The 18th edition of the Piolets d'Or focused on youth! Twenty young people were able to meet the guests, jury members and nominees, and to share evening events with them, as well as days in mountains and on the rock. This is an initiative from the Piolets d'Or to promote the spirit of the mountains – learning the values of effort, determination and teamwork.
A special evening was also held to acknowledge the activities of organizations which increase the involvement and commitment of young people. For their efforts in various training programs and Himalayan expeditions oriented towards youth, the Pierre Beghin de Moirans secondary school and the En passant par la Montagne organization were each awarded a Youth Piolets d'Or, presented by the Rhône-Alpes region.
The Career Piolet d'Or
Reinhold Messner, known by the mainstream public for being the first to climb the fourteen 8000-metre peaks, was the recipient of the second Career Piolet d'Or. Climbers recognize him for far more than this collection of summits, even if it took place at a time (1970-1986) when ascending the highest mountains in the world took more time, energy and will. Reinhold Messner, a pioneer of alpine style, broke barriers in the Alps, where he was born (1944), with innovative achievements in the Dolomites, on Mont Blanc and in the Oberland.
For this visionary, the Career Piolet d'Or is a highly valued award: "The Piolet d'Or defends a classical type of alpinism which is currently disappearing." He added: "The finest and greatest adventure is to still be alive."
The awards ceremony was a moving hommage that took place in a very full theatre in Courmayeur in the presence of the 2009 recipient of the first Career Piolet d'Or, Walter Bonatti.