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2015 Copp-Dash Inspire Award Grant Recipients Announced

February 12, 2015 (Salt Lake City, Utah) -- The Copp-Dash Inspire Award, sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia (with additional in-kind support from Adventure Film Festival, the American Alpine Club, Jonny Copp Foundation and Sender Films), announced the 2015 winners of the climbing grant established in memory of American climbers Jonny Copp and Micah Dash who were killed in an avalanche in China in May 2009, along with filmmaker Wade Johnson. In addition to providing financial support to perspective expedition teams, the goal of the Copp-Dash Inspire Award is to provide mentoring before and after the expedition to help the climbers bring back and share inspiring multimedia stories of their adventures.

“The Inspire Award is not just a climbing expedition grant,” says Black Diamond Equipment’s Global Sports Marketing Director, Jonathan Thesenga. “One thing we all learned from Jonny and Micah is that it’s as much about the stories and experiences that we gain from our climbs, as the climb itself. This award has been designed to support small teams with big goals in the high mountains and empower them—as storytellers—to bring their adventures back and share their stories of inspiration.”

The 2015 Copp-Dash Inspire Award winners and their objectives are:

  • Zach Clanton with James Gustafson and Tim Plotke. First ascents of unnamed and unclimbed granite spires and buttresses in the southeast Tordrillo Mountains of Alaska.
  • Rachel Spitzer with Anna Pfaff and Lisa Van Sciver. Alpine-style first ascents on the sub-6000-meter peaks of the Indian Himalaya’s Zanskar Range (an area that Johnny and Micah visited in 2007, making the FA of the immense Shafat Fortress).
  • Michael Wejchert with Bayard Russell and Elliot Gaddy. First ascent of the unclimbed, unattempted south face of Mount Deborah in Alaska’s Hayes Range
  •  Joshua Lavigne with Crosby Johnston and Tony Richardson. First free ascent of the 1150-meter northwest face of Great Sail Peak in the Stewart Valley of Baffin Island.


About the Copp-Dash Inspire Award: 
Sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia, the Copp-Dash Inspire Award helps support small teams tackling difficult climbs in the great mountains of the world who plan to personally document and share their ascents through a multimedia blend of storytelling elements. Proposed trips or climbs should be focused on unclimbed objectives in distant ranges and regions, requiring a high level of skill and commitment and climbed in a fast, light and clean style that stays true to the progression of expedition climbing. Proposed documentation styles should be innovative and unique, and can include any creative mix of photos, video or writing that will vividly capture the essence and adventure of the trip or climb. Proposed sharing of these storytelling elements could aspire to involve slideshows, viral film clips, magazine articles, multimedia presentations, art presentations, etc. The Copp-Dash Inspire Award is supported with in-kind support from Adventure Film Festival, American Alpine Club, Sender Films, and the Jonny Copp Foundation.