John Roskelley Honored With Career Piolet d'Or

Photo: John Roskelley Collection.

12/20/13 – American John Roskelley will receive a Piolet d’Or for lifetime achievement when the annual awards are handed out in late March in Chamonix, France, and Courmayeur, Italy. Roskelley, 65, was one of the greatest Himalayan climbers in U.S. history, with an extraordinary record of successes throughout the 1970s.

Roskelley’s notable ascents include the third ascents of Dhaulagiri and K2 (the latter by a new route), the northwest face of Nanda Devi, and the first ascents of Gaurishankar, Great Trango Tower, and Uli Biaho Tower. Later in his career, he succeeded in the extremely technical northeast face of Tawoche in Nepal, with Jeff Lowe, and in 1995 he joined an international team to climb a new route on Monte Sarmiento in Tierra del Fuego.

A longtime resident of Spokane, Washington, Roskelley served as a county commissioner for nine years. He also wrote several books about his expeditions. Roskelley’s son, Jess, has emerged in recent years as a highly successful alpinist in his own right; he completed a bold new route on the Citadel in Alaska’s Kichatna Spires, with Ben Erdmann and Kris Szilas, last spring.

This is the sixth “Walter Bonatti Award” for lifetime achievement in the 22-year history of the Piolets d’Or. The first went to Bonatti, followed by Reinhold Messner, Doug Scott, Robert Paragot, Kurt Diemberger, and now Roskelley. The Piolets d’Or events will be held March 26–29.

Source: Piolets d’Or