2/16/12 - Six climbs by 15 alpinists—six of them American—have been nominated for the 20th edition of the Piolets d’Or, the annual prize for innovative mountaineering ascents across the world. The winners will be announced in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France, and Courmayeur, Italy, during the four-day festival starting March 21.
The jury chooses the ascents based on a list of criteria, including style of ascent, spirit of exploration, level of technical ability involved, and efficient or sparing use of resources.
Dollar Road, a new route on the central and highest part of the Pobeda Peak, Kyrgyzstan, the most northerly 7,000-meter peak in the world, by Kazakh climbers Gennady Durov and Denis Urubko. This technical alpine route won the sixth Asian Piolets d’Or last November.
First ascent of the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world, Saser Kangri II (7,518m), India, by Americans Mark Richey, Steve Swenson, and Freddie Wilkinson.
The third ascent of the west summit of K7, Pakistan, by young Slovenian climbers Nejc Marčič and Luka Stražar. The duo made the ascent in three days.
The last remaining unclimbed 6,000 meter peak in the Xuelian Feng, China, was climbed by Slovenian Ales Holc, Peter Juvan, and Igor Kremser in four days, in pure alpine style.
American alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk’s ascent of Shark's Fin (6,310m) on the east pillar of Meru Central, India. This is the first time the route has been completed in its entirety since the first attempts in 1986.
The ascent of Torre Egger (2,850), Argentina, by Norwegian alpinists Bjørn-Eivind Årtun and Ole Lied. They climbed the southern face of the vertical tower when it was completely covered in ice. Årtun recently passed away after a fatal accident on a new route on Kjerag in Norway, along with fellow Norwegian alpinist Stein-Ivar Gravdal.