Climber-slash-photographer-slash-filmmaker-slash-humanitarian Cory Richards won this year's Rowell Award from the American Alpine Club. The organization honors a great adventure photographer in memory of Galen and Barbara Rowell, who died in a plane crash in 2002, every year. There's a summary attached below from the American Alpine Club on why Richards took home the $15,000 prize. For more on Richards, read our Galleries We Like interview with him, the story on his ascent of Gasherbrum II, and view his Facial Landscapes gallery. For more on Rowell, read this obituary from The Guardian.
Cory Richards was selected for his work in photography, film, and philanthropy.
Richards is a talented Alpine climber and photographer with an amazing ability to capture moments of adventure. With his ascent of Gasherbrum II in February 2011, he became the first American to summit an 8,000m peak in winter. Richards documented the historical ascent, filming and taking pictures in spite of the frigid temperatures and harsh conditions—including an avalanche that almost killed the whole team. Ultimately, his documentary work ended up as the film, Cold. The film has won several awards: the Charlie Fowler Award—Telluride, the Spirit of Adventure Award—Five Point Film Festival, Best Film—New Zealand Mountain Film Festival, Best Film—Squamish Film Festival, and more.
Richards has traveled to Nepal 15 times in the last 2 years. He’s climbed several Himalayan peaks and established new routes on Kwangde Shar and Tawoche. His work for the Alex Lowe Foundation’s Khumbu Climbing School involved teaching and refining curriculum for young Nepalese climbers of many ethnicities who were taking courses to increase safety on the job among the highest peaks in the world. Richards has also traveled to the Mustang region of Nepal to help document an ongoing archeological project.