Piolets d’Or 2018 Award Ceremony will take place this autumn during our Festival.
The Piolets d’Or ( French for “Golden Ice Axes”) is an annual mountaineering award given
by the French association Groupe de Haute Montagne .
A CELEBRATION OF MOUNTAINEERING
The purpose of the Piolets d’Or awards is to raise awareness about the year’s greatest ascents
across the world. They aim to celebrate the taste for adventure, the bravery and sense of
exploration that lie behind the art of climbing in the world’s great mountain ranges. The
Piolets d’Or draw their inspiration from mountaineering’s rich history. They are a celebration
of a sense of partnership and solidarity, of shared experiences, and reward individual or
THE SPIRIT OF MODERN ALPINISM
More than just the recognition of a performance, the Piolets d’Or celebrates passion, spirit and values. The spirit of the Piolets d’Or draws its inspiration from the history of alpinism and the authenticity of true team spirit. The style should take precedence over the conquest of an objective. Success is no longer about getting to the summit at all costs, employing all possible financial and technical means, (oxygen, fixed ropes, doping products, etc) or largescale human resources (high-altitude porters or sherpas). The Piolets d’Or event encourages imagination in searching for innovative routes using a maximum of economy of means, making use of experience and respecting man and nature. The Piolets d’Or is attached to making climbing a shared and valued richness all over the world, capable of attracting the best of human ambitions whilst encompassing moral values and edifying behaviour. The Piolets d’Or event is therefore a celebration of an ethical alpinism, rich in emotion.
THE PIOLETS D’OR AWARD HISTORY
In April 2017 the following ascents were honored:
- North face of Nyanchen (7046 m) in Tibet by Nick Bullock and Paul Ramdsen (UK).
- North face of Thalay Sagar (6904 m) in India by Dmitry Golovchenko, Dmitry Grigoriev and Sergey Nilov (Russia).
- Jeff Lowe was presented with the 9th Lifetime Achievement award.
In March 2016 four 2015 ascents were honored:
- North-northwest pillar and fifth ascent of Talung (7348 m) on the Nepalese-Indian border by Mikhail Fomin (de) and Nikita Balabanov (de) (Ukraine)
- North face and first ascent of Gave Ding (6571 m) in Nepal by Paul Ramdsen and Mick Fowler (UK). The third Piolet for each.
- Northwest pillar and 2nd ascent of Cerro Riso Paron (2550 m) in Chile by Jerome Sullivan (USA-France), Lise Billon (de) (France), Diego Simari (Argentina), and Antoine Moineville (France)
- East face and 2nd ascent of Cerro Kishtwar (de; uk) (6173 m) in India by Marko Prezelj (Slovenia; 4th award), Hayden Kennedy (USA; 2nd award), Manu Pellissier (France), and Urban Novak (de) (Slovenia)
- Wojciech Kurtyka was presented with the 8th Lifetime Achievement award.
- Southwest face of Thamserku (6623 m) in Nepal by Aleksander Gukov and Aleksey
- North face of Hagshu (de) (6615 m) in India by Aleš Česen (sl), Luka Lindič and Marko Prezelj (Slovenia)
- Traverse of Fitz Roy and 6 other summits in Argentina by Tommy Caldwell and Alex
- Chris Bonington (UK) was presented with the 7th Lifetime Achievement award.
- Solo ascent of the South face of Annapurna (8091 m) in Nepal by Ueli Steck (Switzerland; 2nd Piolet)
- West North West Face of K6 or Baltistan Peak (7282 m) in Pakistan by Ian Welsted and Raphael Slawinski
- John Roskelley was presented with the 6th Lifetime Achievement award.
This year in an unprecedented move, the Piolets d’Or jury— Stephen Venables, Silvo Karo,
Katsutaka Yokoyama and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner — awarded all six of the nominated
ascents with golden ice axes. The 6 winning climbs – all in the Himalaya and Karkoram
mountains – were:
- The south pillar of Kyashar (Nepal), climbed by Tatsuya Aoki, Yasuhiro Hanatani and
- The prow of Shiva (India) climbed by Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden (2nd award for each)
- The northeast spur of Muztagh Tower (Pakistan), climbed by Dmitry Golovchenko,
Alexander Lange and Sergey Nilov
- The southeast ridge and south face of Ogre I (Pakistan), climbed by Hayden Kennedy and Kyle Dempster
- The southwest face of Kamet (India), climbed by Sébastien Bohin, Didier Jourdain, Sébastien Moatti and Sébastien Ratel
- The Mazeno ridge of Nanga Parbat (Pakistan), climbed by Sandy Allan and Rick Allen.
- They also recognized Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk’s fair-means ascent of the
Compressor Route on Cerro Torre and David Lama and Peter Ortner’s first free ascent of the line.
- Kurt Diemberger was presented the 5th Lifetime Achievement award.
The following ascents were honored :
- Mark Richey, Steve Swenson and Freddie Wilkinson (USA) for their ascent of Saser Kangri II (7,518m, India);
- Nejc Marcic and Luka Strazar (Slovenia) for their ascent of K7 West (6,615m, Pakistan);
- A third ascent has been given a special mention by the jury: Torre Egger, Argentina, by Bjorn-Eivind Aartun and Ole Lied (Norway)
- Robert Paragot was awarded the 4th Lifetime Contribution Award.
The Piolets d’Or 2011 took place in Chamonix (France) from 16 to 17 April 2011.
The following ascents were honored :
- Yasushi Okada and Katsutaka Yokoyama on the Japanese Mount Logan expedition (southeast face of Mount Logan).
- Sean Villanueva, Nicolas and Olivier Favresse (Belgium), Ben Ditto (USA) and Bob Shepton (UK) for the “Greenland Big Walls” expedition.
- Doug Scott was awarded the 3rd Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Piolets d’Or 2010 took place in Chamonix (France) and Courmayeur (Italy) from 8–10
April 2010. The following ascents were honored :
- Denis Urubko and Boris Dedeshko from Kazakhstan for a new route on the south-east face of Cho Oyu.
- Jed Brown and Kyle Dempster from United States along with Bruce Normand from Scotland for the first ascent of the north face of the Xuelian West (Chinese Tien Shan).
- Reinhold Messner was awarded the 2nd Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Piolets d’or 2009 took place in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (France) and Courmayeur in the
Aosta Valley (Italy) on the 24th and 25 April 2009.
The following ascents were honored :
- Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten for their first ascent in the alpine style of Tengkampoche north face (6500m), Khumbu Valley, Nepal;
- Kazuya Hiraide and Kei Taniguchi for the first ascent of the south-west face of Kamet
(7756m, India) in alpine style;
- Fumitaka Ichimura, Yusuke Sato and Kazuki Amano for a new route on the north face of Kalanka (6931m, India).
- Walter Bonatti was awarded the first Lifetime Achievement Award.
For 2008, the Piolet d’Or was canceled and disappeared. Over the years, various controversies have accompanied the awarding of the Piolet d’Or, because of the difficulty of valuing the excellence of mountaineering achievements or the ethics of “respect for the mountain”. They will cause its disappearance in 2008 and the creation of the Piolets d’Or in 2009.
THE PIOLET D’OR AWARD HISTORY
The 2007 Piolet d’Or was awarded on January 26, 2007 in Grenoble, France. The winners
were : Slovenians Marko Prezelj and Boris Lorencic, for the first ascent of Chomolhari’s
2006 Steve House and Vince Anderson for the first rapid alpine-style ascent of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat
2005 Russian team led by Alexander Odintsov for the first direct ascent of the north face of Jannu
2004 Valery Babanov and Yuri Koshelenko for an ascent on the south face of Nuptse
2003 Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden for a new route on the north face of Siguniang (6250m) in China
2002 Valery Babanov for a solo first ascent of Meru Central (6310m)
2001 Thomas Huber and Iwan Wolf for the first ascent of the direct north pillar of Shivling
2000 Lionel Daudet and Sébastien Foissac for the ascent of the south-east face of the Burkett Needle
1999 Andrew Lindblade of Australia and Athol Whimp (mountaineer) of New Zealand for the first direct ascent of the north face of Thalay Sagar
1998 Russian team from Ekaterinburg led by Sergey Efimov for the first ascent of the west
face of Makalu
1997 Slovenians Tomaž Humar and Vanja Furlan for a new route on the east face of Ama
1996 Andreas Orgler, Heli Neswabba and Arthur Wutsher Germany for numerous new routes in the Ruth Glacier area of the Alaska Range and especially a new route on the south face of Mount Bradley
1995 Francois Marsigny of France and Andy Parkin of England for the new ice and rock route up the Esperance Col on Cerro Torre
1994 The youth high altitude expedition of French Alpine Club (median age 20 years) for
ascents in the Pamir Mountains
1993 Michel Piola and Vincent Sprungli for the ascent of the east face of Torre South del
Paine in Patagonia (the name of the route is “Dans l’Oeil du Cyclone”)
1992 Slovenians Andrej Štremfelj and Marko Prezelj for a 3000m ascent of the South Pillar of Kanchenjunga’s South Summit, 8476m, in the Himalaya