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American Alpine Journal Seeks 2002 First Ascent Reports


by Editor

November 25, 2002

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

Reprinted from the American Alpine Club November E-News

American Alpine Journal Editor John Harlin wants to know what you did last year.

"Since 1929 the American Alpine Journal has been the journal of record for American climbing worldwide. A few decades ago the AAJ's mission began shifting toward documenting world climbing, irrespective of the team's nationality. This is a proud tradition and earns our Club a great deal of respect across the globe. But the Journal needs your help.

"The AAJ relies on a small team of correspondents to help us locate many of the important new routes. More than that, we rely on climbers themselves to put pen to paper (so to speak) and let us know what they did. Don't think of this as ego; think of it as history. Whether your new route is one of the great climbs of the century, or whether it's simply a route that others might enjoy repeating (or should avoid at all costs!), we need it in the AAJ. Climbing history is the synthesis of everything that's been done, big and little, and the American Alpine Journal is where this documentation reaches those who care to read it. Assuming you report your routes.

"We can't record everything. Because of space limitations, we've been forced to report only routes of Grade IV (all-day climbs) or longer. Sure, there are occasional exceptions to this "rule," as to any rule, but we stick to it as best we can. The other caveat is Europe. Because of the volume of what's being done in the Alps, we leave Alpine documentation to European publications, other than an occasional feature story in the front of the AAJ.

"We sometimes hear complaints that the AAJ devotes more space to the Cordillera Blanca (Peru) or the Sentinel Range (Antarctica) than to the Cascades or the Sierra Nevada. That's not our goal. Our objective is to report all new routes (and occasional significant second ascents) that are Grade IV or bigger. If we don't include your route, we either screwed up or you didn't send it to us.

"Accounts should be told in the first-person, be brief (250 500 words is usual), and include What, When, Where, Who, and Why. If you can be entertaining, that's great, but documentation is the priority. Contributors' Guidelines can be found on page 482 of the 2002 AAJ or on the AAC's website at, or write for details. The deadline for submissions on routes done in 2002 is February 1, 2003. Next year's Journal will be going to the printer several months earlier than the 2002 AAJ, so your timely reports will be vital.

"Lastly, we would very much appreciate it if you could spread the word to your new-routing buddies, or let us know who they might be so we can write directly.


John Harlin III
Editor, American Alpine Journal
710 Tenth Street, Suite 140
Golden, CO 80401
phone: 541.354.6142 fax: 541.354.6143

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