Today in Stoke: Climbing expedition applications open for Copp-Dash Inspire Awards

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Ready to climb something crazy and then tell the tale in style? The Jonny Copp Foundation is now accepting applications for its $20,000 in 2011 Copp-Dash Inspire Awards, named in memory of Copp (Boulder's Adventure Film Festival founder) and his climbing partner Micah Dash, who died in 2009 in an ill-fated ascent up China's Mount Edgar. The awards, sponsored by Patagonia, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and the Jonny Copp Foundation, are open to North American climbers planning expeditions between May 1, 2011 and February 28, 2012. Along with the cash, grantees will receive mentoring from the crew at Sender Films to help document their adventures and share their story at next year's Adventure Film Festival.

"Climbing was my brother's passion, and he was always looking for the next challenge," says Aimee Copp, Jonny's sister and founder of the Jonny Copp Foundation. "He also loved sharing his adventures through his writing, photography and films, and all of those aspects were very much intertwined for him. I think that's why he had such a huge impact on people and changed so many people's lives. It was important to us to include that aspect of his life in these awards: A lot of climbers are excited about the Inspire Awards because it gives them an opportunity to interact with writers, photographers and filmmakers to learn something about making and presenting a story out of their expedition."

She says the foundation received 27 applications in the awards' first year, and helped finance seven expeditions, including first ascents and new routes on Nepal's Nuptse and K7 West; Canada's Mt. Proboscis and Mt. Geikie; Greenland's Baroness; and Alaska's Mt. Hayes, Mt. Shand and the Moose's Tooth massif.

"They're all back from their trips now and working with the guys from Sender Films to get their presentations ready for this year's Adventure Film Fest," says Copp. "It's been pretty intense to hear about their adventures. This first pool of applicants included a lot of people who were friends with my brother and had been influenced by him in many ways, so it's been emotional for my family and I to see them carry on his legacy and to be able to have a hand in supporting their adventures."

The deadline for applications for this year's Copp-Dash Inspire Awards is March 31, 2011. Visit JonnyCoppFoundation.org for more information and to download the application.

"We're also encouraging adventurers, artists, environmentalists, filmmakers and other people in that whole adventure/arts realm to apply for the Johnny Copp Award," says Copp. "This is a smaller award of $1,500, but we want more people to know about it so it doesn't just go to people from Jonny's inner circle every year. We're looking for someone who falls into many of those categories, people who are multitalented like my brother was and embody that same spirit and drive that he had."

Applications for the Jonny Copp Award are due by May 27, 2011.

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