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  • This award is designed to test mountaineers in the most rugged weather. This award is to provide the mountaineering community with a stimulus and recognition for safe, sensible, and serious enjoyment of the mountains in winter. The award is a symbol of those that love the mountains in winter, those with broad experience leading groups in winter, but above all, those with a sense of duty in the good name of mountain climbing, who can be depended upon to prevent others from jeopardizing their safety.

  • Obtaining the Winter Leadership Award includes a public presentation supporting the WMS program by applicant, where possible, at Outdoor Programs or at Winter Mountaineering School.

  • Have a minimum of three active seasons of winter climbing.

  • Have climbed 12 major peaks of four thousand feet or greater, including Marcy, Algonquin, Iroquois, and Gothics, and two trail less peaks, and have made twenty winter climbs of mountains over 4000 feet. Trips must be independent of each other. Multiple day trips are counted as one trip.  The extra eight trips may be repeats of this first twelve Adirondack Peaks, and includes peaks in Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine. Peaks or trips listed on prior WMS awards such as V and X badges are permitted. All ascents must be on skis, crampons or snowshoes. All ascents must be in a party of at least four persons strictly observing the safety rules taught at the school.

  • Have shown leadership, proper caution, discretion in situations where in the role of trip leader.

  • Have camped out away from enclosed or heated shelter three successive winter nights, or on two occasions two successive nights.

  • Certificated in Wilderness First Aid.

  • Personal Interview with a least one WMS Recognition and Awards sub-committee member to determine the applicant has conducted the required trips in a manner consistent with the safety precautions outlined in the ADK Winter Mountaineering Guidelines.

  • Be Nominated by two members of the Winter Leadership Award Sub-Committee and/or two persons holding the Award.

  • The Award shall be awarded only with the majority approval of WMS Advisory Committee.

  • The WMS Recognitions and Awards Sub-committee shall rule on all points in question, and reserve the right to waive requirements as needed.




Introduced in 1954, Reintroduced in 2011

  1. Hal Burton - 1953

  2. Jim Goodwin - 1953

  3. Kim Hart - 1953

  4. Lowell Thomas - 1953

  5. Kay Flickinger - 1954

  6. Franz Mohling - 1994

  7. Paul A. Van Dyke - 1954

  8. Don LeBeau - 1955

  9. P.P. Loope - 1955

  10. Dick Pittman - 1955

  11. A.T. Shorey - 1955

  12. Fritz Weissner - 1955

  13. Richard Hauck - 1956

  14. Dan Moore - 1956

  1. Karen (BigK) Rosencrans - 2011

  2. Steve Frauenthal - 2011

  3. Dave Mong - 2012

  4. Mark Eis - 2013

  5. Carl Klinowski - 2015

  6. Howard Dow - 2016

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