A new expedition climbing grant for women has been announced by GRIT&ROCK from the UK. GRIT&ROCK is a new charity which aims to help teenage girls aged 13 to 15 from deprived, inner city backgrounds, develop greater grit, determination and self-confidence through a year-long mountaineering training programme. 

The women behind GRIT&ROCK is Masha Gordon, who spent the 16 years of her career working in finance and navigating the world’s capital markets before setting the world record for the Explorer’s Grand Slam – climbing all Seven Summits and reaching both poles, in a smash and grab time of 7 months and 19 days.

In September 2016 GRIT&ROCK announced a launch of an annual international FIRST ASCENT EXPEDITION PRIZE to enable female first ascents. The award, the largest of its kind globally, will fund a female-led expedition team up to the amount of GBP5,000. The aim of the annually awarded prize is to promote and encourage female participation in pioneering alpine ascents. The Award is open to individuals and climbing teams with majority female participation and is meant to provide funding for those who need it most.

The application deadline is January 31, 2017. The jury comprising Victor Saunders, Catherine Destivelle, Lydia Bradey (Adventure Consultants mountain guide who guided Masha to the summit of Everest in 2016) and Lise Billon will choose a winning project by March 1, 2017.

To learn more, go to www.gritandrock.net

or contact for the award@gritandrock.com

GRIT&ROCK Foundation announces the winners of the inaugural First Ascent Expedition Award

Enabling female first ascents

In September 2016 GRIT&ROCK FOUNDATION, a UK based charity, established an annual international expedition award to promote female first ascents. The aims of the FIRST ASCENT EXPEDITION AWARD are to encourage female participation in pioneering alpine ascents and to further the understanding and exploration of the unclimbed peaks. The Award is open to individuals and climbing teams of any nationality with a majority female participation.

On February 10, 2017, the jury consisting of Lise Billon, Lydia Bradey, Catherine Destivelles, Masha Gordon and Victor Saunders reviewed 28 applications from 15 different countries and has announced the winners of the inaugural award in three categories:

– Marina Kopteva, Galina Chibitok and Anastasia Petrova (Ukraine/Russia) for the new route on Cameron Peak in Sichuan Province of China.
– Natalia Martinez, Ines Dussaillant and Camilo Rada (Argentina/Chile) for the “Unchartered Cordon Aysen’ on the icecap of Northern Patagonia
– Cristina Pogacean (Romania) and Nasim Eshqui (Iran) for an unclimbed peak in Zanskar Valley, India.
– Dawa Yangzum Sherpa and Dawa Gyalje Sherpa (Nepal) for a new route on the east face of Chukkima Go in Nepal.

Lydia Bradey, a member of the jury, said: ‘The jury was extremely impressed with the wealth of the applicants’ experience and the creativity of climbing objectives displayed in the applications for the Award. The winners of the three categories had matched their own considerable skills well with their chosen goals. This match between confidence and ambition, skill and objective, was a criteria for the jury’s choice.’

Masha Gordon, the founder of GRIT&ROCK said: ‘The quality and the number of applications in this inaugural year for the Award goes to show extraordinary ambition and skill in female alpinism. In the fall of 2017, we 14 February 2017 will be watching these 4 formidable teams make attempts on their chosen objectives. These journeys will no doubt inspire others to dream up a formidable first ascent goal for the 2018 Award.’

For further information, please see GRIT&ROCK Facebook page, www.gritandrock.com/award or contact Masha Gordon by email.