Category Archives: Announcements

Remembering Tom Frost (1937-2018)

Tom Frost at the end of the Great Roof during his second ascent of The Nose in June 1997. Photo by Ryan Frost.
Tom Frost at the end of the Great Roof during his second ascent of The Nose in June 1997. Photo by Ryan Frost.
The climbing world, photography world, and adventure world lost a legend recently when Tom Frost passed. Our own adventure photography maven, Corey Rich, wanted to share some words about Tom.
Descriptions like pioneer, legend, hero, giant, and polymath are pretty bold descriptions that often get tossed around. Tom Frost truly lived up to each of those descriptions. 
On August 24, Tom lost his battle with cancer at a hospice near his home in Oakdale, California.
Tom was a friend, mentor, and giant in both the climbing and photography worlds. He was a pioneer during Yosemite’s Golden Age of climbing. He began climbing in Yosemite with the Stanford Alpine Club, and graduated from the prestigious university in 1958. That same year, Warren Harding had just completed the first ascent of El Capitan via the Nose. In 1960, Frost became part of the team that made the second ascent of the Nose. Frost went on to complete two more noteworthy ascents of El Capitan. In 1961, he joined up with Royal Robbins and Chuck Pratt and achieved the first ascent of the Salathé Wall, El Cap’s second route. In 1964, this same trio as well as Yvon Chouinard completed the first ascent of the North America Wall over nine days. This was considered El Capitan’s most difficult climb to date. His photography documented this era and these remarkable ascents with a preternatural ability for photographic storytelling unlike any I’ve ever seen in any photographer before or since. In my opinion, he was the most gifted adventure photographer in the world. Frost also had a background as an inventor, engineer, and businessman. In 1972 when he and Chouinard founded Great Pacific Ironworks and started to manufacture climbing gear. This company would ultimately give birth to both Patagonia and Black Diamond Equipment, the successful apparel and climbing-gear companies that we now know today. Later, he co-founded Chimera Lighting, based in Boulder, Colorado. What made Tom so remarkable, however, was undoubtedly his humility. He was an absolutely incredible human, as humble as they come, as caring and as genuine a person as I've ever met. Tom had a huge effect on me as a person. Calling Tom both a friend and a mentor has been one of the great honors of my life. He'll be missed by me and by many, many more. We'll miss you Tom. -Corey Rich
The North America Wall summit group (Tom Frost, Royal Robbins, Chuck Pratt, and Yvon Chouinard), on a snowy October 1964 day. Photo taken with a self-timer.
The North America Wall summit group (Tom Frost, Royal Robbins, Chuck Pratt, and Yvon Chouinard), on a snowy October 1964 day. Photo taken with a self-timer.
Yosemite climbing pioneer Royal Robbins aid climbing on the first ascent of the Salathe Wall on El Capitan. Pitch 3, September 1961. (Model Rights Clearance Available Upon Request)
Yosemite climbing pioneer Royal Robbins aid climbing on the first ascent of the Salathe Wall on El Capitan. Pitch 3, September 1961. (Model Rights Clearance Available Upon Request)
Yosemite climbing pioneers Joe Fitschen, Chuck Pratt and Royal Robbins sorting gear at Camp Four for the second ascent of The Nose on El Capitan. September 1960.
Yosemite climbing pioneers Joe Fitschen, Chuck Pratt and Royal Robbins sorting gear at Camp Four for the second ascent of The Nose on El Capitan. September 1960.

Aurora Photographers Win Big in PDN’s Great Outdoors Contest

PDN just announced the 2016 winners of The Great Outdoors photography contest in categories including Action/Adventure, Landscapes, Beaches/Underwater, and Wildlife/Insects. Open to both pro and amateur shooters, The Great Outdoors contest celebrates the beautiful vistas, diverse wildlife and adventure that make our planet so unique.

We’re excited to share that several Aurora photographers, which we entered into the contest, were selected as winners in 3 out of the 4 professional categories including Sean Naugle who won the Grand prize in the Professional Action/Adventure category.

Our first place winners included Paul Zizka in the Landscapes category and Sergio Villalba in the Beaches/Underwater category. Chris Schmid and Chris Ross were also selected as winners in the Action/Adventure and Beaches/Underwater categories. Additionally, 3 more of our photographers, Adam Clark, Krystle Wright and Alasdair Turner won with their own independent entries in the Action/Adventure and Wildlife/Insects categories, respectively.

Although it’s always a challenge to select only a few pieces to submit from our photographers’ great body of imagery it's also extremely rewarding and validating to have their fantastic work recognized on such a big stage by a wide variety of  judges.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Check out our photographers' winning imagery below and browse the entire winner’s gallery here.

Grand Prize Winner: Sean Naugle

Professional kiteboarder Matt Thames catches huge air in the backcountry near Fairfield, Idaho.
Professional kiteboarder Matt Thames catches huge air in the backcountry near Fairfield, Idaho.
First Place Professional, Landscapes: Paul Zizka
Ice climbing under the aurora borealis in Athabasca, Canada.
Ice climbing under the aurora borealis in Athabasca, Canada.
First Place Professional, Beaches/Underwater: Sergio Villalba
A woman ducks under a wave.
A woman ducks under a wave.
Winner Professional, Action/Adventure: Chris Schmid
An aerial shot of a surfer, captured above Brazil's Praia Mole beach in Florianopolis.
An aerial shot of a surfer, captured above Brazil's Praia Mole beach in Florianopolis.
Winner Professional, Beaches/Underwater: Chris Ross
Offshore fishermen catching sailfish and dolphin fish in the waters off Guatemala
Offshore fishermen catching sailfish and dolphin fish in the waters off Guatemala
Winner Professional, Action/Adventure: Adam Clark
Sage Cattabriga-Alosa descends the Neacola Mountains in Alaska.
Sage Cattabriga-Alosa descends the Neacola Mountains in Alaska.
Winner Professional, Action/Adventure: Krystle Wright
Steph Davis ascends The Joker 5.12d near Moab, Utah.
Steph Davis ascends The Joker 5.12d near Moab, Utah.
Winner Professional, Landscapes and Wildlife/Insects: Alasdair Turner
A crack runs across the surface of the Ross Sea in Antarctica
A crack runs across the surface of the Ross Sea in Antarctica
A weddell seal in a breathing hole in the sea ice of the Ross Sea, Antarctica.
A weddell seal in a breathing hole in the sea ice of the Ross Sea, Antarctica.
   

Aurora Photographers Included in 2016 Communication Arts Photo Annual

We are beyond thrilled to announce that 5 of our photographers have been included in this year’s prestigious Communication Arts Photography Annual!

For the past 57 years, Communication Arts has been holding this annual competition to find and showcase some of the best photography around the globe. This year, of 4,024 entries received the distinguished panel of judges selected only 137, representing the work of just 127 photographers.

Congratulations to our contributors Michael Clark, Ryan Heffernan, Paolo Marchesi, Myles McGuinness and Tyler Stableford as well as to all of the winners included in this highly exclusive competition.

Check out our photographers’ winning imagery below!

See the entire Winner’s Gallery here.

Michael Clark

Title: Hi-Sync Skating
Category: Print Advertising
Client: Elinchrom SA
Image promoted the Elinchrom Hi-Sync radio transmitter for strobes.
Ryan Heffernan
Title: YETI Coolers
Category: Advertising
Client: YETI Coolers
This image was used in the seven-minute YETI Coolers film ‘Engler,’ which profiled a lifelong fly-fishing guide.
Paolo Marchesi
Title: Fish Jump
Category: Self-Promotion
Image of a rainbow trout caught after rising to a dry fly.

 Myles McGuinness

Title: Maverick's Peak
Category: For Sale
One from a series documenting California’s historic winter of 2015–2016

 Tyler Stableford

Title: The Farmer's Series, No. 2
Category: Advertising
Client: Rich Reamer, Canon USA
The farmers project features portraits of farmers and ranchers from around the country.

Tom Frost to be Inducted Into 2016 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence

Aurora contributor Tom Frost will be inducted into The American Alpine Club's 2016 Hall of Mountaineering Excellence during the Club's Inaugural Awards Dinner on May 7th, 2016. This prestigious accolade is given to those who have made lasting contributions both on and off the mountain. Climbers awarded have inspired a legacy for future climbers, positively impacted the environment, and advanced the fields of science and medicine, all while accomplishing incredible climbing feats. Frost is being recognized for his efforts in saving Yosemite's iconic Camp 4 and his many first ascents in Yosemite including the Salathé Wall. The other inductees this year include Geoff Tabin, John Roskelley, Hugh Herr and Libby Sauter. About Tom Frost Tom Frost is an accomplished climber and photographer. He began making first ascents in Yosemite in the late 1950's climbing with American rock-climbing pioneers like Royal Robbins, Chuck Pratt and Joe Fitschen. In 1961, Frost and Yvon Chouinard, one of the leading climbers of the 'Golden Age of Yosemite Climbing', visited Grand Teton National Park and made the first ascent of the northeast face of Disappointment Peak. That same year Frost, along with Robbins and Pratt, began the first ascent of the Salathé Wall on El Capitan. It took them a total of 11 days and 36 pitches of vertical climbing to finish the route. In October of 1964, with Robbins, Pratt and Chouinard, Frost made the first ascent of the North America Wall on El Capitan.
Yosemite climbing pioneers Chuck Pratt and Royal Robbins arriving at the Cyclops Eye bivy on the first ascent of the North America Wall on El Capitan. End of pitch 19, Fall 1964.
Yosemite climbing pioneers Chuck Pratt and Royal Robbins arriving at the Cyclops Eye bivy on the first ascent of the North America Wall on El Capitan. End of pitch 19, Fall 1964.
Frost is a longtime advocate of environmental ethics in climbing, using natural protection whenever possible, guided by respect for tradition and a desire to "leave no trace." He opposes what he believes to be excessive use of bolts by sport climbers, especially the altering of traditional climbing routes previously completed without such aids. Frost played a critical role in the fight to save Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley, starting in 1997. He filed a lawsuit against the National Park Service to save the historic rock climbers' campsite with the support of the American Alpine Club. The effort was ultimately successful and Camp 4 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Yosemite climbing pioneer Yvonne Chouinard checking out the view from Big Sur ledge the first ascent of the North America Wall on El Capitan. End of pitch 11, Fall 1964.
Yosemite climbing pioneer Yvonne Chouinard checking out the view from Big Sur ledge the first ascent of the North America Wall on El Capitan. End of pitch 11, Fall 1964.
Frost photographed many of his first ascents. Glen Denny, a mountaineering photographer and author of the book Yosemite in the Sixties, wrote of Frost's photographic achievements saying, "Most of the climbing photos you see now are prearranged setups for the camera on much-traveled routes. The impressive thing about Frost is that his classic images were seen, and photographed, during major first ascents. In those awesome situations he led, cleaned, hauled, day after day and--somehow--used his camera with the acuity of a Cartier-Bresson strolling about a piazza. Extremes of heat and cold, storm and high altitude, fear and exhaustion . . . it didn't matter. He didn't seem to feel the pressure." In 1979, Frost co-founded Chimera Photographic Lighting with Gary Regester. The company, based in Boulder, CO, manufactures lighting products for photography and filming.
Yosemite climbing pioneers Royal Robbins and Glen Denny on the Easy Street ledge on the second exploration ascent of the North America Wall on El Capitan.  Pitch 6, Spring 1964.
Yosemite climbing pioneers Royal Robbins and Glen Denny on the Easy Street ledge on the second exploration ascent of the North America Wall on El Capitan. Pitch 6, Spring 1964. Taken by Tom Frost
Royal Robbins offered the following description of Frost: "Tom is the kindest and gentlest and most generous person I have ever met, with never an ill word to say of anyone. He is also a man of courage and leadership, as witness his recent vanguard role in the effort to save Camp 4 in Yosemite. And he continues to possess the true spirit of climbing. Just a couple of years ago, at age 60, with his son, he climbed three big El Capitan routes, one of them the North American Wall." The American Alpine club will be hosting the Excellence in Climbing Awards Dinner, presented by Adidas Outdoor, on May 7, 2016 at the History Colorado Center. To go along with the keynote and induction ceremony, attendees will enjoy a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, libations and fine dining. All proceeds benefit The American Alpine Club Library and The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum. Tickets are limited for this event. For more information and to reserve your spot, head over to The American Alpine Club's website. See more of Tom Frost's work here. 

#AuWinterContest

When winter hits, our photographers disappear. For three months, all of our emails get an auto-response: “Out of office, skiing / snowboarding / ice-climbing / chasing yetis / making badass snowmen, will get back to you after my hot cocoa.” So it seemed only fitting that the latest Instagram contest for our photographer community centered around the cold. Winter is the time of year most people hunker down indoors, but our photographers (and their dogs) embraced the frigid temperatures, battled some extreme conditions, and came back with fantastic images. Kudos to the winning photographers: Staff Pick: Dave Brosha 
@davebrosha
Peace. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories by @davebrosha
Most Popular: Sean Naugle
@rockninjasean
Zion the pit mastiff learning to survive in the snow. By @rockninjasean
Larry's Arbitrary Pick: Matthew DeLorme 
@mdelormephoto
Bringing in a herd of bison is no easy task, especially when it's negative 15 degrees out. Zapata Ranch, Colorado. By @mdelormephoto
Below are just a few more of our favorites. You can check out all of the contest images and keep up with our photographers on their amazing adventures by following us on Instagram.