Piolet de Farce

Posted on: July 1, 2005


I just read that the Russians won the 2005 Piolet d'Or for their ascent on Jannu. Is this a joke? What is the Piolet d'Or now? Maybe something different than I had thought. How can the Groupe de Haute Montagne give the Russians, who fixed the entire route, rotating teams, the award? Are we back to the old style of mountaineering? For me this is ridiculous.

Jean Christophe Lafaille (for his solo of Shishapangma) or Steve House (for his solo of K7) should have received the award, not these old-style Russian climbers, even though they climbed one of the best walls in the world. For them to receive the prize automatically legitimizes their style as the present state of the art in mountaineering. In this case I prefer to be an old-school alpine-style climber!

—Thomas Huber, Berchtesgaden, Germany

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Editor's Note: Thomas Huber and Iwan Wolf won the Piolet d'Or in 2001 for their ascent of Shiva's Line on Shivling.

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