In 2016, The American Alpine Club President’s Gold Medals were awarded for only the fifth time in the Club’s 114-year history. At the Annual Dinner, the awards were given to the ten members of the 1966 American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition. The previous year, the rare AAC Gold Medal was awarded to Fred Beckey. Kiitellä’s “gold” medals consist of jet cut, satin-polished, heavy-gauge brass, with leather neck ribbons.
The David A. Sowles Memorial Award honors distinguished mountaineers who have endangered their own lives to help fellow climbers at risk in the mountains. The medal: patina’d bronze medallions with Kiitellä’s signature satin-polished finish, solid rivets and leather ribbon.