Yesterday, Polartec announced the recipients of their 2010 Challenge Grants, awarding a total of $20,000 to help fund four adventurers pursue their dreams in the year ahead.
The four winners of this year’s grant include the following:
• Kelly Cordes – Cordes, along with his climbing partner Kyle Dempster, are planning an expedition to the remote Charakusa Valley of Pakistan, where they will attempt to make the first ascent of an unnamed rock spire near K7. The tower has been challenged several times in the past, but remains unconquered for now. The very challenging climb will require a mix of high altitude mountaineering and technical rock climbing skills.
• Kate Harris and Mel Yule – This adventurous pair are setting off on a year long bike expedition along the ancient Silk Road. They’ll depart from Nepal and peddle their way to Turkey, and while they’ll no doubt have an incredible adventure along the way, they’re also riding for a cause. The two riders, one a Rhodes Scholar, the other and environmental scientist, will be studying the impact of natural and societal changes on six unique wilderness areas along their route.
• Greg Hill – A mountaineer and skier, Hill has set quite a challenge for himself in 2010, as he’ll attempt to climb and ski more than 2 million vertical feet over the course of the year. He hopes to find unskied routes in Canada, the U.S. and throughout South America, filming his entire expedition. If anyone can accomplish this task, it’ll no doubt be Hill, who has already set a record for climbing and skiing 50,000 feet in one 24-hour period.
• Jordan Romero – Last, but certainly not least, of the grant recipients is Jordan Romero, the 13-year old climber who will be attempting Everest this spring and Mt. Vinson, in Antarctica, in the fall. If successful, not only will he become the youngest person to ever summit Everest, he’ll also be the youngest to complete the Seven Summits, as he has just these two peaks left to add to his already impressive resume.
So there you have it! The 2010 winners. Quite a diverse and interesting list, with some great adventures planned for the year ahead. This is the 19th year that Polartec has awarded these grants, and it seems they picked some very worthy recipients again this year. Typically, the committee that awards the grants looks for low-cost, low-impact expeditions to help fund, with applications being evaluated for their vision, commitment and credibility. Past winners of these grants have included the likes of Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Steve House, amongst others.
Congrats to this year’s winners!
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