3/5/15 – The 23rd annual Piolets d’Or is shaking things up and announcing the recipients of the annual prizes for alpinism in advance. The three teams to be honored in Chamonix, France, and Courmayeur, Italy, in April are:
• Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold (USA), for their five-day, seven-summit traverse of the Fitz Roy massif in Patagonia, last February.
• Alexander Gukov and Alexey Lonchinsky (Russia), for the first ascent of the direct southwest face of Thamserku (6,618 meters) in Nepal.
• Ales Cesen, Luka Lindic, and Marko Prezelj (Slovenia), for the first ascent of the north face of Hagshu (6,657 meters) in India.
These three climbs were selected by a nine-person “technical committee” comprised of well-known alpinists from all over the world: Kazuki Amano (Japan), Valery Babanov (Russia), Hervé Barmasse (Italy), Stéphane Benoist (France), Andy Houseman (UK), Michael Kennedy (USA), Ines Papert (Germany), Raphael Slawinski (Canada), and Andrej Stremfelj (Slovenia). By announcing the Piolets recipients in advance, the committee and organizers hope to move the event away from its past emphasis on choosing one or more “winners” of the golden ice axe. Instead, the event is being presented as a celebration of alpine-style climbing, designed to promote “a style of climbing in which the end does not justify the means.”
During the event, Sir Chris Bonington from the U.K. will receive the Career Piolet d’Or for his lifetime of climbing achievements.
Find the schedule and more info at pioletsdor.com.