Sasha DiGiulian and Anna Stöhr win Arco Rock Legends 2012

Sasha and Anna. This, for all climbers, is all they need to hear. Sasha DiGiulian comes from Virginia USA. Anna Stöhr from Austria's Tirol. And last night their names were engraved in the Arco Rock Legends Hall of Fame. Sasha, the minute blond climber who during the last 12 months has revolutionised, no, relaunched the limit of female climbing outdoors, received the Salewa Rock Award.

Fotostrecke: Arco Rock Legends 2012

Fotos: © Giulio Malfer

And Anna, true dominator of bouldering competitions and probably the world's most important bouldering competition climber, walked away with the La Sportiva Competition Award. Both are, naturally, extremely talented and while 19-year-old Sasha brings with her an air of joyful youth, 24-year-old Anna climbs all boulder problems with her absolute class and unfailing smile.

In some respects it's this female style which won at Arco last night. A style which, in truth though, goes beyond genres yet is reminiscent of 2006, of the first Climbing Oscar edition won by Basque climber Josune Bereziartu and Austria's Angela Eiter. Put in other words, by the first woman to have climbed 9a and the great lead competition queen.And so up on stage last night there were two women once again. Two great women who have already shaped the history of sport climbing. And this too helped in creating this sort of déjà vu during last night's classic and packed evening celebration at the Arco Casinò, hosted by Kay Rush with her usual, impeccable and priceless verve.

Talking of déjà vu. Seeing true climbing legend Stefan Glowacz up on stage proved highly emotional, unexpectedly intense, and the cheers which accompanied him as he took to the stage were indicative of the fact that climbers really do have a heart filled with passion. Glowacz received the Climbing Ambassador by Aquafil prize "for having inspired the climbing world with visions which unite the values of sport with exploration."

A quick glance at the 47-year-old's climbing curriculum suffices: after being a champion's champion at the first climbing competitions he played a leading role in the climbing revolution throughout the '80's, before moving on to the world's wildest, most remote big walls. Glowacz is undoubtedly a true climbing legend, a great explorer of our vertical world and the standing ovation he received sealed and confirmed this in an inconfutable manner.

Yes, the atmosphere in the Casinò hall was one of truly special occasions. And so it seemed only right to also award Jenny Lavarda, the strong Italian athlete who has competed at Rock Master a staggering 15 times.In short, last night was a superb, joyful tribute to climbing, filled to the brim with climbing stars. Unsurprisingly all the other La Sportiva Rock Award nominees were true protagonists, too: Kilian Fischhuber, the undisputed King of bouldering, and Jacob Schubert, the dominator of the Lead World Cup 2011.Joining Sasha DiGiulian up on stage for the Salewa Rock Award were two other great sport climbers: Spain's Iker Pou – perhaps he who epitomises most the power and joy of climbing – and Adam Ondra, the climber who despite his young age has already reached legendary status.

Representing both the present and future, Ondra's fun show was performed in fluent English and Italian and the audience was visibly enchanted and delighted with its stadium-like cheers. Selecting the two winners was certainly no mean task for the 20 international magazines.Sasha and Anna were the deserved winners, but all could have won. Better still, last night everyone proved a winner. Beginning with that love for climbing and Arco which has always been the focal point of this driving passion. Perhaps this is why, at Arco last night, joy was palpably in the air.

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 site www.8a.nu (SWE)

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) 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)

Info, results and gallery on www.rockmasterfestival.com