2019 Climbathon

A Savannah Buik Memorial Fundraiser to support the American Alpine Club

The 2nd Annual Climbathon has come to an end, and we climbed

512,470 ft

as a community!

Thanks to the help of over 400 climbers who logged climbs throughout the week, we crushed our goal of climbing 500,000 feet in support of the American Alpine Club! As a result, First Ascent will donate $2500 to the Chicago Chapter of the American Alpine Club to fund the creation of a mentorship program for Chicago climbers. 

Plus, the Climbathon raised an additional $2400 in donations and signed up close to 50 new American Alpine Members! By every measure, the 2019 Climbathon was an enormous success. Thank you to everyone for climbing hard and giving heartily in support of the American Alpine Club!


And we can’t forget to mention the top climbers in the Climbathon, who combined accounted for 34% of all climbing mileage logged! Here they are:

Top Climbathon Climbers
1Phil Howard 387481Tali Brenner25392
2Khoa To 356682Kinuthia Wanjiru 11258
3Josh Cioch214703Elena Meredith6710
4Dustin Sammarco 135384Yolanda Reinart4836
5Will Combs118365Arielle Syllvester3616

Each of these Climbathon crushers received great prizes from Arc’Teryx, Patagonia, ClimbStuff.com, or First Ascent. Thanks for all your effort, y’all!


Thanks again to everyone who helped make the 2019 Climbathon such a success. We look forward to another incredible Climbathon in 2020!


Climbathon Details

The 2019 Climbathon runs from Sunday March 24th – Saturday March 30th. This year, all proceeds from the Climbathon will go to the Chicago Chapter of the American Alpine Club. The funds will be used to develop a mentorship program that pairs newer climbers with experienced climbers to help them build skills, make connections, and take the next step in their climbing development.



Last year, we climbed 417,918 feet as a community, with over 350 people participating to help us reach our goal.  Let’s go even bigger for 2019!

Here’s how you can help make the 2019 Climbathon a success:

1. Register! All proceeds from registration goes to support the American Alpine Club! Here are the options:

    • $10 Registration: entry into the Climbathon plus a raffle for amazing prizes, including gear and giveaways from Arc’Teryx, Patagonia, ClimbStuff.com, First Ascent, and more.
    • $45 Registration: includes everything above, plus an Introductory Membership to the American Alpine Club, a Climbathon t-shirt (a $20 value), and a rack of carabiners from CAMP USA (a $40 value)!
    • Already an American Alpine Club member? Your registration is free!


Climbathon Tees & Tanks will be available for $20.

2. Climb! EVERYONE can help us reach our goal to climb 500,000 feet in a week! Climb from anywhere – any FA location, outdoors, other climbing gym, etc. – and log your climbs, and First Ascent will donate $500 for every 100,000 feet we climb as a community from Sunday March 24th to Saturday March 30th, up to $2500 total! Every climb that is logged gets us closer to our goal of climbing over 500,000 feet as a community. Routes will be averaged to 52 ft and boulders to 14 ft. 

We will keep track of the Top 5 male and female climbers here and update the totals daily, so log your climbs as you go so you can make the leader board.  The top male and female climbers who log the most climbing distance by the end of the Climbathon will win amazing prizes from our sponsors!

Please note: you do not have to register to contribute your climbs to our total mileage, but you do need to be registered to win the raffle or the title of Top Climber mileage competition!

3. Get others to sponsor you! We suggest asking others to sponsor you by contributing $10 for every 1,000 feet you climb (ie 20 routes or 65 boulder problems), but you can encourage others to support you at whatever level you think is appropriate. Use the photo below to share on social media and gather sponsors. 

The Top 3 fundraisers will receive a special prize for helping raise funds!

4. Give! Every dollar counts as we support the American Alpine Club. We’ll also have bake sales, craft fairs, and other opportunities to give going throughout the week.

The Climbathon is on through March 30th!

Questions? Email us at climbathon@firstascentclimbing.com.



About the Climbathon

We started the Climbathon in 2018 to honor Savannah Buik, a First Ascent staff member, Chicago climber, and all around inspiring human being who passed away in a tragic climbing accident at Devil’s Lake State Park on March 28, 2018. Savannah was extremely passionate about climbing and the climbing community, and her generosity and kind spirit touched the lives of many people in the FA community and beyond. The Climbathon seeks to honor her legacy by bringing people together to support a worthy cause that climbers in our community are passionate about. This year, we’re supporting the Chicago Chapter of the American Alpine Club, which Savannah helped start and poured so much of her time and energy into. The funds will be used to develop a mentorship program that pairs newer climbers with experienced climbers to help them build skills, make connections, and take the next step in their climbing development.

 Read more about Savannah here, then pitch in and help us make the 2019 Climbathon a huge success!