|Valery Babanov is this years winner of the Piolet dor 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 Indias 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 Babanovs second attempt at the route after a failed attempt in Spring 2001, and also his third consecutive nomination for the Piolet dOr. |
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. Babanovs 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.
Congratulations to Babanov for both the award and his constancy and determination over these years!
Piolet d'Or 2001
The international ice meet
Babanov official website