Piolets d’Or 2014

Posted: Mar 13, 2014 11:27 am EDT

(By Raheel Adnan) It’s the Piolets d’Or time. The 'Oscars' of mountaineering for 2013 will be held in Chamonix and Courmayeur from March 26th to 29th, this year.


“Throughout the world 2013 has seen impressive climbs, from which an International Jury, representing all trends in mountaineering, has made its nominations. Come to Chamonix, the cradle of alpinism at the foot of Mont Blanc, and celebrate the most remarkable ascents of last year. You too will be inspired to defy the laws of gravity,” states the organization’s website.



Piolets d’Or 2013


Last year, jury awarded the Golden Ice Axe to all six nominated climbs. Everyone was a winner (or as critics argue, no one was a winner). Some called it controversial; others termed it as “in the best interests of alpinism.”



The 2013 Climbs


2013 was an extraordinary year. It was dominated by an unprecedented sequence of calamities and controversies, but there had also been plenty of incredible climbs. Seasoned journalists Claude Gardien and Lindsay Griffin compiled the ‘Super Big List’ of important climbs from all around the globe, from which the jury selected the five nominees.



The Nominations


1. Talung (7439m) - First ascent of North Face of the mountain by Czech duo Zdenek Hruby and Marek Holecek (Zdenek Hruby, sadly, died while attempting a new route on Gasherbrum-I in Summer.)


2. Mt. Laurens (3052m) - New route on the Northeast Buttress by American climbers Graham Zimmerman and Mark Allen


3. Kunyang Chhish East (7400m) - The first ascent by Swiss Simon Anthamatten and Austrian brothers Hansjorg and Matthias Auer, via Southwest face


4. K6 West (7040m) - First ascent by Canadians Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted


5. Annapurna I (8091m) - Ueli Steck's 28 hours (round-trip) ascent, completing a new route (Beghin-Lafaille route) on mountain’s South Face


Special Mention


French alpinists Stephane Benoist and Yannick Graziani received a ‘Special Mention’ for eight-day alpine style ascent of Beghin-Lafaille route on Annapurna South Face. Stephane suffered severe frostbite on descent.



Lifetime Achievement “Walter Bonatti Award”


American alpinist John Roskelley will be awarded the 6th lifetime achievement “Walter Bonatti Award”. Roskelley pioneered several challenging ascents in 1970s and 80s.



The Jury


The panel of experts which will be selecting the winners for Piolets d’Or 2014, consists of :-


George Lowe (USA)

Erri de Luca (Italy)

Catherine Destivelle (France)

Denis Urubko (Russia)

Sungmuk Lim (Korea)

Karin Steinbach (Germany)



Based in Lahore, Pakistan, telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.



Piolets d'Or
The Jury