Salt Lake City, UT (March 27, 2019)—The family and close friends of the late Kyle Dempster, with the support of Outdoor Research, Higher Ground Coffee, Black Diamond, Keen Footwear, PROBAR, Liberty Mountain, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Alpinist Magazine, Duct Tape Then Beer, and Munir and Joy Merchant, are excited and proud to announce the winners of the second annual Kyle Dempster Solo Adventure Award.

This year’s recipients proposed exciting and challenging trips that embody Kyle’s creative spirit and his desire to explore wild places, and they demonstrated both a willingness to push their person limits and a passion for storytelling that will inspire future adventurers. We are excited to support the following adventures in 2019 and to hear the stories that come from them.

MAX NEALE, Anchorage, AK

Max will make his third attempt at a complete ridge traverse of Baranof Island, a remote island of rugged mountains, glaciers, temperate rainforest, and pristine salmon streams on the outer coast of southeast Alaska. Max’s route traces 120 miles of off-trail ridges and technical mountain terrain from north to south, with over 120,000 feet of vertical gain.


Cassady will travel to the Scottish Highlands, where he plans to make a coast-to-coast kayak journey from Inverness along the famous Great Caledonian Canal Crossing to Fort William. From Fort William at sea level, he’ll backpack through Glen Nevis before climbing the famous Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK.

TALLEY KAYSER, State College, PA

Talley will attempt to backpack the nearly 200-mile Sierra High Route solo. Most of the route covers off-trail terrain above treeline and few have completed the entire route in a single trip. This rugged and remote route features around 62,000 feet of elevation gain and goes over 33 high passes.


Gabe will attempt a roughly 300-mile backpacking and biking loop in the Black Hills of South Dakota that links two existing north-to-south routes. Gabe hopes to highlight the value of close-to-home adventures that lessen our impact on the environment, as well as raise funds for Smile Train, a non-profit foundation that helps children with cleft lip/palates.


One of America’s great young alpinists best known for first ascents of big remote peaks around the globe, Kyle Dempster was a passionate climber, adventurer and friend who fully lived his 33 years before he and his climbing partner Scott Adamson disappeared while attempting to climb the North Face of the Ogre II in Pakistan, in August of 2016.

Each year, the Kyle Dempster Solo Adventure Award will be given to an American solo adventurer embarking on a journey that embodies Kyle’s passionate spirit and love of exploration, with an emphasis on storytelling and leave no trace ethics.

Contact: Andy Anderson