Piolet d'or Asia won by Okada and Katsutake. Hasegawa wins lifetime achievement award.
On 22/10/2010 in Korea's capital Seoul the Japanese alpinists Yasushi Okada and Katsutake Yokoyama won the fifth edition of the Piolet d'or Asia, while the lifetime achievement award went to their fellow countryman Tsuneo Hasegawa.
Yasushi Okada and Katsutake Yokoyama were awarded the prize for their new route up the virgin SE Face of Mount Logan, at 5900m the second highest mountain in Canada. The prize was awarded by Jury president Denis Urubko from Kazakhistan, winner of the 2006 Piolet d'Or d'Asia and winner of last seasons Piolet d'Or which took place in Chamonix and Courmayeur.
Okada and Yokoyama's ascent was a true undertaking, carried out from 4 - / May in alpine style up one of the most interesting and important alpine problems in North America. The new route, dubbed I-TO (thread in Japanese) climbs through the labyrinth, grandiose and dangerous SE Face for 2500m with difficulties up to ED, WI5, M6.
The first Piolet lifetime achievement award was handed out during the ceremony to Tsuneo Hasegawa, the bemourned Japanese alpinist who died in an avalnche in 1991 while guiding an expediton up Mount Ulter (7385m) in the Hunza Valley, Pakistan.
In accordance to tradition, the winners of this prestigious prize were awarded a golden ice axe produced by the historic Italian company Grivel.
Born in Yokohama on 8 december 1947, he began his adventure in the world of mountains at 15 years of age. In 1973 he became a high mountain guide and took part in an Everest expedition organised by the local Rock-Climbing Club. In 1977 he founded the U-Tan Club and made a name for himself for his incredible solitary ascents, including the North Face of the Matterhorn in 1977, the Eiger in 1978 and the Grandes Jorasses in 1979. Despite his intense alpine activities he found the time the establish the Hasegawa school of mountain guides and marry Masami Shinomiya. In 1987 he ascended Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America. Hasegawa led numerous expediton to Nepal and Tibet between the years 1983 and 1988, resulting in a summit on Chaulagiri 1 and a winter attempt of Everest. In 1984 he summited Nanga Parbat. Tsuneo Hasegawa is famous for his ceaseless love for the mountains and the promotion of the "Way of the mountains" in which he shared all his experience to teach the young, old and disabled new and incredible sports. In 1990 he travelled to the Hunza Valley to lead an expedition up the unclimbed Mount Ulter (7385m), but during the ascent he was tragically swept away by an avalanche. The prize was awarded to his wife, with great honour and respect towards Tsuneo.<