpine Club's 2012 Rowell Award

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The American Alpine Club announced this week that Boulder-based photographer Cory Richards has won its 2012 Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure. The $15,000 award, which will be officially presented next month during Mountainfilm in Telluride, is named for photographers Galen and Barbara Rowell, who died in a plane crash in 2002.

"Cory is inspired by the human elements, man's struggle with the wilderness and nature," wrote members of the Rowell Legacy Committee, in his award citation. "He has the rare ability to capture the rawness in all of us."

Today in Stoke readers will recognize Richards as the star of filmmaker Anson Fogel's award-winning short Cold, a documentary of Richards' February 2011 assent of the 26,362' Himalayan peak Gasherbrum II with climbing partners Simone Moro and Dennis Urubko which made Richards the first American to summit an 8,000-meter peak in winter; the film won the Grand Prize at the 2011 Banff Mountain Film Festival and also won Best Action Film at the 2011 Adventure Film Festival in Boulder and the Charlie Fowler Award at the 2011 Mountainfilm in Telluride festival. Richards was also among the finalists for National Geographic's 2011 Adventurer of the Year award.

Richards is best known for his photography work for publications including National Geographic Magazine, Outside, Alpinist, Rock & Ice, and Climbing (take a peek at his work at www.CoryRichards.com).

Here's more on Richards' Rowell Award bonafides, via AmericanAlpineClub.org:

Cory Richards was selected for his work in photography, film, and philanthropy.

Richards is a talented Alpine climber and photographer with an amazing ability to capture moments of adventure. With his ascent of Gasherbrum II in February 2011, he became the first American to summit an 8,000m peak in winter. Richards documented the historical ascent, filming and taking pictures in spite of the frigid temperatures and harsh conditions--including an avalanche that almost killed the whole team. Ultimately, his documentary work ended up as the film, Cold. The film has won several awards: the Charlie Fowler Award--Telluride, the Spirit of Adventure Award--Five Point Film Festival, Best Film--New Zealand Mountain Film Festival, Best Film--Squamish Film Festival, and more.

Richards has traveled to Nepal 15 times in the last 2 years. He's climbed several Himalayan peaks and established new routes on Kwangde Shar and Tawoche. His work for the Alex Lowe Foundation's Khumbu Climbing School involved teaching and refining curriculum for young Nepalese climbers of many ethnicities who were taking courses to increase safety on the job among the highest peaks in the world. Richards has also traveled to the Mustang region of Nepal to help document an ongoing archeological project.

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