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Valery Babanov wins Piolet d’or 2002


The Russian mountaineer was awarded the prestigious prize for his solo first-ascent of the north face of Meru Central Peak (6310m), located in India’s Garwhal.

Valery Babanov is this year’s winner of the Piolet d’or 2002. The Russian mountaineer was awarded the prestigious prize for his solo first-ascent of the north face of Meru Central Peak (6310m), located in India’s Garwhal. He climbed the 2000m long route over a five day period from 17-22 September 2001 and encountered difficulties of up to 5+/6a, A1/A2, M5, 75°. It was Babanov’s second attempt at the route after a failed attempt in Spring 2001, and also his third consecutive nomination for the Piolet d’Or.

The 36-year old mountaineer
from Omsk (Siberia) received the award during the International Ice Fall Meet at Argentière-la-Béssée from Sir Chris Bonington, who presided the jury this year. Babanov’s ascent was chosen from a select group of six nominations that, according to the French GHM (Groupe de Haute Montagne) and Montagnes magazine, best represent the most important alpine achievements of the year.

The other candidates this year included: Jim Bridwell and Spencer Pfingsten for the first ascent of ‘The Beast’ on the East Face of Dent Moose in Alaska, Marko Prezelj and Stephen Koch for the first ascent of ‘Luna’ on the SW Face of Dénali in Alaska, Mauro Bole, Mario Cortese and Fabio Dandri for the first ascent of "Woman and Chalk" on the East Face of Shipton Spire, Trango Towers in Pakistan, Patrick Bérhault for his Alpine Traverse and Yuri Koshelenko who, together with 11 mountaineers, climbed Lhotse central in Nepal.

to Babanov for both the award and his constancy and determination over these years!

On PlanetMountain:
  Nominations 2002
  Piolet d'Or 2001

The international ice meet

Babanov official website

photos: www.babanov.com
Meru Central Peak, Garwhal Massif, India.
Valery Babanov's new route climbed solo on the Forth Face
Altitude: 6310m
Route length: 2000m
Grade: ED (5+/6a, A1/A2, M5, 75°)
Duration: 5 days on the face (17-22/09/01)





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