Six Climbs Nominated for Piolets d’Or

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Simon Anthamatten climbing on the north face of Tengkampoche in Nepal. Courtesy of Ueli Steck.

Six climbs from 2008, including one by an American, have been nominated for the 17th Piolets d’Or — the “golden ice axes” — which will be presented during a four-day festival at the foot of Mont Blanc in April.

The six climbs are:

  • Solo new route on the east face of Cerro Escudo in Chile by American Dave Turner.

  • Enchainment of two hard routes on Denali (6,194m) in Alaska by Fumitaka Ichimura, Yusuke Sato, and Katsutaka Yokoyama.

  • New route on the north face of 6,931-meter Kalanka in India, by Fumitaka Ichimura, Yusuke Sato, and Kazuki Amano.

  • First ascent of the southeast face of 7,756-meter Kamet in India, by Kazuya Hiraide and Kei Taniguchi.

  • New route on the south face of Nuptse (7,861m) in Nepal, by Stéphane Benoist and Patrice Glairon Rappaz.

  • New route on the north face of Tengkampoche (6,500m) in Nepal, by Simon Anthamatten and Ueli Steck.

Dave Turner after a storm during his 34-day solo effort on the east face of Cerro Escudo. Courtesy of Dave Turner.

Dave Turner after a storm during his 34-day solo effort on the east face of Cerro Escudo. Courtesy of Dave Turner.

The new route on the southeast face of Kamet, the third-highest peak in India. Courtesy of Kazuya Hiraide.

The new route on the southeast face of Kamet, the third-highest peak in India. Courtesy of Kazuya Hiraide.

The six nominated climbs reflect a new charter for the revamped Piolets d’Or, emphasizing lightweight, high-commitment climbs. With the exception of Cerro Escudo, all of the climbs were alpine-style ascents on high peaks, and Dave Turner’s climb on Cerro Escudo was exceptionally lightweight and committing compared with previous Patagonian big-wall climbs.

The Piolets d’Or charter also allows for the possibility that multiple climbs will be honored. In addition, one climber will receive a Piolet d’Or for lifetime achievement. The decisions will be made by an international jury comprised of Jim Donini (USA), Peter Habeler (Austria), Dodo Kopold (Slovakia), Dario Rodriguez (Spain), jury president Doug Scott (UK), and Yong Im Duck (Korea).

The awards festival will take place in Chamonix and Courmayeur, on the French and Italian sides of Mont Blanc, April 22-25.

Source: Piolet d’Or organizing committee

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