Something unprecedented happened at the Piolets d'Or this year: every single team that was nominated won the award.
"2012 was an exceptional year for groundbreaking ascents which reflected the values of the Piolets d'Or," the Piolets d'Or committee said in a press release. "The jury struggled to reduce that list to six, but those that were eventually chosen are truly outstanding."
"In light of the very high level of the six ascents, the 2013 Jury chaired by Stephen Venables has decided to award each of the six nominated ascents a 'Piolets d'Or.'"
The committee stated that each of the six nominated ascents was notable for reaching the summit and then coming down the mountain by a different descent route.
It was only in 2009 that the Piolet d'Or became the plural Piolets d'Or, allowing for multiple awards each year.
The following six ascents were nominated for and won the 2013 award:
Baintha Brakk, a.k.a. The Ogre (7,285m), Pakistan
Josh Wharton, Kyle Dempster and Hayden Kennedy made an expedition to complete a first ascent via the south face of The Ogre. Dempster and Kennedy reached the top but had to descend with an ill Wharton.
Nanga Parbat (8,125m), Western Himalaya, Pakistan
Rick Allen and Sandy Allan of the U.K. made the first successful traverse of the Mazeno Ridge in Pakistan. At six to eight miles long, this is one of the longest ridges in the Himalaya. They were also accompanied for most of the traverse by Cathy O'Dowd of South Africa.
Kyashar (6,770m), Nepal
Hiroyoshi Manome, Tatsuya Aoki and Yasuhiro Hanatani of Japan climbed the 2,200m south pillar of Kyashar. At least seven other times had tried and failed on this same route.
Muztagh Tower (7,284m), Pakistan
Alexander Lange, Dmitry Golovchenko and Sergey Nilov of Russia took 17 days to climb the 2,000m northeast spur of this unclimbed Karakoram peak.
Kamet (7,756m), India
Didier Jourdain, Sebastien Bohin, Sebastien Moatti and Sebastien Ratel of France summited Kamet via the previously unclimbed southwest face and then descended via the south face.
Shiva (6,142m), India
Paul Ramsden and Nick Fowler of the U.K. traversed the Prow of Shiva by climbing the northeast ridge and descending the south ridge in the fifth overall ascent of the mountain.
You can read more about the six Piolets d'Or winners on the Rock and Ice website here. To read about the Special Mention by the committee to two "fair means" ascents of Cerro Torre, click here.