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News - Sun, 25 Sep 2022 15:05:21 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Wojtek Kurtyka - 2016 Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award Wojtek Kurtyka - 2016 Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award

This coming April, we will be celebrating the different dimensions of alpinism, and more generally the 'mountain spirit', in a region that is emblematic of the values that we seek to promote, including sharing experiences, commitment, and innovation. We will be present in the area around the Piolets d’Or base camps in La Grave and the Lautaret col, in one of the most beautiful parts of France. Here at the heart of Ecrins National Park, we’ll follow in the footsteps of La Meije’s legendary 'Père Gaspard'.

There will be opportunities to meet alpinists from all over the world, as well as local residents, who are strongly attached to the values of mountain life. The event also features shared outdoor activities, a book fair, films, and the presentation of various ascents during friendly evening gatherings. A veritable festival of 'mountain spirit' awaits you in the region of La Meije in mid-April. 

2016 Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award 

The 2016 Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to a great Polish alpinist, Voytek Kurtyka, a mysterious and fascinating character legendary for his impressive ascents. His first ascent of the west face of Gasherbrum IV (or the 'Shining Wall') in 1985 is considered by purists to
be the most remarkable alpine-style ascent of the 20th century.

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Born in 1947 in Skrzynka, Poland, Voytek Kurtyka was a veritable phenomenon of a generation of Polish alpinists who marked the history of alpine style climbing in the Himalayas. Along with figures like Wanda Rutkiewicz and Jerzy Kukuczka, Kurtyka embodies the 'pioneering spirit' that was fundamental to this group of Polish alpinists who learned their craft in the Tatras. 

Photo: M. Skwarczek

One can even go so far as to identify a 'vision'when it comes to the alpinism practiced by this generation: total commitment and immersion, pure alpine style, long winter expeditions, an attraction to beauty, and an alchemy between the climber and the summit. Several of Kurtyka’s climbing partners, themselves living legends of great alpinism, will be present at the 2016 Piolets d’Or in La Grave. 

wojtek kurtyka traverse of broad peak photo jerzy kukuczka

Wojciech Kurtyka on traverse of Broad Peak. Photo: Jerzy Kukuczka

More about Wojtek: Wojciech Kurtyka

The most notable ascents of 2015 and the make-up of the international technical committee

The second highlight of the Piolets d’Or event relates to modern alpinism. We are proud to be able to count on the support of an elite level international  echnical committee to promote ethical alpinism. Choosing amongst the most notable ascents of 2015, the committee will recognise several ascents that they judge to be the best and most emblematic of the style that the Piolets d’Or seeks to promote. 

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This process, undertaken in a collaborative manner by the Groupe de Haute Montagne, the American Alpine Journal, and the Alpine Club, is currently underway. The results will be published in the next press release, in early March. Here are the members of the 2016 international technical committee:
- Michael Kennedy (USA)
- Valeri Babanov (RU)
- Silvo Karo (SLO)
- Vic Saunders (UK)
- Seb Bohin (F)
- Raphael Slawinsky (CAN)
- Yasuhiro Hanatani (J)
- Simon Elias (ESP)
- Hervé Barmasse (I)

You can find a list of the most notable ascents of 2015 at :
More information about the members at :

Spirit of international openness:

The Piolets d’Or is an event of international scope. Alpinists from all horizons, who have explored mountain ranges all over the world, meet to share and exchange experiences, pass along knowledge, and find inspiration. Alpine style climbing breaks down barriers and fosters mutual respect through its spirit of
discovery and understanding, and encourages respect for nature by renouncing siege-style tactics.

In a tense international geopolitical climate in which extremism is gaining ground - even within the European Union - the organisers of the Piolets d’Or, as well as the public and private partners who support the event, hope to convey a spirit and culture of international openness, thoughtfulness, and tolerance with this year’s event. We will provide more details on this aspect of the event in the next press release.

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Fri, 19 Feb 2016 12:01:24 +0000
Iron Knight D14+/15- ? Iron Knight D14+/15- ?

Eptingen in Switzerland has new dry-tooling extreme route. Jonas Allemann send Iron Knight D14+/15- (proposition grade), which is combination of 3 previous routes: Dark Knight (D11+/12-), Spiderman and Iron Man D14/14+.


iron knight eptingen topo

Topo of Iron Knight D14+/15-. Photo. fb Jason Allemann

In Eptingen was first M8+ route on the Europe (Robert Jasper, 1997).

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Thu, 17 Dec 2015 14:35:46 +0000
GuideBase: The new booking platform for all mountain sports and activities GuideBase: The new booking platform for all mountain sports and activities

Extreme sport enters the digital age: with GuideBase, the journey for mountain sports enthusiasts now starts with a simple online booking experience. Based on the model of successful online platforms like Airbnb, we at, a Munich-based startup, are pioneering a means of directly bringing together adventure-seekers with certified mountain guides and ski instructors.


Whether you want to experience some backcountry skiing or take an alpine tour of Mont Blanc, GuideBase is the place for you.

Safety is of upmost importance: only professional state-certified IFMGA mountain guides, ISIA certified ski instructors, or ski schools with similarly verifiable certifications are allowed to offer their services on GuideBase. Our clients are always in safe hands.

For mountain lovers:
- Search for guides and instructors by activity or location
- Great snowfall last night? Last-minute bookings now possible
- Chat directly with your guide using the built-in GuideBase Messenger
- Book using all common methods of online payment
- Use the GuideBase app on the go

For guides:
- GuideBase verifies all mountain guides
- A personal profile shows every guide’s level of certification, description, spoken languages and more
- Guides can market their services with ease to a global customer base
- GuideBase allows guides to manage their digital payments painlessly
- Guides can work more days per year and earn more per day

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An open, mutual review system helps alpine enthusiasts easily find precisely the right guide, even at a personal level. Using the GuideBase website and app is free and it takes less than a minute to open an account. 

The GuideBase founders Henning Rehder and Jonas Kronwitter have plans to expand the business beyond the Alps to an even wider global audience in 2016.

News Sun, 15 Nov 2015 16:00:00 +0000
Are you ready to tackle Everest? Are you ready to tackle Everest?

Guys from prepare nice infographic about climbing to Mount Everest. You know... Everest is overcrowded, but still he is the highest  mouintain in the world, but I hear that in winter there is less people ;).

Below you will find link to infographic about preparing to climb Everest.

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Thu, 18 Jun 2015 06:23:20 +0000
The Wild Thing in Rockies by Takeshi Tani and Yamada Toshiyuki The Wild Thing in Rockies by Takeshi Tani and Yamada Toshiyuki

Takeshi Tani and Yamada Toshiyuki repeats The Wild Thing Ⅵ M7 WI5 1300m on east face of Mt. Chephren in the Canadian Rockies. 45 hours from car to car.


Yamada Toshiyuki on Wild Thing. Photo Takeshi Tani

The Wild Thing was first climbed in 1987 by Peter Arbic, Barry Blanchard, and Ward Robinson, after four previous attempts by Blanchard. The first ascent took three long days and was graded 5.10 A3 WI4, with a crux rock corner that consumed most of a day. In 2008 route has probably first free ascent by team Jon Simms - Jon Walsh.

Yamada Toshiyuki on Wild Thing. Photo Takeshi Tani

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000
Piolets d'Or Awards and Celebrations Piolets d'Or Awards and Celebrations

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.

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Sat, 11 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000
3 ascents selected to Piolets d'Or 2015 3 ascents selected to Piolets d'Or 2015

The year 1865 marked the apotheosis of the golden age of "conquering" the summits of the Alps, and the Piolets d'Or 2015 will be the occasion to announce a series of commemorative exhibitions and events, which will punctuate the summer season 2015.

For serious modern alpinism, in view of the astonishing climbs achieved over the last quarter of a century, one could legitimately consider that the Golden Age of "alpine style" on the highest summits of the planet is now. How far are mountaineers willing to go? After 2012 and 2013, two exceptional years for remarkable achievements, the year 2014 has seen a break, probably due to the geo-political context.

The adventurous mountaineers have shown themselves to be less timid than the classic tourist, but the tragedy of the Nanga Parbat base camp in June 2013, as well as the assassination of French mountain guide Hervé Gourdel, in Algeria last September, have really affected the climbing and mountaineering community.

Despite this difficult context, remarkable achievements have been numerous and the spirit of an alpinism committed to exploration remains intact.
This year, the Piolets d’Or have assembled an international technical committee made up of nine top-class mountaineers, originating from nine different countries. The committee is responsible for selecting- with total freedom and independence- from among the 2014 expeditions which correspond to the Charter of the Piolets d’Or, which will be honoured in April 2015, in Chamonix and Courmayeur.

The committee has chosen three ascents :

The traverse of the Fitz Roy range

Argentina, Patagonia (3,405 m) From 12th- 16th February 2014, Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold succeeded in completing the full traverse of the range, from north to south. They had to climb seven summits: Aguja Guillaumet, Aguja Mermoz, Cerro Fitz Roy, Aguja Poincenot, Aguja Rafael Juarez, Aguja Saint-Exupery and Aguja S, a total of 4,000m of ascent, a maximum grade of 7a, with ice sections at 65°.
Such a traverse could only be contemplated by very fast climbers.

Fitz Roy. Photo:

Thamserku. Nepal, Khumbu (6,618 m)

Alexander Gukov and Alexey Lonchinsky (Russia) have opened up a route on the South Face, at 1,620m. Their route, which required six bivies, has been named Shy Girl.
They estimated it as grade 6A/6B (Russian grading), presenting some passages on steep ice with mixed sections M4-M5, and passages requiring artificial climbing (A2). The descent was via the South Ridge and the South-West Face in twenty-two abseils

Thamserku. Photo: Alexander Gukov and Alexey Lonchinsky

Hagshu. India, Kisthwar (6,657 m)

Ales Cesen, Luka Lindic and Marko Prezelj (Slovenia) opened a route on the North face of 1,350 meters high, ED, ice at 90°. The steepness and difficulty of the ice forced them to climb until two o’clock in the morning, on the first day.
They summited the next day, 30th September, at 5pm, then descended by the original route, first opened in 1989 by Polish climbers.


Hangshu. Photo: Marko Prezelj

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Mon, 09 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0000
23 Piolets d'Or. 9-12 April 23 Piolets d'Or. 9-12 April

Once again this year, the Piolets d'Or celebrates mountaineering in all its various dimensions. Both for his historical achievements and for his promotion of mountaineering, Chris Bonington, a living legend and a major figure in 20th century mountaineering, will receive the Career Piolet d'Or from the hands of his no-less-legendary friend and climbing partner Doug Scott.

The Piolets d'Or will also be an occasion to launch the events for «1865, The High Point of the Golden Age of Mountaineering. There were many British mountaineers, along with their alpine guides, who were the protagonists in the great first ascents achieved in 1865: Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses, Aiguille Verte, to cite the most famous of the summits first climbed in that year. A series of events and exhibitions will mark this golden age of mountain
conquests throughout the summer season of 2015, in the Chamonix valley, and elsewhere in the Alps.

Finally, with regard to modern mountaineering, the Piolets d'Or will reward some of last year’s most impressive routes. These will be chosen by a high-flying international committee of impeccable technical credentials from nine different countries, whom we are proud to be able to count on for support in promoting ethical mountaineering attitudes !

List of nominated ascents

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0000
Optimist on west face Schneefernerkopf Optimist on west face Schneefernerkopf

German alpinists Michael Wohlleben and Joachim Feger have made an alpine style first ascent of Optimist, a 1300m line up the West Face of Schneefernerkopf in the Wetterstein massif, Austria.


They need two days for ascent (19-20 February). On first day They reach half of the wall. Last four pitches are shared with bolted Zwischen den Toren.

Optimist has difficulties about 50°/7- /M5.

Photo: Michael Wohlleben

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Wed, 04 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0000
23rd Piolets d’Or Chamonix Mont Blanc - Courmayeur Global Alpinism Meeting 23rd Piolets d’Or Chamonix Mont Blanc - Courmayeur Global Alpinism Meeting

Throughout the coming year the Alps will celebrate the 150th anniversary of what would later become known as the Golden Age of Alpinism. This culminated in 1865 with the remarkable first ascents of the most difficult summits in the range: Matterhorn, Aiguille Verte, Grandes Jorasses, and others. 

During that year a new kind of mountaineering took shape; many of the new routes required an outstanding athletic performance, such as Mont Blanc via the Brenva Spur. The 2015 Piolets d’Or will primarily remember and celebrate this landmark in climbing history.

For years climbers from afar have made their way towards these mountains, driven by passion and an intense, yet reverent desire to reach the top. Like all previous Piolets d’Or, the 2015 event will celebrate alpinism, both as a sport and as a form of culture. In 2014 mountaineers pursued their dreams, visiting lesser-known summits, and demonstrating that exploratory alpinism, as experienced by the pioneers of the Golden Age, is still totally elevant.

The list of all relevant first ascents of 2014 will be on the Piolets d'Or website from 8th February 2015 :

The object of the Piolets d’Or is to honour alpinism at the highest levels, its technical performance and its spirit of adventure. It unites participants from the previous year’s most remarkable ascents, made on mountains all over the world. It aims to bring
mountaineering to a wider audience and to highlight unique experiences in fascinating natural environments. The achievements of these alpinists will be a positive demonstration of the ethics of the sport, and the respect for the natural environment and local cultures, as documented in the Piolets d'Or Charter.
Supported by international bodies such as the Alpine Club, the American Alpine Club, the Italian Alpine Club, the French Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing and the French Federation of Alpine and Mountain Clubs, the Piolets d'Or finds inspiration in the rich history of mountaineering, while rewarding the spirit of the roped party, its courage, endurance and a sense of exploration in the art of climbing mountains.

The "Piolet d'Or Cereer" was created to reward a mountaineering career that has inspired generations through its spirit, and is in hannony with the criteria established by the Charter. In 2009, the first career Piolet d'Or was awarded to Walter Bonatti. He was followed by Reinhold Messner (2010), Doug Scott (2011), Robert Paragot (2012), Kurt Diemberger (2013) and John Roskelley (2014).

The seventh Piolet d'Or Career will be awarded this year to: Chris Bonington

Born in 1934, Chris Bonington began climbing at the age of 17. In 1958 he took part in an early ascent of the Bonatti Pillar on the Petit Dru, and later became the flrst Briton to climb the North Face of the Eiger. He was soon invited to take part in Himalayan adventures; he reached the summit of Annapurna Il (7927 m) in 1960, and then Nuptse (7861 m) in 1961.
These achievements were followed by a succession of first ascents : the Central Pillar of Freney on Mont Blanc (1961, with Don Whillans, lan Clough and Jan Dlugosz), Central Tower of Paine (Patagonia, 1963, with Don Whillans), Righthand Pillar of Brouillard (1965, with Rusty Baillie, John Harlin, and Brian Robertson). In 1966, having become a photojournalist, he covered the ascent of the Direttissima on the Eiger North Face, providing assistance to John Harlin's team. 
ln 1970 Himalayan climbers benetited from the reopening of Nepal, and began climbing  the great faces of its giant peaks. Chris Bonington led a strong team on the south face of Annapurna, where Don Whillans and Dougal Haston reached the summit. In 1975 he led a successful expedition to Everest, which made the first ascent of the Southwest Face. In between he made the first ascent of Brammah 1(6411 m) in Kishtwar, and Changabang (6864 m) in the Garhwal.

ln 1977, Chris Bonington climbed Baintha Brakk (7285 m) with Doug Scott, who broke both ankles early in the descent. The two men then made one of the most extraordinary descents in the history of Himalaya climbing. In 1981 he made the first ascent of Kongur (7719 m), a huge mountain in China. In 1983 he climbed a technical rock route to make the first ascent of Shivling West with Jim Fotheringham. Prior to this he had organized an expedition to the West face of K2 (1978) and the Northeast ridge of Everest (1982). Then followed two expeditions to Melungtse, Vinson in 1983, and Everest, which he summited in 1985.

Chris Bonington's achievements have been signiticant in both the Alps and Himalaya. He has published numerous books, which have been translated into many languages. A businessman and writer, he has received numerous awards in the United Kingdom and was knighted in 1996.
ln 2014, to celebrate his 80th birthday, he returned to repeat one of his own famous climbs, the Old Man of Hoy, a spectacular sea stack in Orkney, which he first climbed in 1966, and where he organized a major programme for the BBC in 1967.

An outstanding and passionate climber, Chris Bonington will this April join the elite group of mountaineers to have been awarded a Career Piolet d'Or.

]]> (Damian Granowski) News Wed, 04 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000