The AAC has a storied legacy of funding climbing, conservation, and research projects in support of our mission. Through the years, AAC grants have been responsible for encouraging thousands of climbers to dream big and push their limits; for pioneering hundreds of cutting-edge new routes of remote and major peaks around the world; for improving infrastructure at climbing areas across the country; and funding scientific research expeditions that have contributed valuable information to our understanding of the worlds mountain ecosystems.

Today, with more than $150,000 in annual grant awards, the Club continues to support these endeavors and is proud to stand behind the individuals and their projects which seek the betterment of the climbing community and climbing landscapes.

This financial needs-based grant offers financial support for individuals pursuing therapeutic services based on being directly impacted by grief, loss, and/or trauma related to climbing, ski mountaineering or alpinism. The grant award is up to $600 and is intended to be used toward individual therapy or a professional program that engages a grief or trauma framework.  

Grant applications will be reviewed for the following criteria:

  • Applicant is experiencing distress due to grief or trauma related to climbing, ski mountaineering, or alpinism;
  • Application contains an expressed plan to work with a specific professional or organization; 
  • Applicant states financial need
  • Applicant has not previously received a Climbing Grief Fund grant. 
  • Applicants who have not been able to access prior therapy or treatment shall be prioritized

You may apply for this grant at any time.  Please fill out our application and use our mental health directory to find a therapist or program of your choosing. You may select a therapist or program that is not listed in our directory. 

Please note that applications will only be considered when applicants have identified and contacted their chosen therapist or program organizer. Providers are often willing to work with individuals who have limited funds. We recommend discussing rates and availability with your provider ahead of time.

Please reach out to us at if there are questions concerning the application process (such as selecting a therapist or program).

All Grant applications will remain confidential. We will notify you of approval within 2 weeks of submission. 

Together we are building a community that gets support and gives support.

We love climbing, that’s obvious. When something brings us so much joy and color to life, it’s natural to want to ensure it’s available to everyone who wishes to experience the same joy.
The American Alpine Club (AAC) is committed to helping the climbing community become universally accessible to everyone. Introducing Catalyst: Adventure Grants for Change. This grant will provide BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with both seen and unseen disabilities the funds to help them overcome barriers, adapt to disabilities, and reach ambitious climbing goals. The Catalyst Grant will award over $20,000 to individuals and teams who face barriers in accessing the climbing community and identify with an underrepresented group.

While the AAC has always encouraged all people to apply for our grants, we recognize that underrepresented groups traditionally face more barriers in accessing the climbing community. The goal of the Catalyst Grant is to break down these barriers and ensure that these groups have access to resources that will help them pursue their climbing goals.

This grant supports all climbing disciplines including bouldering, sport climbing, trad, alpine, mountain running, ski mountaineering, peak bagging, or any other climbing endeavor.
The AAC has the resources and the reach to help remove barriers to all forms of climbing for teams across the country. By celebrating our differences while also exploring our common interests, we broaden our perspectives, strengthen our relationships, and grow our entire climbing community.

Criteria / Guidelines

  • Individuals and teams (2 - 4 people) of all ages, all experience levels, and all climbing disciplines who face barriers to accessing climbing resources and identify as a member of an underrepresented group within the climbing community; Such as black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, climbers with disabilities, and others.
  • Teams will apply on one application.
  • The climb/expedition must accurately demonstrate a progression in skills and experience and outline a specific attainable goal.
  • Objective must be in the U.S. (includes Alaska and Hawaii).
  • Applications are considered for trips that occur within one year of the application award date.
  • Two categories will be recognized, with different criteria for each. Individual/team expeditions and program creation projects will be judged separately, and applications that demonstrate community engagement shall be weighted more heavily.
  • Applicants do not have to be current AAC members. One year AAC membership will be included as part of the award.
  • Objectives involving climbers who are supported financially by corporate sponsors will not be considered. However, proposals from “amateur” climbers who have received in-kind corporate support (e.g., gear) will be considered, but support levels must be disclosed.
  • Projects must have the endorsement of the land manager or conservation professional, and not be in conflict with the Native Americans who previously and/or currently lived on that land.

The Live Your Dream grant, powered by The North Face, was founded on the belief that our definitions of exploration and dreams are unique to each of us. Meaningful exploration isn’t limited to the highest peaks in the farthest reaches of the world. Your local gym, crag, and backyard mountains are equally important resources to help stoke inspiration for adventure. When we seek out new experiences, overcome obstacles, and connect with each other, through exploration, we change ourselves.

This grant supports the every-day adventurers who harness this mindset for their own exploration. We are looking for individuals with a personally ambitious climbing goal, a desire to take their abilities to the next level, and the want to share the power of exploration with their communities.

Open to all ages, all experience levels, and all climbing disciplines—from bouldering to big walls, alpinism to ski mountaineering, peak bagging to bolt clipping, and everything in between—we encourage you to dream big, let curiosity lead you, and apply.

Reminder: there is a $5 application fee for AAC members to apply and a $20 fee for non-AAC members. These fees directly support the administration of our grants program.

The American Alpine Club (AAC) Research Grants have supported scientific endeavors in mountains and crags around the world. We fund projects that enrich our understanding of the ecosystems and landscapes that are a part of the climbing experience, contribute vital knowledge to the management of climbing environments, and improve the health and sustainability of the climbing community.

In the 2023 grant cycle, the AAC seeks research that will broaden knowledge in the following policy priority areas: combating climate change and protecting public lands. Successful candidates will demonstrate how their research directly addresses pertinent issues facing climbing landscapes and the climbing community.

AAC Research Grants are supported by the Arthur K. Gilkey Memorial Fund and the Bedayn Research Fund.

The Zack Martin Breaking Barriers (ZMBB) Grant was created in memory of Zack Martin, an avid climber and humanitarian who died just before his 25th birthday. Concerned about the failure to ‘pay it forward’ and help those in the places he climbed, Zack committed himself to perform humanitarian services in the local communities in which he explored. His efforts were supported through multiple grants including ones from the American Alpine Club (AAC) and the Anatoli Boukreev Grant. Zach championed “breaking barriers” in the alpine environment, and “breaking barriers” in the heart of man.

This grant seeks to fund expeditions that focus, primarily, on humanitarian efforts and, secondly, on an objective involving alpinism, mountaineering, rock/ice climbing and bouldering. Exploration in other areas such as ski mountaineering, river exploration etc. that lead to a greater understanding and improvement of the alpine environment could be considered for the grant.  Successful candidates will demonstrate how their expedition fully encompasses both tenets of this grant.


Humanitarian objective

Must have immediate impact, be sustainable, feasible and assure continuity to provide benefits to local people after initial implementation. Ideally, objectives will teach locals “how to”, enable ‘infrastructure’ and provide some level of continued support and funding.

Alpine objective

Must focus on alpine related adventure and/or discovery in the natural environment. A non-alpine adventure or exploration activity could be considered if the non-alpine objective leads to enhancement of the alpine/climbing/mountaineering environment.

  • For individuals of all ages and all experience levels.
  • Awarded to individuals and/or small teams (one application).
  • Objective can be for domestic and/or international expeditions.
  • Applicant(s) must be U.S. citizens or green card holders to apply.
  • Applicant(s) do not have to be current AAC members, but will be asked to become a member if selected.
  • Applicant(s) are strongly encouraged to obtain additional funding and sponsors.
The American Alpine Club