40 years, Australia

Daily Mountain

40 years, Australia

4 days ago

Piolet d’Or 2018 Winners Announced

After choosing from a short list of 58 notable climbs around the world, the 2018 Piolets d’Or jury bestowed the award on Zdeněk Hák and Marek Holeček (Czech Republic) for their ascent of Gasherbrum I’s southwest face, Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajima (Japan) for their ascent of the northeast face of Shispare, and Frédéric Degoulet, Benjamin Guigonnet and Hélias Millerioux (France) for their ascent of Nupste’s south face.

Chantel Astorga, Anne Gilbert Chase and Jason Thompson (USA) were awarded special mention for their first ascent of the southwest face on India’s Nilkantha (6,596 m/21,640 ft) in a route they dubbed Obscured Perception (WI5 M6 A0 70°, 1,400m). Alex Honnold also received special mention for his overall contributions to the sport during 2017.

The Czech climbers Hák and Holeček, 38 and 44, respectively, spent six days climbing Gasherbrum I’s southwest face in July of 2017, from July 25 to August 1. The pair battled up a route they named Satisfaction! (ED+ M7 WI5+ 70°, 3,000 m), summiting July 30. Though it was Holeček’s fifth attempt on the route, Hák had little high-altitude experience. He had never even summited an 8,000 meter peak before Gasherbrum I (8,080 m/26,509 ft) and the pair had never climbed together prior, outside of “three short sport climbing routes during one afternoon,” Hák said in an Alpinist article published post-ascent. Notably, one of Holeček’s former partners on the route, Zdenek Hruby, perished during their 2013 attempt after falling from a belay stance. Hruby took all the pair’s hardware and rope with him when he fell, forcing Holeček to downclimb the entire face.

Last year, however, Holeček finally conquered the face along with Hák. “Climbing the headwall took us three whole days,” he wrote in a trip report published on Planet Mountain. “Thin layers of loose snow and rotten granite proved to be a terrible combination! In some sections the actual climbing was so thin that we had to take off our gloves and look for unstable holds to pull on in order to make slow progress upwards.”

Hiraide and Nakajima of Japan claimed the first ascent of the northeast face (2,700 m) on Shispare (7,611 m/ 24,970 ft), on August 22, 2017, completing a dream Hiraide had harbored since 2002. The team found climbing up to M6 and WI5 on the route. Hiraide made four attempts on the peak, beginning in 2007 with the northeast face. He then attempted Shispare from the southwest face twice, once with Takuya Mitoro in 2012, where the pair surrendered to foul weather at 5,350 meters, and then in 2013 with Kei Taniguchi. During this attempt, Hiraide and Taniguchi Taniguchi, made it to 5,700 meters, however, “a serac high on the route terrified us, so we retreated,” Hiraide wrote in the American Alpine Journal. Taniguchi, also Hiraide’s partner on the southeast face of Kamet in India, a climb which earned a Piolet d’Or, perished in a mountaineering accident in Japan in 2015. “The sudden tragedy made me question my motivation for mountaineering,” Hiraide wrote. “At the end of much pondering, I decided to continue climbing, with her climbing alongside in spirit.” The Japanese mountaineer went on to complete a first ascent of the north face on Tibet’s Loinbo Kangri (7,095m), partnering with Nakajima, but Shispare was always in the back of his mind. “My heart was still restless,” he wrote. “I decided that I needed to settle with Shispare. If I could only climb the mountain that started it all, I could forge a new path for myself.”

The pair came to Shispare in 2017, hell-bent on climbing the peak once and for all, and summited August 22 via the virgin northeast face, after stashing their gear 400 meters below the summit and continuing under snowfall with one rope, a minimal set of pro, and a bit of food. “There’s no view, and we’re worried about the way down,” Nakajima wrote of the summit in the American Alpine Journal. “Hiraide’s frozen beard makes him look like Santa Claus. We make a quick phone call, and he scrapes a hole in the snow and places a photo of Kei Taniguchi inside it, and then we start down right away.” Navigating via compass, the pair managed to find their cache just before dark, descending the next day via the east face, amidst a blizzard. “Arriving at base camp … is much, much more emotional than reaching the summit,” wrote Nakajima. “We are off the mountain—alive.”

The third Piolet d’Or went to Frédéric Degoulet, Benjamin Guigonnet and Hélias Millerioux, Le Gang des Moustaches (Moustache Gang), three Frenchmen united by their belief in the good fortune brought by hairy upper lips. They completed their six day ascent of Nuptse II’s south face (M5+ WI6, 65°) on October 21, after summiting on the 19th. The route clocked in at 2,200 meters (the peak measures is 7,742 m/ 25,659 ft at the top). The trio became famous for their 2014 first ascent of the west face of Peru’s Siula Chico (6265m), Looking for the Void (M7 WI6 R, 865 m).

Guigonnet and Millerioux first attempted the Nuptse line in 2015 but were rebuffed. “The face was too dry,” Millerioux said in an Outdoor Journal article. “Lots of rockfall and icefall. It was a very warm year. We decided not to try the project because it was too dangerous.” Still, Millerioux continued, “When we finished in 2015, we said, ‘We have to come back.’ The wall is like a magnet.” In 2016, they did return, along with Revest and Degoulet. Though the three Mustachios were all together for this attempt and conditions were near perfect, again they were defeated. The quartet pushed to within a few hundred meters of the top, but daylight was spent and they worried they wouldn’t be able to make it back to their last camp safely.

In 2017, sans-Revest, they returned to knock the peak off once and for all. Though conditions were in worse shape than 2016, they wouldn’t take no for an answer. “The whole route was super dangerous this year,” Millerioux said in The Outdoor Journal. “We accepted a lot of risk. We’re all mountain guides in France, and in the Alps I would never accept that same level of risk.” Still, they managed to summit after a six day push. Degoulet reported 11 pitches of WI5 on the Nuptse route, including some WI6, along with several more technical pitches at slightly easier grades. Though Millerioux was struck by a large falling rock during the descent, injuring his arm, the trio managed to safely descend, claiming the first ascent of the peak’s south face.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Slovenian alpinist Andrej Štremfelj. More can be read about Štremfelj and the award here. The jury for the 2018 Piolet’s d’Or consisted of Valeri Babanov, Kelly Cordes, Jordi Corominas, Mick Fowler, Yannick Graziani, Silvo Karo and Raphael Slawinsky. The award ceremony will be held September 20-23 in Ladek-Zdroj, Poland.

This article first appeared on Rockandice.com. The original can be read here

Top-5 Female Climbers or Queens of Modern Climbing (Part One)
8 Like Daily Mountain
Mike Horn to climb Nanga Parbat
8 Like Daily Mountain
Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell set a new speed record on the Nose
7 Like Daily Mountain
Israeli mountain climber thought dead, rescued alive
7 Like Daily Mountain
Climbing Season Closed: A Look Back at Record Year on Everest
7 Like Daily Mountain
Polish climber evacuated from Mt Makalu
7 Like Daily Mountain
Kiwi mountaineer Chris Jensen Burke conquers Mt Kanchenjunga - world's third highest peak
7 Like Daily Mountain
Honnold and Caldwell Break Nose Record (Again!), Blaze Up in 2:01:50!
7 Like Daily Mountain
Four siblings from Dolakha district atop Mt Everest
7 Like Daily Mountain
Woman climber Nima Jangmu Sherpa sets world record
7 Like Daily Mountain
On top of the world! Lionel Messi thanks climber as Argentina star's shirt reaches Mount Everest summit
7 Like Daily Mountain
Slovenian climbing legend is awarded lifetime Piolet d'Or
7 Like Daily Mountain
Dhaulagiri remains unclimbed this spring
7 Like Daily Mountain
Karl Unterkircher Award 2018 nominees
7 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing and Mountain Movies (Part Two)
6 Like Daily Mountain
More climbers scale Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse
6 Like Daily Mountain
Tenji Sherpa scales Mt Everest in memory of Ueli Steck
6 Like Daily Mountain
Changabang North Face alpine style by French trio
6 Like Daily Mountain
Ngima Nuru Sherpa becomes youngest climber to ascend Mt Everest for 21st time
6 Like Daily Mountain
Sadpara joins French mountaineer for 'Beyond Mount Everest' expedition
6 Like Daily Mountain
Climber Charlotte Fox Died from an Accident
6 Like Daily Mountain
Maurizio Cheli becomes second astronaut to climb Mt Everest
6 Like Daily Mountain
Shepherd climbs Denali to complete 7 summits
6 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing Books (Part Two)
6 Like Daily Mountain
Japanese K2 Expedition Arrives in Pakistan
6 Like Daily Mountain
Polish mountaineers announce second winter attempt on K2 for 2019-20
6 Like Daily Mountain
Emirati adventurer plans to be first Arab to scale K2
6 Like Daily Mountain
Mike Horn Turned Back on Nanga Parbat
6 Like Daily Mountain
Nepal honours 9 guides for Everest successes on anniversary
6 Like Daily Mountain
Manxman, 68, claims UK climbing record
5 Like Daily Mountain
Pakistani female climber Uzma Yousaf set to scale Broad Peak
5 Like Daily Mountain
Boy, 8, becomes youngest to scale Old Man of Hoy
5 Like Daily Mountain
Colin O’Brady Wants to Scale the 50 Highest Mountains in the U.S. in Just a Month
5 Like Daily Mountain
Denali in the #MountainAlphabet project
5 Like Daily Mountain
Hansjorg Auer Begins Solo of Lupghar Sar
5 Like Daily Mountain
Summer 2018: K2 and the Karakoram
5 Like Daily Mountain
Indian climber becomes world's youngest mountaineer to scale six peaks over 8,000 m
5 Like Daily Mountain
Everest's Hillary Step Now a 'Slope': Climber
5 Like Daily Mountain
Kami Rita Sherpa made 22 successful ascents of Mt. Everest
5 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing and Mountain Movies (Part Three)
4 Like Daily Mountain
Swedish-Pakistani Team Targets Mt. Spantik
4 Like Daily Mountain
South Koreans Survive Avalanche on Latok One
4 Like Daily Mountain
Fingerless Kim Hong-bin to scale Gasherbrum-I
4 Like Daily Mountain
New Route and Fifth Ascent of Cerro Paine Grande in Patagonia
4 Like Daily Mountain
Hansjörg Auer to scale Lupghar Sar West
4 Like Daily Mountain
SC Vacates the Rule to Bar Double Amputee, Blind Persons From Climbing Mt Everest
4 Like Daily Mountain
Cancer Survivor Is Planning to Scale the Most Dangerous Mountain In the World
4 Like Daily Mountain
Colin Haley dashes up Denali Cassin Ridge in record-breaking 8 hours 7 minutes
4 Like Daily Mountain
Woman with Cerebral Palsy Scales Tallest Mountain in Africa
4 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing and Mountain Movies (Part Four)
4 Like Daily Mountain
Limerick climber Ger McDonnell commemorated on mountain where he died
4 Like Daily Mountain
Azar becomes youngest woman to climb Everest twice
4 Like Daily Mountain
Karakoram 2018 Season Summary
3 Like Daily Mountain
The first 10 climbers to summit Mt Everest
3 Like Daily Mountain
Lhakpa Sherpa scales Mt Everest nine times breaking the world record
3 Like Daily Mountain
Cotopaxi in The #MountainAlphabet Project
3 Like Daily Mountain
Video of Andrzej Bargiel K2 First Ski Descent
3 Like Daily Mountain
Australian Steve Plain becomes fastest climber to scale the highest peaks in seven continents
3 Like Daily Mountain
Russian mountaineer rescued on Latok I
3 Like Daily Mountain
Old Man of Hoy climb by eight-year-old raises 30,000 € for Climbers Against Cancer
3 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing and Mountain Movies
3 Like Daily Mountain
Climb for Climate Team Aims to Scale 82 Summits in 100 Days
2 Like Daily Mountain
Mountaineer Kim Migon Conquers His14th Eight-thousander
2 Like Daily Mountain
Climbers taken to Everest with fake permit
2 Like Daily Mountain
Hansjörg Auer succeeds in Lupghar Sar West solo ascent
2 Like Daily Mountain
Drone Saves Climber Presumed Dead in the Karakorum
2 Like Daily Mountain
Colin O'Brady Scales 50 Highest Peaks in the US in 21 Days
2 Like Daily Mountain
Second Ascent of Denali Light Traveler
2 Like Daily Mountain
Andrzej Bargiel becomes first in history to ski down from K2
2 Like Daily Mountain
31 climbers summit K2
2 Like Daily Mountain
#MountainAlphabet. Letter A - Mount Aconcagua
2 Like Daily Mountain
Alex Honnold Free Solo Trailer
2 Like Daily Mountain
Janhukot finally climbed, British team makes first successful ascent
2 Like Daily Mountain
Two Sherpa climbers aim to set world record on Mt Everest
2 Like Daily Mountain
Famed mountaineers celebrate 40th anniversary of historic Everest conquest in Nepal
2 Like Daily Mountain
A 79-year-old Carlos Soria Will Attempt Dhaulagiri Again This Spring
2 Like Daily Mountain
Mount Baker in the #MountainAlphabet Project
2 Like Daily Mountain
Mt Lhotse records first summit of the season
2 Like Daily Mountain
Two climbers are trying to recreate NASA’s twin study—on Mount Everest
2 Like Daily Mountain
Double amputee Chinese stands atop Mt Everest
2 Like Daily Mountain
79-year-old Japanese woman will try to scale Mount Everest
2 Like Daily Mountain
Pakistani mountaineer to climb Gasherbrum-II
2 Like Daily Mountain
Astorga and Chase complete first female ascent of Denali's Slovak Direct
2 Like Daily Mountain
Andrzej Bargiel Aims for First Ski Descent of K2
2 Like Daily Mountain
Fingerless South Korean scales Mt Annapurna
1 Like Daily Mountain
Summit route opens from Nepal side, 8 Sherpas scale Mt Everest
1 Like Daily Mountain
Search for top Bulgarian mountaineer missing in bid to reach Tibetan summit
1 Like Daily Mountain
Eight-time Everest Summiter Pemba Sherpa Goes Missing in the Karakoram
1 Like Daily Mountain
7-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Girl to Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
1 Like Daily Mountain
Season’s first summit on Mt Makalu: Chinese female climber scales the peak without oxygen
1 Like Daily Mountain
Kim Hong-bin: without fingers onto Annapurna
1 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing Books (Part One)
1 Like Daily Mountain
Meet The First All-Black US Group Set To Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
1 Like Daily Mountain
A 10-year-old mountaineer scaled Mt Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak
1 Like Daily Mountain
See all
Rental Gear
Price: $2.00 / per day
1 review
Add to wishlist

Join the growing Alpine Community now.