The spirit of Boulder's Adventure Film Festival founder Jonny Copp lives on: The five winners of the Copp-Dash Inspire Award grants for 2011 were announced on Friday, receiving $20,000 and climbing expeditions to Alaska, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Nepal. The grant program was established last year by the Jonny Copp Foundation, Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia in memory of Copp and his climbing partner Micah Dash, who died on China's Mount Edgar in 2009. Their final trip was documented in "Point of No Return," the fifth episode in Sender Films' award-winning First Ascent film series, co-produced by National Geographic.
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It is with Jonny and Micah's spirits and passions in mind that the Inspire Award provides the winning applicants with financial support, as well as assists the climbers before, during and after their expeditions with multimedia instruction to help empower them to share their current and future adventures with a broader audience.
The 2011 Copp-Dash Inspire Award winners and their objectives are:
• Dave Burdick with Dylan Johnson and John Freih. A new, completely independent rock and mixed line on the 1100m South Face of Mt. Burkett, Stikine Icecap, Southeast Alaska.
• Jesse Spaulding with Kyle Kneely, Scott Parker and Conrad Piper-Ruth. New routes, up to 6000m, in the Nangma Valley, Northern Pakistan.
• Kyle Dempster with Jewell Lund and Kelly Cordes. First ascents in the Karavshin Valley in southwestern Krgyzstan. Intermission bike ride from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Skardu, Pakistan (approximately 1400 miles). First ascents of the Southwest Pillar of K7 West, to its unclimbed summit and the east face of K7 Main, in the Charakusa Valley, Pakistan, Karakoram Mountains.
• Matt McCormick with Pat Goodman and Will Meinen. First ascents of the Southwest Pillar of K7 West and an alpine-style first ascent of a major sub-summit of K7 West, Nepal.
• Mike Libecki. Solo attempt for the first ascent of The Ibex Horn, central Afghanistan.
For more information on the Copp-Dash Inspire Award and how to apply for 2012, go to: http://www.americanalpineclub.org/grants/g/5/Copp-Dash-Inspire-Award
See our February 2011 interview with Jonny's sister Aimee Copp, founder of the Jonny Copp Foundation, for still more on what the awards are all about, and stay tuned to AdventureFilm.org for details on the 2011 Adventure Film Festival in November (films documenting some of the Copp-Dash Inspire Award winners' expeditions will be featured this year).