Piolets d'Or - SPECIAL MENTION - NILKANTH (NILKANTHA, 6,596m - India)

The Piolets d'Or 2019 will take place in Ladek, from the 19th to 22nd September !

  • Piolets d'Or 2018 | 22nd September 2018 | ©Lucyna Lewandowska

  • Piolets d'Or 2018 | 22nd September 2018 | ©Małgorzata Telega

  • Piolets d'Or 2018 | 22nd September 2018 | ©Lucyna Lewandowska

  • Piolets d'Or 2018 | 22nd September 2018 | ©Lucyna Lewandowska

  • Piolets d'Or 2018 | 22nd September 2018 | ©Lucyna Lewandowska

  • Piolets d'Or 2018 | 22nd September 2018 | ©Lucyna Lewandowska

  • Piolets d'Or 2018 | 22nd September 2018 | ©Lucyna Lewandowska

  • Piolets d'Or 2018 | 22nd September 2018 | ©Szymon Aksienionek

  • Piolets d'Or 2018 | 22nd September 2018 | ©Lucyna Lewandowska

2019 - Krzysztof Wielicki

By Piotr Drożdż and Lindsay Griffin©Krzysztof Wielicki archive Born in January 1950, Krzysztof Wielicki remains one of the foremost mountaineers from "the Golden Age of Polish Himalayan Climbing". He started climbing...

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2018 - Significant ascents

The following is a representative list of significant, innovative ascents in most mountain regions of the World, climbed during 2018, in alpine style, and without using drilled equipment. This is...

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The Ladek Festival, base Camp for the 20…

The Piolets d'Or 2019 will be hosted by the Ladek Festival (Poland) The 2018 edition, which was held last September at the 23rd Ladek Mountain Festival in Poland, was a resounding...

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International forum - Bibliography

Thursday, April 13th - 8pm | Salle Edmond Vigne (Fontaine, France) International forum on the question of proof of ascents in high-level alpinism: this debate will be held in the context...

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2019 International Technical jury

For several years our jury has comprised only highly experienced alpinists. This year is no exception, with several jury members having climbed outstanding new routes that were awarded Piolets d'Or. ©Piolets...

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2019 Honoured Ascents

Lunag Ri (6,895M)

Lunag Ri from the southwest. (A) Main summit (6,895m). (B) Southeast top (1) Line of Anker-Lama attempts in 2015 and 2016. (2) Line of Lama’s solo ascents. (H1) High point...

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Luphgar Sar West (7,157M)

The western end of the Hispar Muztagh with :(A) Distaghil Sar (7,885m),(B) Lupghar Sar West (7,175m), showing the 2018 route on the west face,(C) Momhil Sar (7,414m),(D) Trivor (7,728m) and(E)...

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Latok I (7,145M)

Seen from the north, (A) Latok I (7,145m) and (B) Latok II (7,108m).(1) The 2018 Russian attempt on the north ridge, reaching the summit ridge at approximately 7,050m.(2) Anglo-Slovenian route...

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Southwest face, Obscured Perception, 1,400m, WI5 M6 A0 70° snow.
September 28-October 2 round trip.

The southwest face of shapely Nilkanth (a.k.a Nilkantha, 6,596m) in India's Garhwal Himalaya was described in 2000, by the party that made the first ascent of the west ridge, as a "technical super-alpine challenge". Reaching the foot of this face is not straightforward and involves exposure to objective danger. Continuous tricky mixed ground and beautiful steep ice then lead all the way to the summit, 1,400m above. It was climbed for the first time last autumn with four bivouacs by a three-member American team, which found difficulties up to WI5, M6, A0, and 70° snow, the crux high on the wall in an area dubbed the Castle. They named the route Obscured Perception and it hasn't escaped our notice that women formed the majority of this party.

The southwest face had been the objective for a couple of expeditions before 2015, when it was the goal of Anne Gilbert Chase and Jason Thompson. In order to make a three, they decided to invite Caro North. As a preamble to their attempt (which subsequent bad weather did not allow) these three climbed to 6,400m on the west ridge, which they planned to use for descent. The knowledge gained would prove useful in 2017, when Chase and Thompson decided to return to the mountain. This time Chantel Astorga was recruited as the third member. The three made their final attempt on the southwest face on September 28, reaching the summit on the morning of October 2 and descending the west ridge the same day.

Whilst it was a team effort, with shared decision-making and everyone working hard to achieve the objective, the majority of the climbing, including the crux pitches, was led by either Astorga or Chase. This ascent, and Astorga and Chase's recent landmark four-day ascent of the Slovak Direct on the south face of Denali (2,750m, Alaskan 6, 5.9X M6 WI6+), one of the most difficult and direct routes on the mountain, are representative of the increasing rise in the levels of female alpinism. We hope that their ascents will continue to inspire and encourage women alpinists, as they inspire us all.

What are the "Piolets d'Or" ?

A celebration of mountaineering

The purpose of the Piolets d'Or awards is to raise awareness about the year's greatest ascents across the world.  They aim to celebrate the taste for adventure, the bravery and sense of exploration that lie behind the art of climbing in the world's great mountain ranges. The Piolets d'Or draw their inspiration from mountaineering's rich history.  They are a celebration of a sense of partnership and solidarity, of shared experiences, and reward individual or collective achievement.

The Spirit of Modern Alpinism

More than just the recognition of a performance, the Piolets d'Or celebrates passion, spirit and values. The spirit of the Piolets d’Or draws its inspiration from the history of alpinism and the authenticity of true team spirit. The style should take precedence over the conquest of an objective.  Success is no longer about getting to the summit at all costs, employing all possible financial and technical means, (oxygen, fixed ropes, doping products, etc) or large-scale human resources (high-altitude porters or sherpas). The Piolets d’Or event encourages imagination in searching for innovative routes using a maximum of economy of means, making use of experience and respecting man and nature. The Piolets d’Or is attached to making climbing a shared and valued richness all over the world, capable of attracting the best of human ambitions whilst encompassing moral values and edifying behaviour. The Piolets d'Or event is therefore a celebration of an ethical alpinism, rich in emotion.



Les Piolets d'Or

The Piolet d'Or Career

In 2009, the first Lifetime Achievement Piolet d’Or was awarded to Walter Bonatti.  His style of mountaineering perfectly reflected the spirit of thePiolets d’Or.  He became a sort of godfather to those who would receive this award after him. In honour of the man and his spirit, it has been renamed the “Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement, Walter Bonatti Award”.

The Career Piolets d'Or was created to reward a career where the spirit has inspired the following generations, in the sense of criteria set down by the convention.
Recipients of the Piolet d'Or Career :
2009 : Walter BONATTI
2010 : Reinhold MESSNER
2011 : Doug SCOTT
2012 : Robert PARAGOT
2013 : Kurt DIEMBERGER
2014 : John ROSKELLEY
2015 : Chris BONINGTON
2016 : Wojciech KURTYKA

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The Piolets Jeunes

The Piolets Jeunes is a gathering for diversity, exchange of experience, know-how and cultures.
It allows young people to experience a true mountain experience

Because we are convinced of the major educational role of mountain activities, particularly in the context of education through sport, we wish to contribute to the development of mountain activities among youth. We also promote the spirit and culture of the mountainin order to put young people in link:
- Using natural and cultural heritage and mountain with the territory
- With strong values related to these adventure land practices: the spirit of discovery, respect, solidarity, spirit climber, commitment, experience, progressive autonomy, and responsibility

Visit the 'Piolets Jeunes' website

2019 Organizers