Nanga Parbat, 8126m, Pakistan
The XVth Piolet d'Or has been awarded to Steve House and Vince Anderson for their ascent of Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. The jury in Grenoble, chaired by Stephen Venables, decided that the American pair's impressive six-day alpine-style ascent of what is widely regarded as the largest wall of the world (more 4000m) was worthy winner of this prestigious award.
The Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat was first climbed in 1970 by a young Reinhold Messner climbing with his brother Gunther who lost his life on the descent. The American pair found some human remains on their ascent which later turned out to be those of Gunther Messner. This discovery helped solved the 35 year old controversy surrounding Messner's descent of the mountain - see October 22 news item.
The other candidates for the Piolet d'Or were:
Christian Trommsdorff, Patrick Wagnon and Yannick Graziani (France), for their traverse of the North Ridge (7199 m) and Summit Ridge (7540 m) of Chomo Lonzo, Tibet.
Denis Urubko and Serguey Samoilov (Kazakhstan), for their ascent of the South Face of Broad Peak (8047 m), Pakistan.
Ueli Steck (Suisse), for his solo of the technical Khumbu Face, NÚpal.
Robert Jasper and Stefan Glowacz (Germany), for their new routes on the North Face of Cerro Murallon (2831 m), Patagonia.
Ermanno Salvaterra, Alessandro Beltrami and Rolando Garibotti (Italy), for their new route on Cerro Torre (3128 m), Patagonia.
Read here a translation of Steve House's opinion on the selection criteria for the Piolet d'Or.
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