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Polish alpinist Wojciech Kurtyka, winner of the 2016 Piolet d'Or Lifetime Achievement Award
Photo by Piolet d'Or
Piolets d'Or 2016
Photo by Piolets d'Or
Gasherbrum IV 7925m and the line climbed by Wojciech Kurtyka and Robert Schauer in 1985
Photo by Piolet d'Or
Polish alpinist Wojciech Kurtyka
Photo by © J.Kurczab, 1973
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Piolets d'Or 2016: Wojciech Kurtyka to receive Piolet d'Or Carrière and the 'big list' of elite alpinism

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52 climbs carried out in 2015 have been included in the "Big list" of the Piolets d'Or, the prestigious mountaineering award that will be celebrated between 14 - 17 April 2016 at La Grave - La Meije in France. During the 24th edition, Polish mountaineer Wojciech Kurtyka will receive the Piolet d'Or Carrière - Lifetime Achievement Award.

Piolet d’Or 2016: 52 ascents, Wojciech Kurtyka - Piolet d'Or Carrière, La Grave-La Meije. These are the keywords of the mountaineering award on track to celebrate its 24th edition at La Grave - La Meije in France in mid-Apri. As reported at the end of January, this annual celebration of alpinism will move from Courmayeur and Chamonix to the foot of Mt. Meije, while only a few days ago the “representative list of significant, innovative ascents” carried out in 2015 was made official. This preliminary list of major climbs is published on pioletsdor.net and was compiled by Lindsay Griffin (American Alpine Journal) and Claude Gardien (ex director of Vertical Magazine), while the International Technical Committee will have the task of selecting from this big list the climbs - and therefore also the alpinists who carried them out - that will be presented at La Grave. This year the jury is comprised of 9 world-class alpinists: Valeri Babanov (RUS), Hervé Barmasse (ITA), Seb Bohin (FRA), Simon Elias (ESP), Yasuhiro Hanatani (JAP), Silvo Karo (SLO), Michael Kennedy (USA), Victor Saunders (UK), Raphael Slawinski (CAN).

While the commission’s decision will be published in March, in the meantime one thing is confirmed and official: after Walter BonattiReinhold MessnerDoug Scott, Robert ParagotKurt DiembergerJohn Roskelley and Chris Bonington, the Piolet d'Or Carrière - Lifetime Achievement Award will be assigned to famous Polish mountaineer Wojciech Kurtyka.

A "portrait" of Kurtyka provided by the Piolet d’or organisition reads: "... a mysterious and fascinating character, legendary for his impressive ascents. His first ascent of the West Face of Gasherbrum IV (or the 'Shining Wall') in 1985 is considered by purists to be the most remarkable alpine-style ascent of the 20th century. Born in 1947 in Skrzynka, Poland, Voytek Kurtyka was a veritable phenomenon of a generation of Polish alpinists who marked the history of alpine style climbing in the Himalayas. Along with gurus like Wanda Rutkiewicz and Jerzy Kukuczka, Kurtyka embodies the 'pioneering spirit' that was fundamental to this group of Polish alpinists who learned their craft in the Tatras. One can even go so far as to identify a 'vision' when it comes to the alpinism practiced by this generation: total commitment and immersion, pure alpine style, long winter expeditions, an attraction to beauty, and an alchemy between the climber and the summit."


LIST OF ASCENTS 2015

ASIA

NEPAL
Gave Ding (6,571m)
Mick Fowler, Paul Ramsden (UK)
First ascent, north buttress, 1,600m, ED+ Scottish VI
Notes: Over Summit.
Info

Nilgiri South (6,939m)
Hansjorg Auer, Alexander Blumel, Gerhard Fiegl
South face, ca 1,500m M5 90°
Notes: Fiegl killed on descent. Over Summit.
Info

Thulagi Chuli (7,059m)
Ivan Dozhdev, Aleksander Gukov, Ruslan Kirichenko, Valery Shamalo (Russia)
First ascent, west face, Happy Birthday, 1,850m, TD+ AI4+ 5c M4
Info

West Tawache (Taboche, 6,495m)
Skiy De Tray, Justin Griffin (USA)
Northeast pillar, not to summit, ca 1,100m, AI5 M5/6 R,
Notes: To top of face, descent by different route, Griffin killed on descent
Info

Ama Dablam (6,856m)
Fleur Fouque, Sébastien Rougegré, Fanny Schmutz, Damien Tomasi (French)
Lagunak (south) ridge, first alpine-style ascent. 1,200m, TD+ F5 AI5 M4 90°
Notes: Over Summit
Info

Chobutse (6,686m)
Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (Nepal)
West face, Dorjee Sherpa Route, ca 1,200m
Notes: Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, solo, evacuated from summit by helicopter.
Info

Chugimago (6,258m)
Luka Strazar, Matej Mucic (Slovenia)
West face, 800m, AI4 M5
Info

Dzasamptse (6,293m)
Julien Dusserre, Mathieu Détrie, Pierre Labbre, Mathieu Maynadier (France)
Northeast face, A la Verticale de la Peine, 700m, TD+ WI5-
Info

Talung (7,439m)
Nikita Balabanov, Mikhail Formin (Ukraine)
North-northwest spur, Daddy Magnum Force, 1,700m, ED2 AI6 M6 A3
Info

INDIA
Ri Pok Te (6,210m)
Anastasija Davidova, Matic Jost (Slovenia)
East face and southwest ridge, From East to West, 1,000m TD+/ED1 VI-
Notes: And other routes
Info

Turpendeo (5,700m)
Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf, Stephan Siegrist (Switzerland)
First ascent, southeast pillar, Deokhal, 800m 6a/b
Info

Cerro Kishtwar (6,173m)
Hayden Kennedy, Urban Novak, Manu Pellissier, Marko Prezelj (USA-Slovenia-France)
East face, Light before Wisdom, 1,200m, ED+ 5.11 WI6 M6 A2
Info

PAKISTAN
First Link Sar West (6,938m)
Jon Griffith, Andy Houseman (UK)
Northwest face, Fever Pitch, ca 1,400m M4
Notes: Over Summit
Info

K6 West (7,040m)
Scott Bennett, Graham Zimmerman (USA)
Southwest ridge, 1,800m, M6 90° ice
Info

Dream Walker Peak (5,809m)
Maciej Bedrejczuk, Maciej Janczar, Tomasz Klimczak, Marcin Wernik (Poland)
North face, Rolling (D)ice, ca 1,450m, ED1/2 AI5 80° M5,
Info

Changi Tower (ca 6,500m)
Scott Bennett, Steve Swenson, Graham Zimmerman (USA)
First ascent, north ridge, 600m, M6 5.10 A2
Info

CHINA
Mt. Chu - San Lian Southeast (ca 6,250m)
Marcin Rutkowski, Wojtek Ryczer, Rafał Zając (Poland)
First ascent, east face, Hard Camping, ca 1,000m, ED2 M7 WI5 R
Info

KYRGYZSTAN
Sedoy Strazh (Byeliy East, 5,481m)
Dmitry Golovchenko, Dmitry Grigoriev, Sergey Nilov (Russia)
First ascent, northeast face, Devjaty Val, 1,230m 6B
Notes: Over Summit. Awarded Russian Piolet d'Or.
Info

Panfilovski Division East (ca 5,300m)
Ben Erdmann, Sam Johnson (USA)
East face, Flight of the Zephyr, 600m, AI4 R M7
Info

Pik Panfilovski Division
Miha Hauptman, Uros Stanonik (Slovenia)
Northwest face, White Walker, 900m, AI5 M6
Info

Pik Carnovsky
Anze Jerze, Miha Hauptman, Uros Stanonik (Slovenia)
West face, Mr Mojo Risin, 500m, AI5+ M5 R X
Info

EUROPE

ALPS
Schneefernerkopf (2,875m)
Joachim Feger, Michael Wohileben (Germany)
West face, Optimist, 1,300m M6
Info

Eiger, north face (exit ca 3,700m)
Simon Gietl, Robert Jasper, Roger Schali (Italian-German-Swiss)
Odyssee, 1,400m, 33 pitches, Redpoint 8a+
Info

Classic Six North Faces
Tom Ballard (UK)
All solo and in one winter
Info

Qualido (2,707m)
Paolo Marazzi, Luca Schiera, Matteo de Zaiacomo (Italy)
East face, King of the Bongo, ca 800m, 18 pitches, 7c+ (no bolts)
Info

Matterhorn (4,478m)
Patrick Gabarrou and various partners over 13 years finishing with Pierre Gourdin (France)
South face, Padre Pio, échelle vers le ciel, 1,300m, 7a
Info

Aiguille du Fou (3,501m)
Fabien Dugit, Cédric Lachat (France)
South face, Ballade au Clair de Lune, FFA at 8b
Info

Pic Sans Nom (3,913m, Ecrins Massif)
Benjamin Brochard, Fred Degoulet, Jonathan Joly (France)
North face, Le Prestige des Ecrins, 1,000m, M6+ 6a
Info

Ailefroide Orientale (3,847m)
Alexandre Michel, Stefano Morino, Pierre Sauget (France)
North face, Winter is Coming, 700m, 550m new, F5 M5+ 80°
Info

DOLOMITES
Torre Venezia (2,337m)
Nicolas Tondini, Emanuele Pellizzari (Italy)
South face, FWA of Rondo Veneziano, 470m, IX-
Info

Condoriri Traverse
Martin Dejori, Marta Mozzati, Titus Prinoth, Giorgio Travaglia-Alex Walpoth (Italy)
Civetta (3,220m), northwest face, Via Degli Studenti, 1,000m, VIII- A0
Info

GREENLAND
Mirror Wall (ca 2,050m)
Waldo Etherington, Leo Houlding, Joe Möhle, Matt Pickles, Matt Pycroft (UK-S Africa)
Northwest face, ca 1,200m, E6 6b (5.12b) A3+
Info

Ulamertorsuaq, Piteraq
Silvan Schupbach, Bernadette Zak (Switzerland)
Almost free ascent, 28 pitches, 7c R X with a three-metre pendulum
Info

NORWAY
Trolltind (1,788m)

Marek Raganowicz, Marcin Tomaszewski (Poland)
Trollveggen, Katharsis, winter, ca 1,150m, VI A4 M7
Info

RUSSIA
Mamison (4,319m)
Dmitry Romanenko, Vladimir Roshko (Ukraine)
North face, centre of Triangle (winter), 820m 6A
Info

Bilibino, Commander
Hansjorg Auer, Jacopo Lacher, Siebe Vanhee (Austria-Italy-Belgium)
North face, Red Corner, 450m 7c+
Info

NORTH AMERICA

CANADA
Malaspina (3,776m)
Natalia Martinez, Camilo Rada (Argentina-Chile)
First ascent, north flank and east ridge, 1,900m, TD AI2, 55-65°.
Info

Great Cross Pillar (ca 1,690m)
David Allfrey, Cheyne Lempe (USA)
South face, Deconstructing Jenga, 900m, 5.9+ A3+
Info

Waddington, northwest summit (4,000m)
Paul McSorley, Ines Papert, Mayan Smith-Gobat (Canada-Germany-New Zealand)
Southwest buttress, 800m, ED1 5.11+ WI3 M5
Info

Snowpatch Spire (3,084m)
Will Stanhope with Matt Segal (Canada)
East face, Tom Egan Memorial Route, FFA, 500m, 13 pitches, V 5.14
Info

ALASKA
Devil's Paw (2,616m)
Simon Gietl, Roger Schaeli (Italy-Switzerland)
North summit, first ascent via northwest ridge, Black Roses, 1,000m, 6c A1 M4
Info

Deborah (3,760m)
Jon Griffith, Will Sim (UK)
Northwest face and northwest ridge, Bad to the Bone, 2,000m
Info

North Triple Peak (2,560m)
Tim Blakemore, Mike "Twid" Turner (UK)
Northwest face, No Country for Old Men, 800m, ED AI6
Info

Citadel (1,988m)
Jon Bracey, Matt Heliiker (UK)
Northwest ridge
Info

Jezebel, east summit (ca 2,870m)
Pete Graham, Ben Silvestre (UK)
First ascent, east face, Hoar of Babylon 1,200m, VI WI6 M6 A0
Info

SOUTH AMERICA

BOLIVIA
Illimani (6,438m)

Thomas Arfi, Manu Chance (France)
South Face, Por la Vida, 1,200m WI5+
Notes: Over Summit
Info

Condoriri Traverse
Juvenal Condori, Sergio Condori (Bolivia)
Nine summits, 14km to 5,648m, ED2 6a AI5+ M4
AAJ report only

ARGENTINA - CHILE
Cerro Riso Patron Central (ca 2,550m)

Lise Billon, Antoine Moineville, Jérôme Sullivan, Diego Simari (France-Argentina)
East face, Hasta las Webas, 1,000m, ED- WI5+ M5
Info

Reverse Torre Traverse (max 3,100m)
Colin Haley, Marc Andre Leclerc (USA-Canada)
Cerro Torre - Torre Egger - Punta Heron - Cerro Standhardt, Travesia del Oso Buda, 1,200m M6 6a+ C1
Info

Cerro Adela Norte
Dani Ascaso, Lise Billon, Santiago Padros, Jérôme Sullivan (Spain-France)
East face, not to summit, Balas y Chocolate, 900m, ED+ WI5+ A2 M6+ X
Notes: Different descent.
Info

AFRICA

MADAGASCAR
Tsaranoro Atsimo

Siebe Vanhee, Sean Villanueva (Belgium)
Fire in the Belly, 700m 8a+
Info

Karambony
Hassan Gerami, Hamid Resa Shafagi, Farshad Mijoji (Iran)
The Change Experience, 442m 8b A2 (two pitches)
Info

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