Walter Bonatti,perhaps the premier alpinist of the 1950s and early 1960s, will be honoured with the first Piolet d'Or for lifetime achievement. The “golden ice axe” will be presented to Bonatti in Coumayeur, Italy, at the foot of Mont Blanc, on April 24, as part of a five-day Piolet d'Or festival.
The Italian climber, now 78, burst onto the stage in 1949 with an ascent of the Walker Spur as a teenager. Two years later he made the first ascent of the east face of the Grand Capucin, then the most technical route in the western Alps.
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