Logan, Greenland Climbs Earn Piolets d'Or
4/16/11 - Two teams of climbers were honored with the 2011 Piolets d'Or, the annual prizes awarded in Chamonix, France, and Courmayeur, Italy, for the most inspiring ascents of the previous year.
Yasushi Okada and Katsutaka Yokoyama won a golden ice axe for their first ascent of the 2,500-meter southeast face of Mt. Logan. Earlier this year, this climb won a Golden Piton for alpine climbing from Climbing magazine.
The second Piolet d'Or of 2011 was unusual because it did not involve alpine climbing: Ben Ditto (USA) and Nicolas Favresse, Olivier Favresse, and Sean Villanueva from Belgium climbed nine new routes on the big walls of Greenland, one of which took 10 days. The team started most of their climbs from a sailboat captained by 75-year-old Bob Shepton from Great Britain.
Asked about the choice of a big-wall rock climbing expedition for a Piolet d'Or, jury president Greg Child, from Castle Valley, Utah, told Alpinist's Keese Lane, that "climbing is not about numbers or statistics, but about the feeling in your gut," and that the Belgian-American team had climbed its routes with no bolts or pitons, an exemplary model for expeditionary big-wall climbing. Lane also reported that many jury members had told him this was the trip among all the nominees that they'd wished they were on.
The other nominees for this year's awards were:
- Britons Malcolm Bass and Paul Figg, for their new route on Vasuki Parbat in India.
- American Colin Haley and Norwegian Bjorn Eivind-Aartun, for their single-push new route on Mt. Foraker in Alaska.
- American Kyle Dempster and Scottish climber Bruce Normand for the first ascent of the east face of Mt. Edgar in China.
- French climbers Mathieu Detrie, Mathieu Meynadier, Sebastien Ratel, and Max Belville, for their new route in the Lunag massif of Nepal.
Dates of awards: April 2011
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