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Grit&Rock Grant Awards $10,000 to Female-Led Adventures

A climber in front of a mountainClimber Rebeca Caceres on a Grit&Rock-funded expedition; (photo/Nadine Lehner)
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The award funds expeditions of all types, including high-altitude first ascents and mapping and exploration projects.

Climber Masha Gordon has a mission. She founded her nonprofit Grit&Rock in 2016 with two goals. The first: help teenage girls develop self-confidence and mental toughness through the avenue of climbing. The second: provide funding for female adventurers to rack up explorations and first ascents.

So far, so good. Since its founding, Grit&Rock has funded over 30 expeditions in gnarly locations all over the world through the First Ascent Expedition Award.

Grit&Rock awards the grant yearly in three categories: Performance, Exploration, and Apprenticeship/Special Prize.

Per Grit&Rock’s website, the Performance category is “reserved for ambitious high-altitude ascents where the degree of difficulty is carefully matched by a well-demonstrated skill.”

The Exploration category is for “beautifully crafted and well thought through projects on a smaller scale,” while the Apprenticeship/Special Prize is designed to advance the “alpine skills and independence of those who are making further steps in their climbing career.”

As of this writing, Grit&Rock is accepting applications in all three categories. The application window closes on Feb. 28, 2023.

Patagonia and Beyond

The most recent First Ascent Expedition was an impressive 3-week journey across the Northern Patagonian Icefield involving packrafting, sled-hauling, bushwhacking, and mountaineering.

Climbers Isidora Llarena, Rebeca Caceres, and Nadine Lehner capped their 93-mile traverse of the icefield with a sweet new route on Cerro Arenales. The mountain is the second-highest peak in the Northern Patagonian Icefield and the fifth highest in the Patagonian Andes. They were the first climbers to tackle the peak since 1964.

A womans skis toward a mountain
Isidora Llarena skis toward her objective on a Grit&Rock-funded expedition; (photo/Nadine Lehner)

After making their descent, the trio weathered a storm by building ice caves around their packrafts. When clear skies arrived, they spent five days sled-hauling equipment loads across the icefield to a river before paddling home.

Rad.

So, are you a female climber with a cool idea? Download the application and send it on to award@gritandrock.com by Feb. 28 for consideration.

Good luck!

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