Piolets d'Or - 2023 Significant ascents

2023 - Significant ascents

There follows a representative list of significant, innovative ascents in most mountain regions of the World, climbed during 2022, in alpine (or in a few cases capsule) style and with minimal or no use of drilled equipment. This is not a list of nominated ascents for the Piolets d'Or and should not be confused with such: it is a selection of routes that are classed as noteworthy within their particularly regions. Grades are those quoted by the first ascensionists and remain unconfirmed.

A preliminary list of significant first ascents during 2022 was compiled by Lindsay Griffin (Senior Editor, American Alpine Journal), with help from Dougald MacDonald (Editor in Chief, American Alpine Journal) and Rodolphe Popier (Club Alpin Francais).



Karun Koh (6,977m)

First ascent of the northwest face (1,800m, AI5) of Karun Koh (6,977m), Ghujerab Mountains, from September 20-21, by Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajima (Japan). Descended route.


Shaue Sar(6,653m)

First ascent of Shaue Sar (6,653m), Hispar Muztagh, via the north face and northeast ridge (2,000m from advanced base, 85°), on May 27, by Philipp Brugger and Lukas Waldner (Austria), and Tomas Franchini (Italy).


Gulmit Tower (5,810m)

Not a particularly hard route but an innovative approach and perhaps a pointer to the future. First ascent of Gulmit Tower (5,810m), Batura Muztagh, via south and west faces (450m couloir, 50°, followed by 350m steep rock and mixed), June 27, by Fabian Buhl (Germany) and Will Sim (UK) approaching and departing the mountain (to and from Karimabad in a 36-hour weather window) by paraglider. Their approach from the south, which would take four-five days on foot, is considered too steep and dangerous for laden porters.

AAJ Article on paragliding alpinism


Pumari Chhish East (ca 6,850m)

First ascent of Pumari Chhish East (ca 6,850m), Hispar Muztagh, via The Crystal Ship (1,600m, 6b A2 M7) on south face and upper west ridge, from June 25-29 by Christophe Ogier, Victor Saucède, and Jérôme Sullivan (France). Rappelled route.

AAJ Article


Uli Biaho Great Spire (5,594m)

First ascent of Refrigerator Off-Width (7a, A2 and M5) on the east face of Uli Biaho Great Spire (5,594m), Baltoro Muztagh, from July 22-23, by Alessandro Baù, Leonardo Gheza, and Francesco Ratti (Italy). Fifteen bolts used for protection. Rappelled the route.



Peak Guillem Aparicio (ca 5,700m)

First ascent of Peak Guillem Aparicio (ca 5,700m) in the Shafat Valley via Txoria Txori (740m, 7a+) on August 14 by Tasio Martin and Marc Toralles (Spain). Descent of an adjacent line in 15 rappels of 60m.


Barnaj II (6,303m)

First ascent of the east summit of Barnaj II (6,303m), Zanskar, via Seracnaphobia (1,500m, ED M5 AI4) on the north face, from October 7-8 by Matt Glenn, Callum Johnson, Tom Seccombe (UK). Rappelled route.


Phaalkan Meenar (5,602m)

First ascent of Phaalkan Meenar (5,602m), Gangotri, via Gangotri Gambling (600m, 6c+ M6 A0) on the southwest pillar and south face, from October 14-16, by Ondrej Húserka and Wadim Jablonski (Poland). Rappelled route.


Kirti Nose (ca 4,950m)

First ascent of Kirti Nose (ca 4,950m), Gangotri, above the Kirti Bamak Glacier, via Between two Parties (400m, 7b A3) on the south face, by Jonas Schild, Andy Schnarf and Stephan Siegrist (Switzerland). Climbed over four days with fixed rope.


Changabang (6,864m)

The second ascent of the west face of Changabang (6,864m), Garhwal, by Daniel Joll (New Zealand), Kim Ladiges and Matt Scholes (both Australian). They used a hybrid style between capsule and alpine to climb the 1,300m route at 5.10 C1/C2 M5 WI4, making their final ascent from April 24-May 3. The route was around 40 pitches, with 15-20 of these different from the original 1976 Boardman-Tasker line.



Peak 6,192m (6,192m)

First ascent of Peak 6,192m, Langtang Himal, via the west face (650m, TD+ M4 WI5+ 90°), from October 19-20, by Esteban Mena and Joshua Jarrin (Ecuador), and Roberto Morales (Colombia), Route previously climbed in 2014 to 100m below the summit. Rappelled route.


Jugal Spire (6,563m)

First ascent of Jugal Spire (6,563m), Jugal Himal, via The Phantom Line (1,300m, ED) on the north face, from April 25-29, by Tim Miller and Paul Ramsden (UK). Traversed the mountain, descending by previously unclimbed ground.

AAJ Article


Dolma Kang (6,332m)

First ascent of a partial new route (ca 1,400m, WI4 M5) on Dolma Kang (6,332m), Rolwaling Himal, May 3-4, by Pep Roig and Tomeu Rubí (Spain). Descended the east-northeast ridge with a further bivouac.


Tengi Ragi Tau Southeast (aka Phamlahaka, 6,141m)

First ascent of the west face, then southwest ridge of Tengi Ragi Tau Southeast (aka Phamlahaka, 6,141m), Rolwaling Himal, via Screaming Barfies (1,100m, UIAA V AI5 90°) from October 23-24, by Bor Levičnik, Žiga Oražem, and Matija Volontar (Slovenia). Traversed mountain and descended southeast ridge.


Kang Karpo (aka Ripimo Shar, 6,646m)

First ascent of the northeast face of Kang Karpo (aka Ripimo Shar, 6,646m), Rolwaling Himal, via Tiny Changes (1,200m, TD+ M5 AI4), from November 5-6, by Ethan Berman and Maarten van Haeren (Canada). Rappelled and downclimbed route.


Kangshung Nup (6,043m)

First ascent of the northwest face (900m M5 AI4) of Kangshung Nup (6,043m), Mahalangur Himal, from April 21-23, by Takashi Tani and Toshiyuki Yamada (Japan). Traversed the mountain. 


Chumbu (6,859m)

First ascent of Chumbu (6,859m), Mahalangur Himal, via The Last Flight of the Falcon (ca 1,150m, TD+) on the west face, from October 27-29, by Jaroslav Bánský, Radoslav Groh, Petr Kejklíček, and Zdeněk Hák (Czech Republic). Traversed the mountain to descend via the unclimbed south ridge and south-southwest face.



Jiazi (6,540m)

First ascent of Judgement (1,500m, M6 WI5) on west face of Jiazi (6,540m), Daxue Shan, from October 28-29, by Chen Junchu and Liu Junfu (China).



Pik Koroleva (5,816m)

First ascent of the north face direct (1,500m, ED2 Mixed, one pitch of A3, 90° ice) of Pik Koroleva (5,816m), Western Kokshaal-too, from July 20-22, by Ratmir Mukhametzyanov, Nadezhda Oleneva, and Alexander Parfenov, (Russia). Traversed summit, descending northwest ridge.


Kyzyl Asker

First ascent of Dry Ice Queen (21 pitches, M9- WI6+) on the east face of a long spur on the east flank of Kyzyl Asker, opposite Pik Sabor/Vernyi in the Western Kokshall-too, on August 13, by Juraj Švingál and Marek Radovský (Slovakia). Reached a small top on the ridge (likely the first ascent) then descended the face directly by rappel, placing bolts for anchors. Google Earth estimates the height of this face to be a little less than 500m.


Free Korea Peak (4,740m)

New route - Chumba and Racoon (800m, 16 pitches, Russian 6A, 6b A3 ice/mixed) - on the north face of Free Korea Peak (4,740m), Ala Archa, from September 15-19, by Dmitry and Svetlana Pavlenko (Kyrgyzstan/Russia), alpine style with a portaledge.




Qaersorssuaq / Agparssuit

First ascent of Sea Barge Circus (900m, 5.11+) on the northwest-facing sea cliff of Qaersorssuaq, a.k.a. Sanderson’s Hope, West Greenland. This was also the first free ascent of the wall and was climbed partly with fixed rope, then in capsule style, from August 5-24 by Jacob Cook, Zack Goldberg-Poch, Bronwyn Hodgins, Jaron Pham, Angela Vanwiemeersch, and Kelsey Watts (all Canada except for Vanwiemeersch from USA, and Cook who is UK/Canada) The three women made the first ascent of Time is a Construct (400m, 5.11 A2) on the Red Wall, east face of Agparssuit, in a 50-hour push, over August 1-2.

AAJ Article


Tininnertuup IV / Hermelnbjerg

First ascent of Ikinngut Toquukut Qimagunnikoq (For Lost Friends, 1,000m, 27 pitches, 6c/6c+) on the east face of Tininnertuup IV (1,725m), Tasermiut Fjord, South Greenland, on July 13, by Fabian Hagenauer and Thomas März (Germany). Also, first direct ascent of the northeast ridge (900m, 6c) of Hermelnbjerg (1,912m) by same pair


Ingmikortilaq / Pool Wall

First climb on Ingmikortilaq (1,150m straight from the sea), Renland, via the northeast ridge (5.11- X) by Hazel Findlay (UK) and Alex Honnold (USA). Ropes fixed to half-height for filming purposes. Also, first ascent of Pool Wall (13 pitches, 5.12c), Edward Bailey Glacier, Renland, by Findlay, Honnold, Aldo Kane and Mikey Schaefer. Ropes fixed so that the team, including two scientists, could access the Renland icecap above, and then cross it while conducting climate-related experiments.


Northern Sun Spire

First ascent of Via Sedna (780m of climbing, 16 pitches, 7b+ A1) on the east face of Northern Sun Spire (1,527m), Renland, by Capucine Cotteaux (France), Caro North (Switzerland), and Nadia Royo (Spain). Fixed 300m of rope and reached the top of the face on August 7. Rappelled route. All women’s sailing and climbing team, departing from and returning to France.



Golgotha (2,725m)

First ascent of The Shaft of the Abyss (ca 1,200m, M5 A0 AI5 90° snow), a direct route on the east face of Golgotha (2,725m), Revelation Mountains, from March 23-25, by Clint Helander (USA) and Andreas Marin (Colombia/USA). Descended first ascent line on southeast face by rappel.

AAJ Article


Pyramid Peak (2,613m)

First ascent of Techno Terror (1,100m, M7+ R A0 AI6) on the west face of Pyramid Peak (2,613m), Revelation Mountains, from April 9-10, by Matt Cornell and Jackson Marvell (USA). Descent by north ridge.


Kichatna Spire (2,739m)

First ascent of The Pace of Comfort (950m, 5.10 A3+ M6 70°) on the northwest face of Kichatna Spire (2,739m), Kichatna Range, May 23-26, by David Allfrey, Whit Magro and Graham Zimmerman (USA).


Kichatna Spire (2,739m)

First ascent of Thunderstruck (1,200m, 33 pitches, A3+ 6c) on the east buttress of Kichatna Spire (2,739m), Kichatna Range, by Mark Thomas and Mike Turner (UK). Fixed ropes from May 28-June 5 then capsule to summit, on June 8.


Mt Hunter (Begguya, 4,442m)

First ascent of the West-southwest Buttress of Mt Hunter (Begguya, 4,442m), Central Alaska Range, via Full Moon Fever (1,800m to south summit, M7, AI4 A1), then traverse to main (north summit) and descend the west ridge and Ramen Couloir, from May 13-17, by August Franzen and Clint Helander (USA).

AAJ Article



Polar Sun Arm

Partial new route - MikroKozmik Variations (1,062m, M5 A4+) - on the Polar Sun Arm, Baffin Island, by Marek Raganowicz (Poland), solo. Fifteen new pitches to join Superbalance, then 11 pitches on this route to the top of the Arm. Seven days in April fixing ropes on the lower section, then 35 days on the face using two portaledge camps.


Mount Temple (3,543m)

The first ascent of the northwest buttress (1,200m, 5.11-) of Mount Temple (3,543m), Rockies, climbed in a day by Ryan Richardson and Dane Steadman (USA). Relatively straightforward scrambling descent.


Oubliette Mountain / Bennington Peak

First ascent of the northeast face (900m, 5.10-) of Oubliette Mountain (3,070m), Rockies, continuing south along the Ramparts Traverse, over Parapet Peak (3,031m) and finishing with the first ascent of the north ridge (315m, TD- 5.6) of Bennington Peak (3.260m). Descent to the south. Climbed August 12-13 by Shep Howett and Sam Wall (Canada).





First ascent of the east face of rarely climbed Hualcan (6,122m), Cordillera Blanca, via Fango Fiesta (1,150m, ED M5 60-85°), from July 8-9, by Andrej Jež, Anja Petek (Slovenia) and Aritza Monasterio (Spain/Peru). Crossed summit and descended south ridge.


Pumahuacanca (5,563m)

First ascent of the southwest face of Pumahuacanca (5,563m), Cordillera Blanca, via One Push (1,000m of climbing, UIAA V M7 85° ice), on July 1, by Eneko and Iker Pou (Spain) and Micher Quito (Peru). Crossed summit and descended northeast face.


Jirishanca (6,125m)

First ascent of Reino Hongo (1,000m, M7 AI5+ 90°) on the south-southeast spur of Jirishanca (6,125m), Huayhuash, from July 21-24, by Alex Berg and Quentin Roberts (Canada). Descended the east buttress and lower southeast face.

AAJ Article


Jirishanca (6,125m)

First free ascent, and first to the summit, of Suerte Integral (1,100m, 5.13a M7 WI6+) on the southeast face and east buttress of Jirishanca (6,125m), Huayhuash, from July 21-24, by Vince Anderson and Josh Wharton (USA). The lower rock had been bolted (with a powerdrill), and a route completed to the east ridge/buttress way below the summit, by Italians in 2003 (5.12a A2 M4 WI5). The Americans redpointed and fixed the first three pitches before the ascent. From the summit they descended/rappelled the same route.

AAJ Article


Siula Grande (6,344m)

First ascent of the east face of Siula Grande (6,344m), Huayhuash, via Anima de Corall (1,100m, 7b A3 M6 AI5) from July 11-16, by Bru Busom and Marc Toralles (Spain). Rappelled route.



Cerro Torre (3,128m)

First ascent of Brothers in Arms (1,200m, 7a A2 C1 90°), on the east face and north face of Cerro Torre (3,128m), Chaltén Massif, from January 25-27, by David Bacci, Matteo Della Bordella, and Matteo De Zaiacomo (Italy). In the upper section they followed behind Tomás Aguiló and Korra Pesce, who were completing a new route La Norte. For two pitches they used ropes fixed by these two climbers to move fast through a dangerous area. A team led by Della Bordella subsequently rescued Aguilo after the accident that killed Pesce.


Cuerno Este del Paine (2,000m)

The first ascent of Cuerno Este del Paine (2,000m), Torres del Paine, via Vacaciones Metamorficas (600m, 5.11-, natural gear) on the north face, with the final 300m over black rotten rock that was difficult to protect. Climbed January 18-19 by Pepo Jorado (Ecuador), Romano Marcotti (Chile) and Sebastián Pelletti (Australia). Descended north ridge.


Cerro Catedral (2,168m)

First ascent of the north face of Cerro Catedral (2,168m), Torres del Paine, via Dos Hermanos (800m 5.11+ A0), from January 18-19, by Cristóbal and Juan Señoret (Chile). Twenty pitches with three protection bolts. Rappelled route.


Groupo la Paz

Complete west to east traverse of the Groupo la Paz (four main summits), Cordillera Riesco, via Ayeyama Wesqar (1,000m, 5.11-), February 21-23, by Antar Machado, Hernán Rodríguez (both Chile) and Sebastián Pelletti (Australia).



New Zealand

Mount Madeline (2,536m)

First ascent of the southeast face of Mount Madeline (2,536m), Darrans, via Silver Lining (1,100m, WI5 M4 A1) by Rauri Macfarlane (NZ), solo, in winter. This involved a two-day approach, crossing several peaks, to reach the start of the route, then a 36-hour push to the summit and down most of the south ridge to a final bivouac, before walking out the following day.




Blokktinden (1,065m)

First ascent of Entropi (1,000m, 5b WI5+ M6 R) on the northwest face of Blokktinden (1,065m), northern Norway, on March 4, by Eivind Jacobsen (Norway) and Juho Knuuttila (Finland).


Western Alps

Grandes Jorasses

First solo ascent, and in winter, of Rolling Stones (1,200m, ED3) on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses, from January 13-18, by Charles Dubouloz (France).


Punta Margherita

First ascent of Triplo Zero (600m, 13 pitches, AI4+ M7) on the east face of the Albertini Ridge of Punta Margherita, Grands Murailles, December 1, by François Cazzanelli, Jerome Perruquet and Francesco Ratti (Italy).



First winter and second integral ascent of Padre Pio, Echelle vers le Ciel (1,300m, 41 pitches, 7b, 6c obl) on the south face of the Matterhorn, from February 27-29, by François Cazzanelli, Francesco Ratti and Emrik Favre (Italy).

https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/matterhorn-first- winter-ascent-padre-pio-une-echelle-vers-le-ciel-francois-cazzanelli- emrik-favre-francesco-ratti.html

Breithorn Central (4,159m)

A new route - the sustained Essere o non Essere (550m, AI5 M7 85°) – on Breithorn Central (4,159m), on October 13, by François Cazzanelli, Jerome Perruquet and Stefano Stradelli, taking similar but independent ground to the 1980 Italian rock route Via della Torre Maggiore (TD/TD+, V+ A1, Castiglia-Crivellaro-Manera-Persico-Pezzica).



First alpine-style winter ascent of the entire 1966 Harlin Route (1,800m, ED3/4) on the north face of the Eiger, from January 12-16, by Léo Billon, Sébastien Ratel and Benjamin Védrines (France). The trio also made an almost-free ascent of Directe de l’Amitié on the Grandes Jorasses and the first one-day ascent of the Cerruti-Gogna Route on the Zmutt Nose of the Matterhorn.


Eastern Alps – Dolomites

Catinaccio Range

First complete traverse of the main ridge of the Catinaccio Range (eight summits, 17km and 5,000m of ascent up to VI), solo and in winter, from March 1-3, by Simon Gietl (Italy).


Catinaccio Range

First free solo of Moulin Rouge (385m, 11 pitches, 7b+) on the Roda di Vael in the Catinaccio Range, in one hour and five minutes on June 20, by Jonas Hainz (Italy).


Eastern Alps – Austria – Zillertal


New route - Goodbye Innsbrooklyn (ca 800m, lower half dry tooling with axes and crampons; upper half VIII– climbed in rock shoes) - on the northwest face of the Schrammacher (3,410m), on March 24, by Martin Sieberer (Austria) and Simon Messner (Italy).



2023 Organizers