British climbers Nick Bullock and Paul Ramsden and the Russian
trio Dmitry Golovchenko, Dmitry Grigoriev and Sergey Nilov are to receive the Piolets d’Or award this year for their cutting-edge ascents.
“I’m chuffed that Paul and my climb was selected for the award by such an experienced and prestigious panel of climbers,” Bullock tells Rock and Ice.
“Problem is, it may encourage me to do it again!”
The award and time have apparently softened Bullock’s memory of the climb. In the video of their ascent (see below), Bullock says, “I’m not making this film for anybody else, apart from me, to remind myself to never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever do this again.”
He and Ramsden are honored with the award this year for their first ascent of the North Buttress of Nyainqentangla South East (7046 meters) in
Tibet (ED+ 1600m), which they climbed over seven days in October 2016. They descended via an unknown and untouched route along the East Ridge.
For Ramsden, this is his fourth Piolet d’Or. He received the award with fellow Brit Mick Fowler for the North Face of Siguniang in China in 2003, the Prow of Shiva in India in 2013 and Gave Ding in Nepal in 2016.
The Russian team of Golovchenko, Grigoriev and Nilov are honored with the award this year for their new route Moveable Feast (ED2 M7 WI5
5.10a A3 1,400 meters) on the North Buttress of Thalay Sagar (6,904 meters) in the Indian Gangotri.
They completed the alpine-style ascent over 10 days in September 2016. The ascent required eight bivouacs and had an overall difficulty of ED2 and also
involved pitches of [5.10a] A3 WI5 M7. All members of the Russian team have won awards before, including the Piolets d’Or.
Two ascents also received special mentions from the judging panel, including Alex Honnold and Colin Haley’s single-day traverse of Torres Traverse in Patagonia, and a new route up the south face of Gangapurna
(7,455 meters) in the Annapurna Sanctuary by South Korean team Cho Seok-mun, Kim Chang-ho and Park Joung-yong.
Earlier this year, American climber Jeff Lowe was honored with the Piolet d’OR Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to climbing and mountaineering. He received his award this month.
The Piolets d’Or (Golden Ice Axe) are awarded annually by the French magazine Montagnes and Groupe de Haute Montagne to
recognize cutting-edge new ascents in mountaineering. The awards are designed to be a celebration of the sport, rather than a competition and, as such,
are awarded based not only on the level of technical difficulty of the ascent, but also the style of ascent, the spirit of exploration, the creative
and innovative approach, the level of commitment and self-sufficiency, the suitability in light of objective dangers, the efficient and sparing use
of resources and transparency regarding their use, and respect for people, the environment and for future generations of mountaineers.
The awards will be presented in Grenoble, France in November.
Watch a self-shot video diary of Bullock and Ramsden’s ascent below:
And here you can enjoy the highlights of the Russian ascent accompanied by the dulcet tones of ACDC: