France - age 35
The first ascent of the east pillar of Cerro Riso Patron, a particularly isolated and inhospitable peak in Patagonia, was only the second route to be awarded a Piolet d’Or by a team that included a woman. Lise is a mountain guide and a supervisor of the FFME Women’s National Mountaineering Team. An insatiable climber and traveller, her curiosity and love of exploration have taken her to the most remote mountain ranges, from Patagonia to Alaska, and recently to the Karakoram.
France - age 49
Ines is all about versatility. Winner of several ice climbing cups and world championships, she is equally at home mixed climbing on the north face of the Eiger as she is on rock, where she has repeatedly achieved the 8th grade in free climbing, whether on crags or the big walls of the Alps. She is motivated today to explore new areas, from the Himalaya to Patagonia.
Ukraine - age 34
A mountain guide trained in the Caucasus, Nikita and his inseparable climbing companion, Mikhail Formin made the first ascent of the north-northwest pillar of Talung, a route awarded a Piolet d’Or in 2016 – the first by Ukrainian alpinists. Along with Viacheslav Polezhaiko, their ascent of the southeast ridge of Annapurna III, a coveted line that had seen multiple attempts over the last 40 years, was awarded a Special Jury Prize at the 2022 Piolets d’Or ceremony.
According to Fomin, Nikita is the most sensible of the team, "the one with the most level-headed, even conservative, approach when it comes to making decisions in the field."
Slovenia - age 41
A product of the famous Slovenian school, Aleš was an international sport climbing competitor in his youth. He later turned to the mountains, becoming a guide, climbing in the Alps, and then further afield in Africa, Yosemite, Alaska and the Himalaya. A fervent devotee of alpine style, he is one of few climbers who has created two new routes awarded Piolets d’Or: the north face of Hagshu, and Latok I via the north face and west col.
"I won't live long enough to see half the mountains I'd like to climb".
Spain – age 40
Martin is probably one of Spain's most Francophile mountaineers and guides. Passionate about climbing, travel and adventure, he left his native Pyrenees to discover new horizons – Chamonix. He is one of the great specialists of the north face of the Grandes Jorasses, where he has made the first one-day ascent of the Gousseault-Desmaison route, and repeated the Directe de l'Amitié, amongst others. He has climbed other big faces in the Alps, Andes, Patagonia, Himalaya and Karakoram, recently making the first ascent of the north face of Dansam West.
"To go to the mountains is to preserve a space of freedom and tranquillity".
A member of the 'Giri-Giri' generation of young Japanese climbers who have been scouring the most impossible rock faces exclusively for the past 15 years, Genki is the author of several impressive first ascents on the 6,000m peaks of Nepal and India: the north face direct of Tawoche, the south face and west ridge of Kang Nachugo, and the northeast face of Cerro Kishtwar. And all in a spirit of "at the limit" (a literal translation of "Giri-Giri"), while remaining close to the ethics of the Piolets d'Or Charter.
USA - age 69
A true legend of North American mountaineering, Jack has been climbing mountains all over the world for almost 50 years. In particular, he has left his mark in Alaska, making numerous major first ascents on the flanks of Denali, Foraker, and Mount Hunter that have inspired generations of climbers. In 1999 he received the coveted Underhill Award (recently renamed the Pinnacle Award) for lifetime achievement. A former director of the American Alpine Club, he is now Chairman of the Club’s Cutting Edge Alpine Grant committee.
"Actions speak louder than words".