Climbing Magazine´s Golden Piton Awards

by Mick Ryan click on photo For the last five years the Editors of the USA´s most popular and respected climbing journal, Climbing magazine, have awarded the Golden Piton to celebrate the year?s top climbing achievements. The recipients of the several climbing categories are featured in Climbing?s February 2007 edition (No. 255) – website.Dave MacLeod won the Golden Piton for the Traditional climbing category for his ascent of Rhapsody, and Tim Emmett and Ian Parnell got an honourable mention in the Big-wall Free Climbing category for their ascent of the Southeast Pillar of Kedar Dome. Matt Samett, Senior Editor at Climbing magazine sent us the following listing: Solo Climbing: Chris Sharma, Es Pontas, Mallorca. ?Sending Es Pontas has been a culmination of all my years climbing, [taking] what I?ve learned from sport climbing, bouldering, and the sea, and [doing] something unique and original that incorporates all three,? says Chris Sharma Honourable Mention: Michael Reardon for Shikata Ga Nai and Sea of Tranquility, in theNeedles; Pavle Kozjek for solo first ascent on Cho Oyu Big-wall Free Climbing: Tommy Caldwell, Topher Donahue, and Erik Roedfor 4,100-foot Linea di Eleganza, (VI 5.12+ M8), on the northeast face Fitz Roy (11,171 feet), Patagonia, on their first attempt, in a 50-hour, round-trip push from Rio Blanco basecamp.Honourable Mention: Nico Favresse and Ivo Ninov for their ground-up FA of Lost in Transletion, El Cap; TimEmmett and Ian Parnell for the Southeast Pillar of Kedar Dome. Bouldering: Dave Graham for the sheer volume of hard ticks and FAs in2006. ?I?ve never seen anyone crimp like Dave ? his ability to use the tiniest of holds is mindboggling,? says Boone Speed of Dave Graham, who, from Hueco Tanks to Switzerland, climbed an astounding 24 V12 and harder boulder problems this past year. Honourable mention: Angie Payne for V10 and V11 ascents in Colorado and Hueco; Daniel Woods for climbing 10 V13 or harder lines. Sport Climbing: Patxi Usobiaga, of Eibar, Spain, who did more 5.14s in a year ? 33 and counting, including seven onsights of the grade ? than anyone in the history of sport climbing including the third ascent of Realization (5.15a).Honourable mention: Maurizio “Manolo” Zanolla for Solo per Vecchi Guerrieri; Ramon Julian for 33 5.14a´s andharder lines. Global Alpine: Marko Prezelj and Boris Lorencic, Northwest Pillar, Chomolhari. ?He did it in perfect Marko style,? says über-alpinist Steve House of the Slovenian Marko Prezelj?s six-day roundtrip ascent of the 6,000-foot Northwest Pillar on Chomolhari (23,996 feet), near the Tibet/Bhutan border, with Boris Lorencic. ?It was an impeccable alpine-style ascent: super-beautiful, technical climbing at altitude, done onsight, up and down, no fixed ropes ? the way it ought to be done.? Honourable mention: Jozef Kopold and Gabo Cmarik for the FAof Drastissima on Uli Biaho, Karakoram; Marek Holecek and Jan Kreisingerfor a new route up Meru Central, India. Traditional Climbing: Dave MacLeod for Rhapsody. ?Hats off for the ascent and for stepping into a new category,? says Kevin Thaw, fellow UK climber, who adds that MacLeod?s merging of trad tactics to a hard-5.14 face climb represents a huge cognitive leap. ?E11 is a big fat number, certainly weighted toward being the stoutest gear route around!? Honourable mention:Sonnie Trotter for Cobra Crack, Squamish; Nico Favresse for a ground-up,all-gear ascent of Father´s Day, Donner Summit, CA. North American Alpine: Maxime Turgeon and Louis-Phillipe Ménard,Canadian Direct, Denali. Fifty-eight hours of continuously difficult alpine climbing, climbed onsight in a single-push first ascent of Canadian Direct (Alaska grade 6, 5.9 M6 AI4) on the south face of Denali (20,320 feet). Their 8,000-foot route took a direct line up rock bands and mixed terrain between the Japanese Direct and the American Direct. The duo?s light-and fast approach on such a massive undertaking (they carried only the bare minimum of equipment in packs that weighed less than 20 pounds each) made for a harrowing finish as the weather severely deteriorated high on the mountain. Honourable mention: Colin Haley and Jeb Hoffman for thenorth face of Mount Moffit, Alaska; Jon Walsh and Chris Brazeau for the northface of Mount Alberta, Canada. ( Source: Climbing magazine )