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.
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.
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 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 mountain, in 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