Alex Honnold Is The 2009 Robert Hick Bates Award Winner

Alex Honnold Is The 2009 Robert Hick Bates Award Winner

Each year the American Alpine Club gives out the Robert Hicks Bates Award in memory of Bob Bates who was a “renowned explorer, alpinist, Peace Corps director, and educator, accomplished numerous first ascents in Alaska and was a member of the American expeditions to K2 in 1938 and 1953”.  The award is given to “a young climber who, in the judgment of the volunteer selection committee, has demonstrated exceptional skill and character in the climbing or mountaineering arts and has outstanding promise for future accomplishment”.  The list of past winners reads like a veritable Hall of Fame of America’s best rock climbers starting way back in 1996 when Chris Sharma and Katie Brown won the award.  Other notable rock climbers to win the award are Steph Davis (1997), Beth Rodden (1998), Tommy Caldwell (1998), Lisa Rands (2000) and Dave Graham (2004).

Joining this esteemed list as the 2009 Robert Hicks Bates award recipient is none other than Alex Honnold:

Alex burst onto the climbing scene with a splash of headlines, first in Fall 2007 with his one-day free-solo link-up of the Rostrum and Astroman, and then again in spring 2008, with a first free-solo ascent of Moonlight Buttress, (5.12+) in Zion. These impressive feats were followed by equally impressive ones: an 8.5-hour free ascent of El Capitan’s Salathé Wall, the first free-solo ascent of the Regular Route on Half Dome, and many others. At 23, Alex is one of the most accomplished rock climbers today. Some of his other groundbreaking ascents include an onsight ascent of Masters Edge (E7 6b) at Millstone, UK, as well as an onsight free solo of London Wall (E5) in the same area; a flash ascent of Gaia (E8 6c); and repeats of some of the hardest desert routes, such as Conception and Belly Full of Bad Berries. He lives in Sacramento, California.

Honnold will receive his award at the 2009 Craggin’ Classic on October 9th.  Congrats to Alex!

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One Response to Alex Honnold Is The 2009 Robert Hick Bates Award Winner

  1. Ryan September 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm #

    That’s awesome for Alex. I’ve been really impressed with what he has been doing.

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