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The highest honors of mountaineering were announced: the recipients of the 2021 Gold Awards

The highest honors of mountaineering were announced: the recipients of the 2021 Gold Awards

Piolets d’Or 2021 Earlier this month, two major climbs were announced, one in the Canadian Rockies and the other in Pakistan, as well as a special mention for the prolific soloist of the Great Wall, Sylvia Vidal. The Golden Axes were awarded by a jury of five veteran climbers – Ince Poppert, Kelly Cordes, Victor Saunders, Valery Babanov and Helias Millerux. The last two are the recipients of the past.

Yesterday, the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Yasushi Yamanui, a Japanese climber with remarkable rock, ice and alpine climbing around the world. He is the 13th recipient of this award and joins the list of great climbers.

Mount Robson (12,972 feet), British Columbia, Canada

The face of Emperor Robson is marked by “running in the shadows.” (Photo: Ethan Berman)

From September 30 to October 1, 2020, Ethan Berman (USA) and Hawthorn Uisdean (United Kingdom) was founded Running in the shadows (VI M6 AI5 A0; 7,500 feet) In the historical figure of Emperor Robson. The jury was most impressed by the two men’s commitment to style and self-support. Berman and Hawthorne walked 12.5 miles in heavy rain, went underground once, climbed pristine land on all technical terrain, climbed again, and then spent a full day traversing the melting traverse. From the edge to the ground. Summit – Conference.

Berman said, looking back rock climbing “What stands out most is how brutal the adventure was out there. Like climbing from the last icy ground to the summit through a pipe of edged gargoyles leaning in all directions.

Although both Berman and Hawthorn were not Canadian-born, they are currently based in Canada and understand how accessible Mount Robson is compared to the large mountains abroad. “You do not have to travel around the world and pay a lot of money to get the raw experience that mountaineering brings to the mountains,” Berman said.

Berman passes through the easy ice before launching one of the main components above. (Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn)
Berman in the first sloping icy ground that rises from the emperor’s face through the feature of “jaws”. (Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn)

In a press release, The jury noted Berman and Hawthorne were only the second team (and the first team in almost 40 years) to climb a new line on the face and reach the summit without using a helicopter to approach or land.

As for the award itself, Hawthorne said he was pleased to see the 2009 redevelopment of the Piolets d’Or, which includes multiple climbs and the Lifetime Achievement Award. Prior to 2009, the award was criticized for having only one recipient and creating a competitive environment in the Alpine mountaineering community.

Hawthorne said the new multi-receiver format will pave the way for climbers who are less interested in media. “These days, some climbs are easy to notice because of this [several] “Agents,” he said. Have climbers made a film about climbing? What language do they speak? How many Instagram followers do they have? ” [jury] It does not consider these cases and considers ascents that are not newsworthy at all. Jury members consisting of experienced and respected climbers, [are] “People who have been committed to mountaineering for years,” Hawthorne said. It is important to give them a chance to promote the dramatic climbs of the year. It is the climbers who guide the mountaineering path – not the editors, marketing managers or film directors.

Sani Pakkush (22,808 feet), Tolltar Valley, Pakistan

The southern front of Sunny Pakkoosh and the southwestern ridge are marked with “River Gagnant”. (Photo: Simon Wolfringer)

From 16 to 19 October 2020, French climbers Pierre Fine and Simon Wolfringer made their first ascent. Revers Gagnant (M4 + WI 4+ 90 °; 8200 ft) – and the second ascent to the mountain – on the southern front of Sunny Pakkush and the southwestern ridge.

The two originally planned to visit Nepal in the autumn of that year, but epidemic restrictions forced them to change goals. Pakistan was the only country that wanted to allow them in, so the online photo they found of Sunny Pakkush became their last minute goal.

Their trip will be an exploratory trip. “The southern façade is large and complex and rises from the top of the Tolltar valley, the top of the glacier that almost certainly the climbers did not have access to before,” the Piolets d’Or press release said. “The chances were high for them because October is too late to climb the big mountains in Pakistan.”

Fine and Wolfringer after four days of climbing the peak. (Photo: Simon Wolfringer)

To be honest, so far, the gold award has been unattainable for me. “I have to admit that was what I wanted to achieve one day.” rock climbing. “In mountaineering, you are not really recognized by what you get. The community is very small and the general public does not always understand the meaning and difficulty of the trail in remote areas such as the Himalayas and other wildlife.”

He said well rock climbing He appreciated the jury’s emphasis on reward style and ethics, and noted this point Large list of candidates Which inspired his own mountaineering. He spoke candidly and said he was surprised to receive his award. she thinks Revers Gagnant In the year when more climbers were allowed to enter the Himalayas, they did not receive the Piolets d’Or award. “but this [ascent] “Adventure and courage” is also in the spirit of the award, Fine said.

Special mention: Sylvia Vidal

(Photo: Courtesy of Sylvia Vidal / Piolets d’Or)

Catalan mountaineer Sylvia Vidal has done advanced solo climbing around the world. He got the name because of “doing more with less” and embodying a true passion for adventure while maintaining a high standard of commitment. For more than two decades, Vidal has “shown remarkable masterpieces of perseverance and hard work in climbing great remote walls around the world,” according to a press release. His most prominent ascents have been achieved mainly in complete independence: completely alone, without radio, without mobile, without GPS, without weather forecast, without communication. Drilling is usually minimal and always by hand.

The new Vidal-encapsulated routes are located in Alaska, Canada, Chile, India, Mali, Pakistan and Peru. Important solo climbs include: Un Pas Més (530m, 5.10a A4 +), Xanadu, Alaska (36 days of transport equipment – 540km of walking – up and down the face, and 17 days alone on the wall, 2017) and most recently Synchrony Magic (1180 m, 5.10b A3 +), El Chileno Grande, Chile (16 days freight and after initial 180 m repair, 33 days alone on the wall, 2020).

Lifetime Achievement Award: Yasushi Yamani

(Photo: courtesy of Yasushi Yamani and Piolets d’Or)

The Lifetime Achievement Award was first presented to Walter Bonatti in 2009 to reaffirm the impact his career has had on future generations of young climbers. Since then, legendary climbers including Katherine Dastiule, Jeff Lowe and Reinhold Messner have received the award.

Lindsay Griffin and Rudolf Popeye, with Hiroshi Hagiwara in mind, chose Yamani for their extensive and ongoing career: from the first free solo attacks around his home in Japan to chasing hard climbs like Crack. Cosmic waste (5.13a) and Sphynx crack (5.13b) In the United States, to become the first person to perform a single fit on Patagonia (11,171 feet) in the winter of July 1990.

As mentioned in Piolets Press releaseYamanui first explored the world of high-altitude mountaineering in the early 1990s as part of a siege-style Japanese cruise on Broad Peak (8051 m). While Yamaniu did not practice its heavy and militant tactics of mountaineering, he fell in love with the Great Mountain Range and returned repeatedly for important climbs: a new 7,200-foot route on the southwestern front of Chu Oyo (8188 m), solo. ; The first ascent of the eastern face of Cosm Kangaroo (6367 m), solo. The first ascent of the stunning southwest front of Bublimotin (6000 m) with Taeko and Daisaku Nakaga. And a proud attempt from the non-climbing face of East K2 (8611 m) with Polish mountaineer Voytek Kurtyka.

“Yasushi Yamani’s ascent, whether individually, as a married couple or with friends, has shown great creativity, commitment and flexibility,” the press release said. “His minimalist style and often cautious ascents paved the way for young Japanese climbers to work in the modern Alpine style. Along with great respect for the environment he has traveled through, these qualities make Yasushi Yamani a worthy recipient of the 13th Job Award.

Anthony Walsh is a digital editor at rock climbing.

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