The endurance of a memorable traverse in Patagonia, the harshness of a 2,000 mt high face in the Everest valley, the elegance of a new route in the Indian mountains. Three ascents, three feats, three adventure…

The 23rd edition of the Piolets d'Or – which is taking place between Courmayeur and Chamonix, under Mont Blanc – has chosen three beautiful ascents achieved in 2014: the most prestigious international award for mountaineering will go to Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold, from the US; to Aleksander Gukov and Aleksey Lonchinsky, from Russia, and to Marko Prezelj, Ales Cesena and Luka Lindic, from Slovenia.

The first two succeeded in completing the traverse of the Fitz Roy range (Argentina); the second ones opened up a route on the South face of Thamserku (Nepal); and the third ones opened up a route on the North face of Hangshu (India). The three ascents have been chosen among a
big list of 58 ascents by an international technical committee made up of nine top-class mountaineers, from nine different countries: Hervé Barmasse (Italy), Kazuki Amano (Japan), Valeri Babanov (Russia), Stephane Benoist (France), Andy Houseman (United Kingdom), Michael Kennedy (United States), Ines Papert (Germany), Raphael Slawinsky (Canada), Andrej Stemfeli (Slovenia).

The Piolet d'Or Lifetime Achievement - Walter Bonatti Award was given to Chris Bonington. Born in 1934, the British climber is an outstanding ambassador for mountaineering, who, from the Sixties until the Eighties, brought a new attitude to mountaineering in the Alps and in the Himalaya. Annapurna II, Nuptse, the Freney Pillar on Mont Blanc, The Torres del Paine, Changabang, and Shivling are only some of the highlights enriching his
career. Chris Bonington will join the very special list of alpinists after Walter Bonatti, Reinhold Messner, Doug Scott, Robert Paragot, Kurt Diemberger, and John Roskelley.

Presented by Kay Rush, the Piolets d'Or award ceremony will start tonight at 9:00 pm, at the Palanoir in Courmayeur, featuring music by L'Orage and Trouveur valdoten. A brand new 22 minute long video about Chris Bonington, edited by Vinicio Stefanello, will be showed.