The 12th Arco Rock Legends awards were announced and presented during the Arco Rock Master Festival in Italy at the end of August. The annual event crowns the most influential climbers of the year and celebrates their contributions to the sport. 19 year old US climber Margo Hayes won the Wild Country Rock Rock Award, whilst 18 year old Janja Garnbret of Slovenia won the La Sportiva Competition Award. Two-time IFSC Boulder World Cup champion and GB team member Shauna Coxsey was among the nominees for the Competition Award.
Margo was chosen as the winner of the Rock Award in recognition of her groundbreaking ascent of La Rambla 9a+ in Siurana, Spain earlier this year, which was the first female ascent of a route at the grade, and for 'the strength, endurance and happiness that she's always able to convey when climbing.'
Janja's domination of the IFSC Lead World Cups and her Lead World Championship win in Paris last year earned her the Competition Award, which the judges presented to her as a leading example of the younger generation of climbers working towards the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.
Physicist, climber and 2016 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Mike Kosterlitz, was honoured with the Dryarn Climbing Ambassador Award. The award is presented annually to an individual who has contributed to the culture of climbing on a global scale.
The 74 year old Scottish born scientist is credited with the first ascent of some classic rock routes in the Italian Alps - including the eponymous Fessura Kosterlitz 6a+ on Massi del Sergent in the Orco Valley and the rarely repeated Via degli Inglesi (ED) on Piz Badile, Bregaglia. Mike's influence within the Italian climbing scene also catalysed progression towards modern alpinism.