And the winner is...House and Anderson bag Piolet d'Or
To the very end, the 2006 edition of the Piolet d'Or prize endured controversies. Only today, three of this year's nominees said, “It is a subjective prize. How can you compare a climb in the Himalayas to another in Patagonia?”
But the new jury members, including Briton Stephen Venables - an alpine-style purist - finally cast their votes this evening in Grenoble, France and the result came as little surprise to most.
‘Heavy expeditions’ and ‘pure alpine’ climbs
The prestigious prize have had critics before - one of the toughest no less than this year's winner. In 2003, Steve House criticized the Piolet d’Or Jury for rewarding too many ‘heavy expeditions’ instead of ‘pure alpine’ climbs, referring to the 2003 winners, Yuri Koshelenko and Valeri Babanov's climb of Nuptse East.
Last year, Steve was nominated for the Piolet d’Or for his speed solo climb on K7, in super-light style (his backpack weighed just 4 kg). Steve was awarded by the public attending the ceremony, but the award finally went to the Russian Jannu North Face team.
This year at last, Steve got his prize.
More info on Kairn.com (in French).
Awarded by French Montagnes Magazine according to the decision of an international jury, its importance makes the Piolet d’Or (The Golden Ice Axe) something like the Oscars of Alpinism.
2006 Piolet d'Or jury:
1. Stephen Venables
2. Jannu: Bolotov and Mikhailov
3. Guy Chaumereuil (France), founder of the prize
4. Mike “Twid” Turner (UK)
5. Pierre Hofmann (Swizerland) GHM
6. Sylvo Karo (Slovenia), Mountain Wilderness International
7. François Marsigny (France)
8. Im Duc Young (Korea)
“Montagnes magazine” staff.
Further information at: http://www.mounteverest.net