3/11/13 - Six high-altitude ascents in 2012 have been nominated for the Piolets d'Or, the 21st annual celebration of the best in mountaineering. All six climbs reached summits over 6,000 meters (19,685'), and five of the six resulted in bold traverses over the top and down another route. The Piolets d'Or will be awarded at a festival in Chamonix, France, and Courmayeur, Italy, from April 3–6, 2013.
The nominees are:
• South face of the Ogre, Pakistan, by Kyle Dempster, Hayden Kennedy, and Josh Wharton (USA). The team pioneered a new route up the 23,901-foot peak, which had only been climbed twice in 35 years.
• Complete Mazeno Ridge, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan, by Sandy Allan and Rick Allen (UK). Two Americans had earlier climbed the seven-mile-long Mazeno Ridge, but the two Brits completed the job to the summit during a traverse of the 8,125-meter peak that lasted over 18 days.
• Northeast spur of Muztagh Tower, Pakistan, by Dmitry Golovchenko, Alexander Lange, and Sergey Nilov (Russia). Over 17 days last summer, this trio waited out storms to find a new line up this rarely climbed, very steep, 7,284-meter peak.
• Southwest face of Kamet, India, by Sébastien Bohin, Didier Jourdain, Sébastien Moatti, and Sébastien Ratel (France). The four men climbed the 7,756-meter peak alpine-style over five days.
• Northeast ridge of Shiva, India, by Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden (UK). Climbing the dramatic northeast ridge, which they called the Prow of Shiva, the two men traversed over the summit and down the south ridge in a nine-day effort.
• South pillar of Kyashar, Nepal, by Tatsuya Aoki, Yasuhiro Hanatani and Hiroyoshi Manome (Japan). The three men took six days to climb this very steep route, then descended the west ridge.
An all-star four-person jury will review the nominated climbs: Stephen Venables, the great British mountaineer; Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the first woman to climb all the 8,000-meter peaks without supplementary oxygen; Silvo Karo, the Slovenian alpinist famed for his exploits in Patagonia; and Katsutaka "Jumbo" Yokoyama, the Japanese "Giri-Giri Boy" who has done many new routes in Alaska and elsewhere.
Earlier, the Piolets d'Or announced the annual lifetime achievement award for Kurt Diemberger, the Austrian alpinist who led the first ascents of Broad Peak and Dhaulagiri, among many other ascents.