Reinhold Messner at Arco Rock Legends / All the climbing Oscar nominations
On Friday 27 July 2018 the Arco Rock Legends sport climbing Oscars will celebrate its XIII edition awarding the prestigious Climbing Ambassador by Dryarn di Aquafil to Reinhold Messner. Angela Eiter, Alexander Megos, Adam Ondra have been nominated for the Wild Country Rock Award, while Romain Desgranges, Janja Garnbret, Reza Alipour Shenazandifard are in the running for the La Sportiva Competition Award.
Reinhold Messner. Adam Ondra, Angela Eiter and Alexander Megos. And should this not suffice: Romain Desgranges, Janja Garnbret and Reza Alipour Shenazandifard. This is the all-star guest lineup of the 2018 Arco Rock Legends, the prestigious celebration that for the last 13 years has awarded at Arco, Italy, prizes which have become recognised internationally as the sport climbing Oscars.
As per tradition there are three prizes: the Wild Country Rock Award for the climber who distinguished him or herself most on rock; the La Sportiva Competition Award for the climber who left his or her mark in the last competition season; the Dryarn Climbing Ambassador for the person who has contributed to the culture of climbing worldwide. And it is for this third prestigious prize that the king of the mountains Reinhold Messner will take the stage; before becoming the first to climb all 14 8000ers, Messner explored the limits of rock climbing like no one else. Proof of this can be found in his climbing curriculum, which lists climbs like few others, but also his ability to mutate the experience of climbing and its teachings towards broader horizons. But first things first.
Wild Country Rock Award
Angela Eiter, Alexander Megos and Adam Ondra. These, in alphabetical order, are the three climbers selected by the jury of 12 international climbing magazines who, in an initial phase, impressed most with their climbs at the crags or out bouldering. Of course, 31 year-old Angela Eiter had to on this list: in October 2017 she became the first woman in the world to redpoint a 9b sport climb, heralding with La planta de shiva at Villanueva del Rosario in Spain a new realm of female climbing difficulties. The super champion of climbing competitions - and incidentally the winner of the first La Sportiva Competition Award in 2006 - is therefore in the running for the rock award with an absolutely historical ascent. And of course he too had to be on the list, speedster Alexander Megos who scored a series of amazingly fast repeats up to 9a+ and the first ascent of Perfecto Mundo at Margalef in Spain. This is only the fourth 9b+ in the world, freed after... a mere 15 days of effort. This breakneck speed of the 2015 winner of this award didn’t go by unnoticed. And speaking of groundbreaking climbs that can’t be ignored, Silence by Adam Ondra immediately comes to mind, the first 9c in the world and therefore the most difficult sport climb on planet earth courted intensely in the Flatanger cave in Norway. Not one to rest on his laurels, the 4-time winner of this award also freed another two 9b’s and, perhaps even more impressive, scored the world’s first 9a+ flash. Need we say more?
La Sportiva Competition Award
For the prize that analyses the 2017 competition season the international jury came up with two new names and one Rock Legends habitué. The candidate who’s been on stage before is Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret who, with utmost supremacy, won gold in the Lead World Cup and silver in the Bouldering World Cup, demonstrating unbeatable domination across different disciplines. That's the reason why she won last year’s award and that's why she’s been nominated once again in 2018. The new names - new to this award only, since they’re highly successful athletes - are France’s Romain Desgranges and Iran’s Reza Alipour Shenazandifard. Desgranges is one of the most experienced athletes on comp circuit and he comes to Arco having crowned his age-old dream: win the difficult Lead World Cup. This is backed up with his victory at the European Lead Championship that confirmed his absolutely stellar season. Reza Alipour Shenazandifard also had a smashing time: the Iranian speed climb won silver in the Speed World Cup and also lit up the vertical piste when he established a new world record: only 5.48 seconds to climb 15 meters. This is a supersonic time, worthy of the Guinness World Records.
As per tradition the winners of the Wild Country Rock Award and the La Sportiva Competition Award will be unveiled on Friday, July 27th during the special awards evening that, ever since the first edition, are celebrated as the sport climbing Oscars. The event will be hosted as usual by journalist, DJ and longtime friend of Arco Kay Rush who will start the celebration by inviting on stage the winner of the Climbing Ambassador by Dryarn di Aquafil, a prize awarded annually to who has contributed to the culture of climbing worldwide.
And there could be no "ambassador" more famous and deserving than Reinhold Messner, the climber, mountaineer and explorer who ever since the 1960’s has influenced the vertical world like no other.
Reinhold Messner ideally bridges the gap between climbing and mountaineering, and also exploration. After hundreds of first ascents in the Dolomites he was the first to breach the legendary VIII grade, on Heiligkreuzkofel’s Mittelpfeiler, before concentrating his efforts on high altitude mountaineering and becoming the first to summit all 14 eight-thousanders. Always without supplementary oxygen and often via new routes. He was the first, together with Peter Habeler, to reach the summit of Everest without supplementary oxygen and he was also the first to ascend the highest mountain in the world solo. His achievements are simply too many to list, but at the time all were like landings on the moon. This is why on Friday there will be a truly memorable evening celebration. An encounter that unites the roots and the sense of climbing with both the present and the probable future. Celebrated with live music played by Graziano Colella, Giorgio Gobbo, Sergio Marchesini and Debora Petrina, accompanied by the dancer Elena Friso. It promises to be an authentic Oscar evening. An Arco Rock Legends celebration, absolutely not to be missed…
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), Sasha DiGiulian (2012), Adam Ondra (2013), Muriel Sarkany (2014), Alexander Megos (2015), Daniel Andrada (2016), Margo Hayes (2017)
La Sportiva Competition Award: Angela Eiter (2006), David Lama (2007), Maja Vidmar (2008), Kilian Fischhuber (2009), Akiyo Noguchi (2010), Ramon Julien Puigblanque (2011), Anna Stöhr (2012), Mina Markovič (2013), Urko Carmona Barandiaran (2014), Adam Ondra (2015), Mina Markovič (2016), Janja Garnbret (2017)
INTERNATIONAL JURY 2018
President: Giorgio Balducci (RAI journalist)
International magazines: Bergauf (AUT), Montana (CZE), Desnivel (ESP), Klettern (GER), Panorama, (GER), UP Climbing (ITA), Montagne 360° (ITA), Meridiani Montagne (ITA), Gazzetta dello Sport - PlayAlpinismo (ITA), Il Manifesto - In Movimento (ITA), Gory (POL), Risk (RUS)