by Pat Goodman

In 1994 I picked up an American Alpine Journal for the first time. On its cover was the Central Tower of Paine; a perfect column of golden granite, massive and inspirational. I immediately bought that book; inside I found more of the same – distant mountain ranges holding glorious wonders, presented brazenly through photographs and stories written by the world’s most accomplished alpinists.

Immediately I was inspired to explore, to dream bigger. I pictured myself on that spikey granite summit, exhausted from the climb, proud and absolute. To excel in life requires inspiration. It’s that simple. Greatness can only be achieved through hard work and purpose; the consequence of being inspired and dreaming big is greatness.

[Pat Goodman relaxes at a bivy on the first free ascent of The Phoenix in British Columbia. PHOTO: James Q. Martin

This spring I toured around the southeast United States presenting my journey to greatness. This tour was a fundraiser for the American Alpine Club’s wonderful grant program, in particular, the Live Your Dream Grant. My focus was to inspire a journey; to put a fire in those who dream, but have trouble realizing those dreams, or perhaps, help create a new dream. It was truly an honor to give back to a program responsible for so many adventures and for so many journeys!

[Racking up for a first ascent in the Charakusa Valley, Pakistan. PHOTO: Pat Goodman]

Founded in 2012, Live Your Dream is the first national grant to encourage motivated climbers with aspirations at every ability level. The program was born from the idea that the most important climbs are our own. In support of adventure and personal growth, the AAC provides seed money to individuals or small teams—of all disciplines, ages, and abilities—who have ambitions to build skills and confidence and expand their climbing horizons.

[Shuttling loads after a first ascent in the Charakusa Valley, Pakistan. PHOTO: Pat Goodman]

“Here at the AAC, we believe that venturing into the unknown creates valuable experiences and lifelong friendships,” said AAC Information & Marketing Director Erik Lambert. “We founded Live Your Dream last year to encourage every climber to dream up their own vision of the unknown—and then confront it. No dream is too big or too small.”

Learn more about the American Alpine Club’s Live Your Dream Grant here.

by Pat Goodman

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