Slovenians win 16th Piolet d’Or

by Mick Ryan Jan/2007
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+Marko Prezelj and Boris Lorencic, 44 kb
This years Grivel Piolet d'Or award (The Golden Ice Axe) has been awarded to the Slovenians Boris Lorencic and Marko Prezelj for their first ascent of the Northwest Pillar of Chomo Lhari (c. 7,314m) in the Himalaya near the Tibet-Bhutan border on October 16, 2006 . Marko Prezelj also won the first Piolet d'Or in 1991 with fellow Slovenian Andrej Stremfelj for their ascent of the South Pillar of Kanchenjunga's south summit.

You can read a report of the winning ascent at Climbing.com

The Piolet d'Or award is an annual mountaineering award which has been given by the French magazine Montagnes and The Groupe de Haute Montagne since 1991. Recently the The Groupe de Haute Montagne withdrew from the award.

The criteria for this award includes alpine climbs that involve high technical difficulty and commitment, originality in the choice of the objective, pure lightweight style and respect for the mountains. The award is chosen by a jury consisting of the editors of Montagnes magazine and this year included Italian Vinicio Stefanello, journalist with PlanetMountain.com; Korean Im Duck Yong, journalist and founder of the Asian edition of Piolet d'Or; Swiss Michel Piola, Piolet d'Or in 1992 for a new route on Torres del Paine; French Christian Trommsdorff, nominated last year for a traverse on Chomo Lonzo; and Russian Yuri Koshelenko, awarded in 2003 for the opening of Nuptse East's south pillar with Valery Babanov; and last years award Americans Vince Anderson and Steve House (Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat).

Slovenian Pavle Kozjek's solo of the Southeast Face of Cho Oyu won the “People's Choice” award.

The 2007 Piolet d'Or was awarded on January 26, 2007 in Grenoble, France. The nominees were:

  • Kazakhs Denis Urubko and Sergey Samoilov, for a new route opened in alpine style on Manaslu's Northeast face
  • Slovenian Pavle Kozjek's solo of the Southeast Face of Cho Oyu
  • Slovenians Marko Prezelj and Boris Lorencic, for the first ascent on Chomo Lhari's Northwest pillar
  • Ukrainians Igor Chaplinsky, Andrey Rodiontsev and Orest Verbitsky for a first ascent on the North ridge of Shingu Charpa
  • Brits Ian Parnell and Tim Emmett for climbing the Southeast Pillar of Kedarnath Dome

    You can read an interesting essay by Ian Parnell, 'Victors of the Unwinnable' about the relevance of awards in mountaineering at Alpinist.com

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