Hayden Kennedy and Kyle Dempster, with Josh Wharton, have been nominated for a Piolets d'Or for their third ascent of the Ogre in the Karakoram. The Ogre, you'll recall, was the scene of Doug Scott's infamous "Crawl Down the Ogre," when he broke both legs on the first rappel from the summit after making the mountain's first ascent. Since then, the peak had been climbed only once more, earning it the reputation of being one of the most difficult mountains in the world. Kennedy, Dempster and Wharton made the third ascent last year via a new route.
In addition to the Ogre climb, five other ascents have been nominated for the 2013 Piolets' d'Or. Only a select few, however, will be chosen for the award at the official ceremony at Chamonix and Courmayeur this April.
Nanga Parbat (8,125m), Western Himalaya, Pakistan
Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat was one of the last great unclimbed ridges
in the Himalaya--until Sandy Allan and Rick Allen got there, that is.
The ridge length ranges from six to eight miles, depending on who you
ask, and is the longest ridge line among the 8,000-meter peaks. Allan
and Allen were accompanied by Cathy O'Dowd of South Africa and Lhakpa Rangdu Sherpa, Lhakpa Zarok Sherpa and Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa
for much of the trip. Together they crossed the eight Mazeno summits
and made an attempt on an unclimbed peak. As the others descended, Allan
and Allen decided to stick with it and managed to summit the peak from
its north face, complete the traverse, and descend safely. The trip took
a total of 18 days.
Read the Rock and Ice piece on their climb here.
Shiva (6,142m), India
Paul Ramsden and Nick Fowler of the U.K. made a first ascent of the Prow of Shiva in the fifth overall ascent of the mountain. They "completed
a traverse in a nine-day round trip from base camp, finding sustained
climbing on the Prow, which ranged from numerous pitches up icy cracks
in Chamonix-style granite to long,
protectionless leads on thinly-iced slabs reminiscent of winter climbing
on Ben Nevis," says the Piolets d'Or committee.
Kyashar (6,770m), Nepal
Tatsuya Aoki, Yasuhiro Hanatani and Hiroyoshi Manome of Japan achieved a first ascent of the Pillar of Kyashar (2,200m) in Nepal. Their climb marked only the second overall ascent of the mountain. Numerous teams had attempted--and failed--to climb the line including Andy Houseman and Nick Bullock in 2011. The route required five bivouacs to reach the summit and one bivouac on the way down. "A crux section of ridge on the fifth day was deemed irreversible, adding to the commitment," says the Piolets' d'Or committee.
Muztagh Tower (7,284m), Pakistan
In a 17-day push, Alexander Lange, Sergey Milov and Dmitry Golovchenko of Russia made a first ascent of the northeast spur of this Karakoram peak. They carried a large haul bag with extra food and fuel to help them sit out bad weather to make their summit bid. They ran out of supplies below the summit but still managed to reach the top and then descend via the north face.
Kamet (7,756m), India
The 2,000-meter southwest face of Kamet in
India had never seen an ascent. Sebastien Bohin, Sebastien Moatti,
Sebastien Ratel, and Didier Jourdain of France climbed the route in five
days after establishing a base camp in the glacier bowl below the wall.
The team made their way up steep snow climbing and vertical ice pitches
to reach the summit.