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.

Rocky Talkie Search and Rescue Award

Rocky Talkie will be giving a total of $36,000 to three SAR teams who responded to 2022 incidents in exceptional and inspirational ways. Applicants are asked to submit a brief description of a rescue operation which illustrates the team’s skill level, passion, and dedication. View last year’s winners here.

The goal of this award is to drive greater awareness of the incredible contributions that volunteer SAR members make to our mountain community. We believe that this awareness is the first critical step towards increasing the support of SAR teams.


Three winning teams will be selected for the 2023 award. Each team will receive $12,000 in funding and numerous opportunities to help promote both your team and the greater Search and Rescue community. Finalist stories will also be shared on the American Alpine Club’s podcast and in the 2022 "Accidents in North American Climbing" book, published summer 2023.

Time commitment from winning SAR teams

We need your help in bringing your rescue story to life! Last year, a professional writer interviewed each winning team and wrote compelling narratives. This year, renowned filmmaker and climber Jon Glassberg (founder of the Louder Than 11 studio and cinematographer for the Free Solo documentary) will be creating one video per team to highlight the rescue story and volunteers. If selected as a 2023 winner, we will ask to conduct video interviews with members of your rescue team (estimated 1-day of filming). We also ask that there is a primary point of contact for your team to help with follow-up questions and coordinate schedules.

Confidentiality of rescued individual(s)

We understand that in some cases, the rescued individual would prefer to remain anonymous. The emphasis of these stories will be on members of the rescue team and the participation of the rescued individual is optional.


Applications will be accepted up until 11:59 PM on January 31st, 2023. The three winners will then be selected by a small group from the American Alpine Club, SAR professionals, and the Rocky Talkie team. Finalists will be contacted in February 2023. Interviews with winners will be conducted in March or April, and the stories will be publicized to the community in July 2023. The community will then be able to vote on the rescue they find most inspiring and voters will be entered to win prizes for their participation. The team that wins the community voting will receive an extra prize!


Any Search and Rescue team that is registered in the United States or Canada as a non-profit. The submitted rescue must have occurred in the 2022 calendar year and volunteer SAR members must have participated.


Applications must be submitted via the AAC online application no later than 11:59 p.m. MST on January 31.

Applications will be reviewed in February by Rocky Talkie team, AAC representative(s), SAR Community-member(s).

Four finalists will be selected and announced in February by AAC and Rocky Talkie.

The finalists will then be opened to community voting, accessible on the Rocky Talkie website.

The American Alpine Club