This year, for the first year ever, a British climber has been nominated for one of the Arco Rock Legends Prizes. Steve McClure has been nominated for the prestigious 'Salewa Rock Award'. This is awarded to the climber who is deemed to have left an important mark on climbing worldwide, which makes even a nomination a real honour.
The Salewa Rock Award was first won eight years ago by Basque climber Josune Bereziartu, and has since been won by Sasha Diguilian, Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra (who has won it an incredible three times). Steve is up against tough competition this year with nominations also for Alexander Megos, Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra. The winner of the award will be announced on the 6th of September, so watch this space.
Here are the nominations for the Salewa Rock Award 2013:
Period: from June 2012 to May 2013
Steve McClure - England
"After the last decade all the hardest routes in England were put up and freed by "Strong Steve" and some of these still await a first repeat. After a long finger injury McClure is back again and since November he concentrated on one route only. But what a route! Batman – the name of his latest creation – is confirmation once again that he's the strongest in the Kingdom!"
Alexander Megos - Germany
"The world's first 9a on-sight. Need we say more? Well, we could add a 9a+ second go – La Rambla at Siurana in Spain – and the first ascent of a 9a+ in the Frankenjura. And all of this practically out of the blue, and therefore simply a foretaste of what might come in the future..."
Adam Ondra – Czech Republic
"The world's first 9b+, the hardest climb on the planet. Followed, a few months later, by a second 9b+. All the hardest routes in the world are his. In the midst of this, various 8c+ onsights, even a 9a flash. What more can the man do who has continually raised the bar of sport climbing? Perhaps win the award for the 4th time?"
Chris Sharma - USA
"With four previous nominations and one Salewa Rock Award to his name, the Sharma legend continues. It's largely due to him that every winter the crags in Catalunia are set alight by the world's strongest climbers, and this season his perseverance was rewarded with the first repeat of a 9b+. And a great friendship which is worth even more!"
UKC contacted Steve to find out how he felt to have been nominated for the award, Steve commented:
"They told me, and persuaded me to go out after I'd said there was not really much point going, since there was zero chance of me winning when up against Megos and Ondra. They reckoned I had a chance, but they probably only said that to get me out, they seem to like having the odd Brit around now and again! Adds a bit of a change of scene! Still it's the taking part that counts and it will be awesome to be at the event and to have even been considered for such a prestigious award is an incredible privilege. To be even up against Ondra and Megos considering their ability and what they have brought to climbing is fantastic. The ice cream and pizza is amazing there too which is the real reason I'm going out!"
In addition to Rock Award is the La Sportiva Competition Award. This year's nominees are:
Angela Eiter - Austria
Lead World Champion (for the 4th time), winner of Rock Master (for the 6th time)
Mina Markovic - Slovenia
Winner of Lead World Cup (for the 2nd time), 4th in Boulder World Cup, 1st in Combined World Cup ranking (Lead + Boulder)
Jakob Schubert - Austria
Lead World Champion, 3rd in Lead World Cup, 3rd in Boulder World Cup, winner Combined World Cup ranking (Lead + Boulder)
Further information can be found on the official event website: http://www.