Climb the Grand Scholarship

Calling all youth of Fremont County! Experience the adventure of a lifetime with a four-day guided experience up the Grand Teton, the most iconic peak in Wyoming. No previous climbing experience required. Two recipients will be selected in 2017. 

Dates of trip are July 21-24, 2017. These dates are non-negotiable. All youth finishing 8th-11th grade in May are welcome to apply. Application must be filled out by the youth intending to participate. Application will close 5pm April 7th. Applicants receiving interviews will be contacted April 13th and 14th. The 2017 Recipients will be selected and notified by mid May. 

Applications are currently closed for 2017

If you would like to receive an email regarding 2018 scholarships, please email:


Why is there a scholarship to climb the Grand Teton?

The purpose of the Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship is to provide young people with the opportunity to experience the power of personal achievement and the experience of problem-solving through climbing.

Rock climbing is a powerful activity that prepares us for life. It allows us to learn and practice new skills, confront fears and anxiety, connect to the land, and ourselves. Climbing teaches everyone different things. Often the most difficult part of climbing is getting the equipment to get started and finding a mentor or guide. This scholarship is meant to allow a greater number of youth to experience climbing by removing those barriers to entry. Here is an interesting article by an 8th grader after experiencing indoor climbing for the first time   "lessons I learned while rock climbing."

Jim Ratz was a community member, an avid climber and a visionary. He was a former Executive Director of  NOLS, co-owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, and director of the AMGA. He dedicated his life to outdoor education and the preservation of Wilderness. 

To read more about Jim Ratz and his connection to Lander, please check out these articles from NOLS and Everest News.

Past scholarship winners:
2014: Nesto Lowham (Lander) and Kamille Brough (Lander)
2012: Sammy Crawford Mitchell Atnip
2011: Beryl Coulter and Henry Austin
2010: Anna Boyle (Lander) and Chancy Headley (Ft. Washakie)
2009: Joe McGowan (Lander) and Willy Ratz (Lander)
2008: Carlyn Cook (Lander) and Jessica Roberts (Riverton)
2007: Lisa Zirbel (Lander) and Larkin Guenther (Lander)
2006: Teresa Miller (Lander) and Clayton Tanner (Lander)
2005: Heather Birch (Lander) and Eliah Petersen (Lander)
2004: Heather Hendricks (Lander) and Marie Cartwright (Lander)
2003: Tom Pryor (Hudson) and Karissa McGiven (Riverton)
2002: Cale Hinkle (Lander) and Marissa Matthews (Riverton)