Piolets d'Or - 2016 Honoured ascents
  • Piolet dOr Family in the beautiful Saint Christophe en Oisans ©Piotr Drożdż

  • Complete Piolets d'Or team 2016 ©Piotr Drożdż

  • The most important people of Piolets dOr 2016 at the legendary La Cordee©Piotr Drożdż.jpg

  • Cerro Kischtwar's Manu & Hayden Piolets d'Or ©Piotr Drożdż

  • Cerro Riso Patron expedition Piolets d'Or ©Piotr Drożdż

  • Dave Ding expedition Piolets dOr ©Piotr Drożdż

  • Talung expedition Piolets d'Or ©Piotr Drożdż

  • Legends sharing a good spirit during the lunch in Sain Christophe en Oisans ©Piotr Drożdż

  • Piolets d'Or Carrière Voytek Kurtyka ©Piotr Drożdż

  • Hosts of the evening_Christophe Trommsdorff and Julia Marin ©Piotr Drożdż

2016 Honoured ascents

Talung, 7348m (Nepal)

Having gained confidence from their first ascent of the northwest pillar of Langshisha Ri (6,427 m) during their maiden Himalayan expedition in 2014, Ukrainian alpinists Mikhail Fomin and Nikita Balabanov decided to up the level of commitment a notch. From 18 to 23 October (after five bivouacs), the pair made the first ascent of the coveted north-northwest pillar of Talung. Their ascent was the fifth ascent of the mountain. The first ascent of the adjacent north face was nominated for a Piolet d’Or in 2014, and came after two attempts by Marek Holecek on this same pillar. Fomin and Balabnov’s 1,700 m line, which they called Daddy Magnum Force, is rated ED+. The maximum difficulties are estimated at M6 and A3. The team considers that the route they climbed is close to the maximum of their abilities, and they were glad to be able to take turns each day with the route finding. They descended by the west face, which they’d reconnoitred during the approach, with a bivouac at 6,700 m.

Gave Ding, 6571m (Nepal)

The tenacious team of Paul Ramdsen and Mick Fowler, who already received a Piolet d’Or in 2002 for their ascent of Siguniang and another in 2013 for the Prow of Shiva, made the first ascent of this isolated summit on the northwest border of Nepal, which had seen no previous attempts. After studying the different ascent possibilities, the English climbers spent five days (from base camp to summit) putting up a very elegant new line on the north face. The route is protected from objective dangers. They reached the summit on 22 October and made the descent in two days by the west ridge and then a couloir on the north side. The overall difficulty of the 1,600 m route is estimated at ED+. Paul’s description of the line: “The first half is similar to the north face of the Eiger in terms of the complexity of the itinerary, the second half is similar to the Peuterey ridge.”

Cerro Riso Patron, 2550m (Chile)

Cerro Riso Patron is located 50 kilometres to the southwest of Cerro Torre, in an isolated area between the Hielo Continental plateau and the Pacific fjords. During a first attempt on the south summit (which remains unclimbed) in 2014, an accident low down on the mountain interrupted their expedition early on. Accustomed to the complex logistics of climbing in the region, the international team composed of Lise Billon, Antoine Moineville (both French) and Jerome Sullivan (half american, half french), decided to reattempt the challenge, joined this time by Argentinian climber Diego Simari (taking the place of Martin Elias). Unable to reach the foot of their initial objective, the team changed plans and shifted their sights to the main summit, which had already been climbed in 1988 by an Italian team. After an epic five-day approach, the foursome made the first ascent of the northeast pillar in three days from 22 to 24 September. This was the second ascent of the peak. Their 1,000 m route Hasta las Webas is rated ED-, with difficulties estimated at AI5+, M5, 90° and X. The first ascensionists nonetheless note that the grade takes into account the isolated location. They made the descent on the same day they summited, following the north ridge and then its flank.

Cerro Kishtwar, 6173m (India)

Following his ascent of Hagshu in 2014 (which received a Piolet d’Or in 2015), veteran Slovenian alpinist Marko Prezelj, who already has three Piolets d’Or to his name, set his sights on the unexplored east side of the nearby Cerro Kishtwar. Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad made the first ascent of the peak by the northwest face in 1993. After acclimatizing with a first ascent of the south ridge of Chomochior (6,278m, 1,400m, D+), the four-person team of Marko Prezelj, American Hayden Kennedy (who received a Piolet d’Or in 2013 for his ascent of Baintha Brakk in India), Frenchman Manu Pellissier, and Slovenian Urban Novak made the first ascent of Light Before Wisdom on 5-8 October 2015. The 1,200 m line is rated ED+ (more precisely: 5.11, WI6, M6, A2). The team descended by the south face and then rappelled the mountain’s east couloir.

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