3/15/11 - Three Americans are among the climbers whose ascents have been nominated for the Piolet d'Or, the annual prize celebrating high-level alpinism and traditional climbing. Winners of the Piolets, chosen by a jury captained by Greg Child, will be announced during a four-day festival in Chamonix, France, and Courmayeur, Italy, in mid-April.
The nominated climbs:
• Dracula, a new route on the southeast face of Mt. Foraker in Alaska, by Colin Haley (USA) and Bjorn-Eivind Artun (Norway).
• First ascent of the 8,500-foot southeast face of Mt. Logan, Canada’s highest peak, by Yasushi Okada and Katsutaka Yokoyama from Japan. In February, this ascent was announced as the winner of Climbing’s Golden Piton Award for alpinism.
• First ascent of the mile-high west face of Vasuki Parbat (6,792m) in India by Malcom Bass and Paul Figg (UK). It was only the second only ascent of the peak, and the two men spent 10 days on the route.
• A major new route to a subsummit of Lunag 1 in the Rolwaling Himal, Nepal, by Max Belleville, Mathieu Détrie, Mathieu Meynadier, and Sébastien Ratel (France).
• First ascent of the 8,000-foot east face of Mt. Edgar (6,618m) in the Minya Konka Range of China, by Bruce Normand (UK) and Kyle Dempster (USA). In February, Dempster received Climbing’s Golden Piton Award for Breakaway Success in 2010.
• Nine new routes on big walls of the west and south coasts of Greenland, by Sean Villanueva and Nicolas and Olivier Favressse of Belgium) and Ben Ditto from the USA; most of the routes were started from their base camp boat captained by 75-year-old Bob Shepton.
Earlier, the Piolets d'Or organizers announced the selection of Doug Scott, the extraordinary British alpinist, as winner of the 2010 Piolet for Lifetime Achievement.