Past Awards Winners

At the annual Holiday Party, the AMC Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee presents a series of awards to club members. Some of these awards are serious, some are light-hearted, but all serve to recognize outstanding and notable achievements.


2018 RAD (Return After Dark) Award

Excerpt from Mountain Project says simply enough:

“Of the several descents available from atop the Red Garden Wall, the East Slabs descent, although intricate, is a reasonable enough option. However it is NOT recommended to attempt a first time descent of East Slabs in the dark”

After finishing on a combination of Pseudo Sidetrack - Ant Hill - Ant Hill Direct in Eldorado Canyon and making the ridge belay in the last of daylight, this first-timer party decided to search for the East Slabs descent - in the dark.

After learning all about the value of headlamps, prusik skills, extra sweaters, keeping calm, and faith, this recent Rock Program Grad returned to flat ground at Midnight with a “YAHOO’ that could be heard up and down the canyon.

This Year’s “RAD” Award goes to Susan Redican!


2018 Energizer Bunny Award

For this climber, 2018 started off with weekends spent ice climbing and a chilly trip to the Adirondacks in February. By early spring, he was off to Spain for sport climbing, climbing almost every day even though the weather was rainy and unpredictable. He returned to Italy in the summer to climb some long, multi-pitch routes in the Dolomites, then Labor Day to Wyoming to climb at Ten Sleep Canyon (describing the climbing as hard, the air as thin, and the food as a bit frightening.) A month later, he was back in Europe to Kalymnos, Greece for the “best sport climbing of his life”. Two weeks later, he was doing long multi-pitch Trad routes in Red Rocks, Nevada.

In between all these big trips he still finds time and energy for weekend trips to Acadia, Adirondacks, and the Gunks as well as more local crags and Rumney day-trips and climbing at the gym at least 2 nights a week and volunteering with the Rock Program, Ice Program, and serving on the Mountaineering Committee.

This Year’s “Energizer Bunny” Award goes to Steve Nichols!


2018 Proclaimers Award

This climber is no stranger to Holiday Awards, but this award is several years in the making. He has hiked the Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails and is currently off in New Zealand to hike the 1850 mile long Araroa trail with plans to come back and start the 2200 mile Appalachian trail in March, the 1200 mile Pacific Northwest Trail in late summer, and the 800 mile Arizona trail.

There has even been a spreadsheet set up to see who can drive more miles than this recipient can walk!

This Year’s “Proclaimers (‘I will walk 500 miles, and I will walk 500 more’)” Award goes to Jon Booth!


2018 Alpine Lumberjack Award

Climbing in the spring in a recently developed area can have its Gross Wilderness perils, especially when few have been there after a recent fall forest fire. A group of new-to-the-area climbers went to Upper Patina Wall of Kinsman Notch. At the top of Indian Summer there was a large burned out tree suspended below the anchor that the party would have to rappel over. There is a video of this recipient, while on belay, pushing and shoving this giant tree until it finally broke loose and went crashing down to the base of the cliff.

This Year’s “Alpine Lumberjack” Award goes to Jon Booth!


2018 Wedding Crashers Award

These two intrepid climbers were NOT officially invited to a recent wedding ceremony at the White Mountain Hotel at the base of Whitehorse so they decided to climb up the slabs to a viewing area to heckle the wedding in the late afternoon.

The Leader told the second that they were only going up a few pitches and won’t need any food, water, or their headlamps. But the Leader kept pushing for more pitches to get a better view. Next thing they knew they were hungry, rappelling in the dark (remember, no headlamps), and rapped past an anchor station.

They eventually got down and crashed the wedding, modern Camp 4 style (scumbag climbers in Crocs), eating up leftover pieces of cake and beer – word has it that they snuck in whilst everyone was preoccupied watching one dancer split their pants on the dance floor.

This Year’s “Wedding Crashers” Award goes to Kumi Wauthier and Toni Steyerl!


2018 Sandbagged Victim Award

In a recent trip to the Enchantments, this victim was told by their Leader (same Leader in the previous award), that this alpine climb, Prussik Peak, is “only” a 6 mile approach. It turned out to be over a 10 mile approach, plus 4 pitches of climbing, and 10+ miles return for an 18 hour day. The second carried the rack the entire hike to/from.

This Year’s “Sandbagged Victim” Award goes to Vanessa Tyler!


2018 Sadistic Leader Award

For lying to unsuspecting seconds and leading them on long Death Marches …

The “Sadistic Leader” Award goes to Toni Steyerl!


2018 Anaphylactic Pepper Award

This victim has gone to New Seconds and Fall Frolic events for several years and has a standing food order - “no peppers”. Once, the caterer forgot; once, they remembered, but the victim forgot to ask for it; but this last Fall Frolic the caterer promised a pepper-less Cajun Jambalaya. And while there were no chunky pepper bits in it, it was still Cajun so it had cayenne powder (apparently in the culinary world, powdered form is NOT a pepper.)

Word has it, that the victim is very fun to be around while high on Demerol and wine!

Since we couldn’t very well have her make her own award beforehand, we give you this ceremonial pepper.

This Year’s “Anaphylactic Pepper” Award goes to Cailigh MacDonald!


2018 Scott Sandberg Volunteer of the Year Award

The Scott Sandberg Volunteer of the Year Award this year goes to the first ever repeat winner. This year’s winner leaves behind an outstanding legacy as Director of the Rock Program for the last many years, putting into place a number of improvements and procedures that will make it easier for all who will come after.

This Year’s “Scott Sandberg Volunteer of the Year” Award goes to Wes Huang!


2018 Boston Strong Award

This award is for two people who have demonstrated amazing tenacity, perseverance, teamwork, and problem solving in the face of extreme adversity and living in a way that is an inspiration to us all.

This Year’s “Boston Strong” Award goes to Emmett Lyman and Sarah Keyes!