First Ascent Expedition Award. Applications are accepted until January 31!

Photo: Courtesy of GRIT&ROCK

If you haven’t yet decided to come forward and try to win a grant for women’s mountaineering projects, now is the time to do so. GRIT&ROCK is a chance for real support.


It was first time in September 2016 when GRIT&ROCK announced a launch of an annual international First Ascent Expedition Prize to enable female first ascents. The award, the largest of its kind globally, funds projects of female-led expedition teams up to the amount of USD 10,000. The aims of the annually awarded by Maria Gordon and her fund prize is to promote and encourage female participation in pioneering alpine ascents. The Award is open to individuals and climbing teams with majority female participation and is meant to provide funding for those who need it most. Over the past three years, expeditions supported with the GRIT&ROCK grants have resulted a number of new ascents.

The award is judged in three categories:


This category is reserved for ambitious high-altitude ascents where the degree of difficulty of the project is carefully matched by a well-demonstrated skill.


This award category is reserved for beautifully crafted and well thought through projects on a smaller scale, such as exploration and mapping of new routes in remote areas of the world.

Apprenticeship/Special Prize

This category is reserved for projects aimed at advancement of alpine skills and independence of those who are making further steps in their climbing career. Past example of such projects include a route performed alpine-style by a Nepali female guide who has previously climbed only with the use of fixed ropes under supervision of another accomplished climber.

Application Process

Applications should be submitted by email to by January 31, 2021.

The jury will announce its decision by February, 2021 at a ceremony in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.

To learn more, please download the award document here or contact organizers at     

Find out more about 2017 GRIT&ROCK funded expeditions here.

Find out more about 2018 GRIT&ROCK funded expeditions here.

Find out more about 2019 GRIT&ROCK funded expeditions here.

Read judges’ announcement of 2019 winners.

Read judges’ announcement of 2020 winners.

You can learn more about past and current expeditions funded with the GRIT&ROCK grant on our Facebook page.

Important note. Given the context and restrictions imposed by the pandemics, the jury will be willing to consider national projects, feasible in the current environment.

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