The 23rd edition of the Piolets d'Or took place between Courmayeur and Chamonix on the 11th April, honouring the major feats of mountaineering in 2014.
In an unusual twist on normal procedure, the organisers decided to pre-announce a selection of 'winners' of the prize, instead of announcing a single winner at the event, in order to focus on celebrating the most outstanding achievements in alpinism in a more rounded manner. The event aimed to "share in the “esprit de corps” of international mountaineering and help promote a style of climbing in which « the end does NOT justify the means »"
The three teams receiving the award were the following:
- Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold (USA) for their five-day, seven-summit traverse of the Fitz Roy massif in Patagonia last February. (UKC News Report)
- Alexander Gukov and Alexey Lonchinsky (Russia), for the first ascent of the direct Southwest Face of Thamserku (6,618 metres) in Nepal.
- Ales Cesen, Luka Lindic, and Marko Prezelj (Slovenia), for the first ascent of the North Face of Hagshu (6,657 metres) in India.
Britain's Sir Chris Bonington was awarded the seventh Piolet d'Or Carrière at the event in honour of a lifetime of personal achievement and literary contributions both within and outwith the world of mountaineering. Sir Chris joins a prestigious list of alpinists having received the award before him: Walter Bonatti, Reinhold Messner, Doug Scott, Robert Paragot, Kurt Diemberger, and John Roskelley.
Watch videos of the three winning climbs as shown at the awards ceremony below:
Fitz Roy Traverse, Patagonia, Argentina (Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold)
Thamserku, Khumbu, Nepal (Alexander Gukov and Alexey Lonchinsky)
Hagshu, Kisthwar, India (Aleš Česen, Luka Lindič and Marko Prezelj)