The International jury of the 17th Piolets d'Or have chosen the six ascents to be nominated from among the 57 first ascents and linked routes achieved in mountains throughout the world during the course of 2008

17th Piolets d'OrMost of the protagonists of these six notable achievements will be present in Chamonix and Courmayeur from 22nd to 25th April.

With them will be climbers from all over the world: they will be gathering to celebrate their great passion in a real festival atmosphere. Presentations, debates, films, meetings and other cultural activities will be shared between Courmayeur and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, from 22nd to 25th April.

The Nominees for the 17th Piolets d'Or – The Acsents:

First ascent of the South-West face of Kamet (7756m, India)
A mixed Japanese team composed of Kazuya Hiraide and Kei Taniguchi opened up the unclimbed South-west face of Kamet in alpine style, between 26th September and 7th October 2008. Name of Route : Samurai Direct. Height of Climb: 1800m. Difficulties declared: mixed M5+, ice 5+.

New Route on the South face of Nuptse I  (7861m, Nepal)
Frenchmen Stéphane Benoist and Patrice Glairon Rappaz achieved a route on the south face of Nuptse I in alpine style between the 27 and 30 October 2008. Name of Route: Are you experienced ? Height of climb: 2000m. Difficulties declared: mixed M5, ice 90°.

First complete ascent of the East face of Cerro Escudo (2450m, Chili)
American Dave Turner opened the route solo in 34 days on one of the most difficult Big Walls in the world, the East face of Cerro Escudo, starting in December 2007 and finishing in January 2008. Name of Route : Taste the pain. Height of Climb : 1200m. Difficulty declared: aid climb  A4+.

New route on the North face of Kalanka (6931m, India)
In September 2008, the Japanese Fumitaka Ichimura, Yusuke Sato and Kazuki Amano achieved a new route on the North face of Kalanka in alpine style, which had never been ascended in one go in September. Height of Route: 1800m. Difficulty declared: mixed M5.

First Ascent of the North face of Tengkampoche (6500m, Nepal)
The Swiss Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten climbing alpine style opened up a new route and first ascent abutting the North face of Tengkampoche, between 21st and 24th April 2008. Nom of Route : Checkmate. Height of Climb : 2000m. Difficulties declared : mixed M7, ice 5, rock 6/A0.

Linked technical routes in Denali (6194m, Alaska)
The Japanese Fumitaka Ichimura, Yusuke Sato and Katsutaka Yokoyama succeeded in linking the routes Isis Face, the descent route the Ramp, and a climb back up the Slovak Direct route in one trip from 11 – 18 May. Total ascent : 2350m (Isis Face) and2900m (Slovak Direct). Difficulty declared : Alaska grade 6.

The international jury

  • Doug Scott (GB): President of the jury – climber
  • Dario Rodriguez (Spain) – journalist – Desnivel
  • Dodo Kopold (Slovakia) – climber
  • Jim Donini (USA) – climber
  • Peter Habeler (Austria) – climber
  • Yong ImDuck (Korea) – journalist