The American Alpine Club, the world’s foremost authority on climbing information, has created a new position that marks a new era for AAC publications. The Executive Editor will oversee the Club’s two signature annuals—the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering—and will extend the coverage and reach of these publications online.
The need for an Executive Editor was born from the AAC’s Five-year Strategic Plan, which calls for the expansion of Club knowledge assets. The editor will work in close coordination with the AAC Library, which has just launched a series of aggressive digitization initiatives.
“We have always produced outstanding editorial,” said AAC Information and Marketing Director Erik Lambert. “This new position will help ensure the continuation of great reading in print, and it will provide the resources to keep Journal and Accidents stories regularly updated online and via email. We’re perhaps most excited about new plans to expand what we’re calling ‘destination tools’ so that our Members have more opportunity to learn from and contribute to a dynamic collective climbing resource. The Executive Editor’s job is to create and encourage beautiful and powerful contributions to the climbing world, and we’re excited about how far that can go.”
The Executive Editor will begin publication oversight in the summer of 2012. The American Alpine Journal, produced on a contract basis for the last five years, will return to an in-house operation with support of key remote editors such as Kelly Cordes and Lindsay Griffin. Accidents Editor and perennial volunteer Jed Williamson will continue his post, working collaboratively with the Executive Editor.
Journal Editor John Harlin III, who has served the AAC for a decade in this role, producing some of the finest volumes in AAJ history, will step down from his post in June to pursue other projects.
“I think the AAC is entering an exciting era,” Harlin said. “The new editor will have a chance to move the Club’s amazingly rich history in mountain publishing into whole new worlds. Personally, I’m planning to launch a digital outdoor publishing company, but I’m hoping to collaborate closely with the new AAC editor.”
The AAC’s history is rooted in publishing. The American Alpine Journal, the world’s most respected record of significant climbs, has been published since 1929. Accidents in North American Mountaineering has been a favorite of inquisitive climbers for more than 60 years, and the AAC Press has made possible dozens of popular guidebooks and outdoor narratives over the years.