Golden Piton Awards

For more than a decade, Climbing magazine has selected each year's most impressive climbing achievements, from bouldering to big walls, and honored these climbers with the annual Golden Piton Awards. Here you can read the stories and see the photos of these inspirational ascents. Plus, you'll find stories of climbers who inspire in other ways, including humanitarian work around the globe.
  • Golden Piton Awards 2013

    From the first 5.14d onsight to runout 5.13 traditional routes to a multitude of V-hard bouldering flashes, Climbing pays tribute to the most inspirational climbers, ascents, and routes of 2013 with the 12th annual Golden Piton Awards.

  • David-Lama-Cerro-Torre-Feat

    2012 Golden Piton Awards: The Year in Climbing

    With Climbing magazine's 11th annual Golden Piton Awards, we celebrate the biggest, hardest, fastest, and scariest ascents of 2012. Prepare to be inspired. Winners include The American Alpine Club, Cameron Hörst, Brooke Raboutou, Ashima Shiraishi, Alex Honnold, Kyle Dempster, Hayden Kennedy, Sean McColl, Adam Ondra, Tomoko Ogawa, and the Red River Gorge, Kentucky.

  • The view from Gasherbrum II. Photo by Cory Richards

    2012 Golden Piton Awards

    On frozen Karakoram peaks, fierce alpine faces, and crags around the world, climbers killed it last year. Here, Climbing presents the 10th annual Golden Piton Awards for top performances in six disciplines: mountaineering, big wall, traditional climbing, crack climbing, sport climbing, and breakaway success.

  • 2010 Golden Piton Awards

    2010 Golden Piton Awards

    Hardest, highest, fastest, best--it's human nature to submit our "ests" to the test. Is it an ego thing? A crude exercise in nationalism? A magazine scam for commercial interests? You could play it that way. But how boring. And futile. In the end, we appraise others' achievements and compare them to our own weekend-warrior world for one reason: to be inspired.

  • 2009 Golden Piton Awards

    2009 Golden Piton Awards

    2009 has been a year of hardship and strife. It would be foolish to ignore the fact that the "recession" (OK, full-blown depression) continues. Still, climbers will climb, and it's nice to see that -- at least on the rocks and in the hills -- the movement hasn't been retrograde. In fact, it's been a damn good year for climbing.

  • 2008 Golden Piton Awards

    2008 Golden Piton Awards

    Climbing magazine presents its annual Golden Piton Awards for the top climbers in bouldering, sport climbing, competition climbing, alpine climbing, and more.

  • 2004 Golden Piton Awards: Big-Wall Free Climbing

    Tommy Caldwell’'s incredibly sustained Dihedral Wall on El Capitan stands as the hardest long free line in the universe—the biggest tick in an outstanding year for big-wall free climbing.

  • 2004 Golden Piton Awards: Service

    2004 Golden Piton Awards: Service

    When Sean Patrick was told she had four to six weeks to live due to ovarian cancer, her climbing friends distracted her by helping plan a little climbing-based project called HERA: Health, Empowerment, Research, and Advocacy.

  • Golden Piton Award: Mixed Climbing (2003)

    Golden Piton Award: Mixed Climbing (2003)

    Ines Papert of Germany set a new standard for women’s mixed climbing in 2003 when she repeated Mission Impossible (M11), near Courmayeur, Italy, a route that just two years earlier was thought to be the hardest in the world.

  • 2003 Golden Piton Awards: Crack Climbing

    Our vote for best effort of the year goes to Dean Potter and Steph Davis, for Epitaph, a 450-foot route on the Tombstone, near Moab, Utah.

  • 2003 Golden Piton Awards: Lifetime Achievement

    While a list of revered, veteran North American climbers is long, the roll of those who’ve reached true iconic status is short. Near the top of that brief list is Fred Beckey.

  • 2004 Golden Piton Awards: Solo Climbing

    2004 Golden Piton Awards: Solo Climbing

    Steve House climbed in pure alpine style on a nearly 7000-meter peak that had been climbed only once before, in 1984, by a Japanese team that placed thousands of feet of fixed rope and 450 bolts or pins.