The winners each receive grants to help fund their expeditions, and the 2012 honorees certainly have some ambitious plans. The list includes the following:
• Stan Price & Rusty Willis the storied, oft-tried North Ridge of Latok 1.In total, $12,000 was given to these four teams, which Paul Gagner, the chair of the Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award committee, called the best he has seen in the years that he has held that position.
• Hayden Kennedy & Kyle Dempster for K7 and the Ogre II.
• Graham Zimmerman, Scott Bennett, and Blake Herrington for Tahu Rutum, a stunning 6,651m tower in the Karakoram.
• David Gottlieb & Chad Kellogg for China’s unclimbed Karjiang (7,221m), the 3rd highest unclimbed peak in the world.
Each of those is indeed an ambitious challenge, but those are also some excellent and highly skilled climbers on that list as well. It'll be interesting to follow their progress later in the year, when the Karakoram climbing season gets going.
Congratulations to all the winners and good luck on your projects.