Piolets d'Or - Pumari Chhish East (ca 6,850m)

We are very delighted to announce that the 2024 edition of the “Piolets d’Or” will be held

in San Martino di Castrozza, in Trentino (Italy), on December 8th to 11th.


San Martino di Castrozza, 8th-11th Decem…

We are very delighted to announce that the 2024 edition of the “Piolets d’Or” will be held in San Martino di Castrozza, in Trentino, on December 8th to 11th.

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©Victor Saucède

The first ascent of Pumari Chhish East, Hispar Muztagh, via The Crystal Ship (1,600m, 6b A2 M7) on the south face and upper west ridge, from June 25-29. The route was rappelled.

 Since 2007, Pumari Chhish East, the lowest and probably the most technically difficult of the Pumari Chhish group, north of the Hispar Glacier, had received five attempts from the south. For the sixth known attempt, Christophe Ogier, Victor Saucède, and Jérôme Sullivan from France opted for the middle-left of the four large rock pillars, a line envisaged in 2009 by three Canadians, who climbed the initial snowfield before retreating due to illness.

The three French climbers chose to go early, making the approach in May with a view to attempting the face in June, when the alpine terrain would still be well-frozen. However, it snowed on 26 days of their 27-day wait at base camp, though during this period they acclimatized by spending a night on nearby Rasool Sar (5,980m). They then received a forecast for a seven-day weather window, and after allowing one day for the face to shrug off recent snow, set off, climbing the initial 700m snowfield at night.

On the 700m pillar above they employed big wall techniques, with the leader hauling while the two seconds jumared. Aid was often used to surmount overhangs or to remove large snow formations plastered onto the cracks, but generally they climbed as free as possible under the conditions. The first three bivouacs were poor, exposed, and uncomfortable, but the fourth day took them through the remaining difficulties, which included two vertical 6b rock pitches at 6,600m (led in rock shoes), to a relatively spacious shoulder. Next day they climbed through the summit mushroom and were on top at 10 a.m. Waiting at their last bivouac until mid-afternoon, when the sun disappeared from the face, the three began rappelling the route, reaching the snowfield at nightfall and advanced base around midnight.

The jury felt this to be an elegant line, a line of strength that was full of uncertainty, on one of Pakistan’s big unsolved problems. It is not the easiest option on the mountain, but the steepness and sustained high level of difficulty made it one of the safest, rising almost directly to the summit. The ascent was very much a collective effort, displaying great team spirit in line with the Piolets d’Or Charter.

What are the "Piolets d'Or" ?

A celebration of mountaineering

The purpose of the Piolets d'Or awards is to raise awareness about the year's greatest ascents across the world.  They aim to celebrate the taste for adventure, the bravery and sense of exploration that lie behind the art of climbing in the world's great mountain ranges. The Piolets d'Or draw their inspiration from mountaineering's rich history.  They are a celebration of a sense of partnership and solidarity, of shared experiences, and reward individual or collective achievement.

The Spirit of Modern Alpinism

More than just the recognition of a performance, the Piolets d'Or celebrates passion, spirit and values. The spirit of the Piolets d’Or draws its inspiration from the history of alpinism and the authenticity of true team spirit. The style should take precedence over the conquest of an objective.  Success is no longer about getting to the summit at all costs, employing all possible financial and technical means, (oxygen, fixed ropes, doping products, etc) or large-scale human resources (high-altitude porters or sherpas). The Piolets d’Or event encourages imagination in searching for innovative routes using a maximum of economy of means, making use of experience and respecting man and nature. The Piolets d’Or is attached to making climbing a shared and valued richness all over the world, capable of attracting the best of human ambitions whilst encompassing moral values and edifying behaviour. The Piolets d'Or event is therefore a celebration of an ethical alpinism, rich in emotion.



Les Piolets d'Or

Piolets d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2009, the first Lifetime Achievement Piolet d’Or was awarded to Walter Bonatti.  His style of mountaineering perfectly reflected the spirit of thePiolets d’Or.  He became a sort of godfather to those who would receive this award after him. In honour of the man and his spirit, it has been renamed the “Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement, Walter Bonatti Award”.

The Career Piolets d'Or was created to reward a career where the spirit has inspired the following generations, in the sense of criteria set down by the convention.
Recipients of the Piolet d'Or Career :
2009 : Walter BONATTI
2010 : Reinhold MESSNER
2011 : Doug SCOTT
2012 : Robert PARAGOT
2013 : Kurt DIEMBERGER
2014 : John ROSKELLEY
2015 : Chris BONINGTON
2016 : Wojciech KURTYKA
2017 : Jeff LOWE
2018 : Andrej ŠTREMFELJ
2019 : Krzysztof WIELICKI
2020 : Catherine DESTIVELLE
2021 : Yasushi YAMANOI
2022 : Silvo KARO

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2023 Organizers