Submission Guidelines

Download the AAJ 2013 Submission Guidelines

Other publications and websites come and go, but the American Alpine Journal has been recording new climbs since 1929. Please become a part of climbing’s permanent history by sending us your new-route reports. All AAJ reports are published at our website: And most appear in our annual edition. Publishing this 400-page book requires a year-round effort, and so we need your report as soon as possible!

What we publish:
The AAJ tries to be the journal of record for documenting the “world’s most significant climbs.” We seek reports and stories on all new routes worldwide (most often these are big routes encompassing a long day or more on the climb itself). We sometimes report a repeat ascent if the peak or route has not been climbed in many years; if there have been major changes in conditions on the mountain; if the style is new (e.g., first free ascent); if the ascent was exceptionally fast; if it was the first winter ascent; or if the report supplies vital information for future climbers. We do not publish reports on first “national” ascents (e.g., the first American or Italian or Japanese ascent). We also don’t cover first women’s ascents, handicapped climbs, or similar recognitions. Sometimes, however, we break our own “rules.”

How to write a report:
Reports for the “Climbs & Expeditions” section of the AAJ are typically 250-500 words long. The prime goals are to document history and to provide information that helps future climbers in this region, but we prefer a good story, too! Here is a simple way to remember what should be included in the report:

How was it?—please tell the story of your trip…very briefly!
What?—name of peak and route.
Where?—exactly where is it? Country, mountain range, route line, maps, etc.
When?—dates of the expedition.
Who?—names of climbers.
Why?—why did this climb interest you?
How hard?—difficulty of the climb, using whichever grading system you prefer.

Please send your reports as soon as possible! We will post them online as soon as they are edited, and we will need them in a timely manner to ensure that they can be used in the printed book.

Other news:
Did you learn of other new routes in the region where you climbed? Please tell us about climbs and climbers we may not have heard of. You are our most valuable source of information!

Submitting photographs to the AAJ:
We want pictures showing the peak/wall and the route. Good “action” shots are welcome. If we publish a photo showing the route, we’ll need to have the route line drawn in; if possible, please include other existing routes that are visible on the photo—but only if you’re sure where they go.

Feel free to first email smaller low-resolution scans (.jpg/JPEG are best). Please draw in your line if you can. We may later ask you to submit a higher resolution image for publication. Publication requires at least 300 dpi (120 pixels/cm) at the size the photo is printed. A full-page photo in the AAJ is 5×7 inches (13×18 cm). However, some photos in the Climbs & Expeditions section are smaller. If this is confusing, just ask us questions or send what you have, and we’ll let you know if we need anything different.

Where to send reports and photos: 

Erik Rieger (North and South America, Africa, Southeast Asia):

Lindsay Griffin (Himalaya, Karakoram, China, Greenland, Antarctica, Bolivia):

Dougald MacDonald (Russia, Krygyzstan and other CIS countries, Middle East, Europe):


FTP site: If you have FTP software and are sending big photos or many photos, please consider using our FTP site. Email us for our FTP settings.

Original slides: If you are sending an original slide or image showing the route you climbed, please include a print copy of the image (laser scans work well and are cheap) with your route line drawn in. Do not draw on the original image. If other routes are shown in the image, please indicate this. If you know with certainty where those routes go, please draw them in as well. Please contact us by email before sending anything by snail mail.

Maps: Maps are welcome for more remote regions. We have limited space, but whenever possible we will include a map to less-known peaks. These can also be helpful to the editors even if the map is not published. Photocopies and PDFs are fine. We may publish the map on our website unless you ask us not to.

Topos: The AAJ is building an online topo library. Please send your topos of new routes, preferably electronically.

Rights (copyrights) for photography and text in the American Alpine Journal:
The AAC copyrights the entire annual AAJ. However, authors and photographers retain all rights to re-use their individual contributions. The AAC retains the right to utilize your submitted text and photographs in AAJ-related publications in print or on the web with no compensation. (Published photographers will receive a complimentary copy of the AAJ.) Permission will be requested from authors and photographers for any publication of their work outside the AAC. Since authors and photographers retain all rights to their work, you may re-use it without permission from the AAC. The American Alpine Club is a non-profit organization devoted to mountaineering, the conservation and study of mountainous regions, and representing the interests of climbers.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks from the AAJ team,

Dougald MacDonald, Erik Rieger, Lindsay Griffin


© American Alpine Club


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IMPORTANT:  We are currently migrating digital resources from the AAJ Online ( to The AAJ Online will remain active until Fall 2013; however, it will no longer be maintained or updated with new content. In the meantime you can continue to browse and search the AAJ Online for AAJ articles and resources from the years 2009-2012.