Arco Rock Legends, the 2012 nominations
The nominations for the VII edition of the Arco Rock Legends, the sport climbing Oscars which will take place on 31 July 2012 during the Rock Master Festival 2012 and award the prestigious Salewa Rock Award and La Sportiva Competition Award. Those nominated for the Salewa Rock Award are: Sasha DiGiulian, Dave Graham, Adam Ondra, Iker Pou and Daniel Woods, while Kilian Fischuber, Jakob Schubert and Anna Stöhr are the candidates for the La Sportiva Competition Award. Stefan Glowacz will receive the Climbing Ambassador by Aquafil award.
Less than a month to go to the VII edition of the Arco Rock Legends, the sport climbing Oscar which will be awarded during the first Rock Master Festival scheduled to take place from 25 August to 3 September in Arco, Italy. The list has now been released of the climbers in the running for the two prestigious prizes, the Salewa Rock Award and the La Sportiva Competition Award. Just like every year this select group of candidates - 5 for rock and 3 for competitions - has been compiled by a pool of experts, i.e. 21 specialised magazines from 14 different countries who indicated in this initial phase those climbers most left their mark during last year's season. Two things are certain at this point. The first is that the 8 nominated climbers truly represent the absolute apex of world climbing. The second is that they'll be taken under the wings of one of the absolute legends of this sport, Stefan Glowacz from Germany who will share the evening stage and receive the prestigious Climbing Ambassador by Aquafil award.
Salewa Rock Award: As the name itself reveals, this award goes to those who through their style and ascents have influenced and guided sport climbing and bouldering during the last 12 months. It comes as no surprise therefore that among the "magnificent 5" there is American Sasha DiGiulian: the 19-year-old from Virginia who, for the second year running, amazed all by climbing - amongst others - an 8b+ on-sight and redpointing two 9a's. A performance which places here amongst the best ever and (amongst women) on a par only with Basque climber Josune Bereziartu who, as it happens, won the first ever Salewa Rock Award in 2006. Excellence is the rule at the Rock Legends, beginning with Dave Graham, another American nominated for the award this year. For years the 30-year-old from Maine has been measuring himself against the world's hardest problems and with his style and verve he has become one of the world's most followed and authoritative boulderers. After enduring long periods of injuries, Graham has returned to the top of the game once again and this is his second Arco nomination. He shares this accolade with excellent company, namely with Daniel Woods, his friend and companion during a million battles. This is Woods' second nomination for the “Legends” after his 2006 candidature, a face with further confirms how the American strongman has been firmly at the helm of world bouldering for years. Talking about years: Basque climber Iker Pou is 35-years-old and as such is the "veteran" of this young group of famous climbers, but his 360° climbing experience has few equals. Pou impressed the jury with his new cutting-edge routes and above all for his positive, incessant, contagious drive.... An inspiring energy which the 3-times Salewa Rock Award winner Adam Ondra certainly doesn't lack. Increasingly strong, increasingly quick, the 19-year-old from the Czech Republic can look back on a season during which he raised the bar on countless occasions. So, if this is what it's all about, once again all we can say is that the task of the jury will be by no means easy!
La Sportiva Competition Award: there are no two ways about it, at present the rhythm of competitions is dictated by Austria. It comes as no surprise therefore that three authentic champions from the Imst school of climbing are represented here. Three athletes who left their mark during last year's competitions, beginning with Kilian Fischhuber who in 2011 won, for the fifth time, the Bouldering World Cup. The king of bouldering competitions won the La Sportiva Competition Award once before, namely in 2009 and that year the jury had to also consider the nomination of the the queen of bouldering competitions, Anna Stöhr. As it happens history repeats itself this year and once again the jury will have to figure this riddle out, since Stöhr has been nominated for a second time! Her results last season are astounding to say the least: Bouldering World Champion, winner of the Bouldering World Cup 2011 and 2nd in the Combined World Championship ranking, the special category which bears in mind results from Bouldering, Lead and Speed. But there's more to come since there's a third variable, a third climber in the running which will render the decision-making even more arduous. The "fearsome" Austrian trio is completed by Jakob Schubert, the 21-year-old powerhouse who won almost everything there was to win last season, dominating 7 out of 10 Lead comps, winning the Lead World Cup 2011 and taking silver in the Lead World Championship. Yes, three true champions are up there in the running. It's going to be a battle of titans!
Climbing Ambassador by Aquafil. A prize which awards those who, through their passion, energy and vision have guided and influenced the development of this sport. This is the idea behind the Climbing Ambassador award which in the past has gone to some true legends of this vertical sport, such as Maurizio “Manolo” Zanolla, Luisa Iovane, Lynn Hill, François Legrand and Yuji Hirayama. A sort of “Hall of Fame” of sports climbing in which Stefan Glowacz certainly couldn't be missing, especially since it was in Arco where the German experienced some of his most beautiful competition moments, lifting the legendary Rock Master trophy up high three times. Then, after his goodbye to the competition circuit, Glowacz took his talent and “by fair means” hallmark to rock faces all across the globe, but the bond with Arco has always remained indissoluble, a sort of first love you never forget.
HALL OF FAME ARCO ROCK LEGENDS
Salewa Rock Award – Josune Bereziartu (2006), Patxi Usobiaga (2007), Adam Ondra (2008), Chris Sharma (2009), Adam Ondra (2010), Adam Ondra (2011)
La Sportiva Competition Award - Angela Eiter (2006), David Lama (2007), Maja Vidmar (2008), Kilian Fischhuber (2009), Akiyo Noguchi (2010), Ramon Julien Puigblanque (2011)
INTERNATIONAL JURY 2012
President: Giorgio Balducci (film director RAI)
International magazines: Climax (AUT), Montana (CZE), Campo Base (ESP), Desnivel (ESP), EscaladeMag (FRA), Summit (GBR), Climb magazine (GBR), Alpin (GER), Klettern (GER), UP Climbing (ITA), Montagne 360° (ITA), ALP (ITA), Meridiani Montagne (ITA), RISK (RUS), Man and Mountain (KOR), Gory (POL), SA Mountain Mag (SA), Jamesak (SLK), Rock & Ice (USA), and the internet sites www.8a.nu (SWE), www.mountain.ru (RUS)
SALEWA ROCK AWARD 2012 NOMINATIONS (in alphabetical order)
Period: from June 2011 to May 2012
Sasha DiGiulian - USA
A truly stellar year for the young American. With two 9a redpoints and an 8b+ on-sight DiGiulian is exploring and setting the current limits of female sport climbing ever upwards.
Dave Graham - USA
After being one of the driving forces behind world bouldering for more than a decade, in this season Graham has found an even more convincing and "devastating" form repeating and establishing hard problems.
Adam Ondra - Czech Republic
Another year headfirst into the future for the two-times winner of this Award, with max results everywhere: 8c+ on-sight on sport climbs, 8C+ boulder (repeat and first ascent) and eight 9a redpoints during the award period.
Iker Pou - Spain
Explosive power. Iker Pou knows a thing or two about this after 15 years at the top of the sport climbing, and climbing game. This genuine athlete shares his positive energy with everyone.
Daniel Woods - USA
Already a candidate in 2007, the American is doubtlessly a world reference point for bouldering. The repeats are simply too many to mention them all, but highlights include the world's hardest flash of Entlinge 8B+/C and the ascent of Mission Impossible 9a.
LA SPORTIVA COMPETITION AWARD 2012 NOMINATIONS (in alphabetical order)
Period: competition season 2011
Kilian Fischhuber - AUT
Winner World Cup Boulder 2011 (for the 5th time). Winner La Sportiva Competition Award 2009.
Jakob Schubert - AUT
Winner World Cup Lead 2011 (won 7 of 10 stages), silver World Championship Lead.
Anna Stöhr - AUT
World Champion Boulder, winner World Cup Lead 2011 (for the 2nd time), 2nd Combined World Championship 2011.
CLIMBING ABASSADOR BY AQUAFIL
Stefan Glowacz – Germany
Born in 1965, Stefan Glowacz began climbing aged 15. In 1985 he won at Bardonecchia, the first ever international sport climbing competition and this success was followed by three victories at the legendary Arco Rock Master. After placing second at the World Championship in Innsbruck in 1993 Glowacz said goodbye to the competition circuit but not to climbing and adventures. New horizons on immense walls opened up before him, from the nearby Alps and Sardinia to Greenland. Patagonia and the most remote places on earth. This exploration period continues to date, an intense, satisfying adventure which continues to inspire generations of climbers.