From the most remote mountains in Nepal and Pakistan to the frozen lands of Alaska, via the imposing Masherbrum massif and symbollic Annapurna. Five ascents, carried out by some of the world's most talented alpinists, are in the running for Piolets d'Or 2014, the most important mountaineering award that will be celebrated from 26 - 29 March 2014 at Courmayeur and Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc.
A brief and by no means complete journey through the stories and the climbs of 2013, while waiting for new year.
Interview with French alpinist Stéphane Benoist after the recent, epic ascent of the South Face of Annapurna carried out together with Yannick Graziani.
Last Thursday 24 October the French guides Yannick Graziani and Stephane Benoist are reported to have climbed the south face of Annapurna, repeating the route climbed by Ueli Steck on 9 October. This news, reported on many specialised web sites, has not been confirmed, nor is it known whether Graziani and Benoist have returned to Base Camp.
Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck talks about his fast and impressive solo ascent up the South Face of Annapurna South (8091m, Nepal, Himalaya) that on 8 and 9 October 2013 enabled him to make the first ascent of the direct line attempted in 1992 by Jean-Christophe Lafaille and Pierre Beghin.
The story of the recent repeat of Divine Providence by Andrea Di Donato and Bertrand Lemaire. Established in 1984 by French alpinists Patrick Gabarrou and François Marsigny and graded ABO, Divine Providence up the Gran Pilier d'Angle was freed in 1990 by Alain Ghersen and Thierry Renault. Even today this route is a reference point within the Mont Blanc massif.
Switzerland's Claude Remy provides a chronological analysis of the evolution free climbing (bouldering and difficulty). An article which clearly is not and cannot be definitive, but is merely a stimulus for further analysis and discussion about the evolution of this sport.
Slovenian alpinists Luka Krajnc and Luka Lindic have repeated Divine Providence up Grand Pilier d'Angle on Mont Blanc on-sight in 32 hours.
The video of Chris Sharma and his 2001 first ascent of Biographie (also known as Realization ) at Ceuse in France.
On 12/01/2012 Simone Moro and Denis Urubko acclimatised at 5400m on the Diamir Face of Nanga Parbat. Their attempt at the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat will be via the line attempted by Messner and Eisendle in 2000, and not via the Kinshofer route.
On 3 January Italian mountaineer Hans Kammerlander reached the summit of Mount Tyree (Antarctic). In doing so he has become the first person to climb the 7 second highest peaks on all seven continents.
Interview with Italian mountaineer Simone Moro, two months prior to his next expedition to attempt the first winter ascent of Gasherbrum II (Karakorum, Pakistan) together with Denis Urubko.
In August David Lama from Austria carried out the first ascent of Lülü 8c+ at Céüse, while 15 year old Enzo Oddo from France repeated Chris Sharma's Realization / Biographie 9a+ and Alizée Dufraisse repeated Arcadémicien des Crépis 8c
Polish climber Mateusz Haladaj has repeated his third 9a, Martin Krpan at Misja Pec, Slovenia.
After failing to even reach Kangchenjunga and being forced therefore to change plans, Nives Meroi and Romano Benet are currently attempting the South Face of Annapurna in orderto climb their 12th 8000m peak. Prevailing conditions on the mountain continue to be difficult and our man in the field Manuel Lugli spoke directly to Romano Benet to find out about the current situation.
Interview with Simone Moro from Italy and Denis Urubko from Kazakhstan after the first winter ascent of Makalu.
At the end of December Simone Moro from Italy and Denis Urubko from Kazakhistan will attempt the first winter ascent of Makalu 8463m (Himalaya, Nepal), the fifth highest mountain in the world.
Italian mountaineer Marco Confortola has been transported by helicopter down to valley. People are now slowly beginning to think about what happened during these last few days on K2.
The team comprised of the Italians Nives Meroi, Romano Benet, Luca Vuerich and the Kazakh mountaineers Denis Urubko, Serguey Samoilov, Eugeny Shutov and Gennady Durov has now reached Hillary Base Camp and all is set for their winter attempt of Makalu.
On 28 October Tomasz Humar from Slovenia reportedly carried out a solo ascent of the south Face of Annapurna reaching the South Summit at 8026m, located to the east of the 8091m high main summit.