Two teams pick-up 2017 Piolet dâ€™Or awards
- Wednesday 19th April 2017
April 19th; 2017
Two teams have been honoured with awards in the 2017 Piolet d’Or; Nick Bullock and Paul Ramsden from the UK and Dmitry Golovchenko, Dmitry Grigoriev & Sergey Nilov from Russia.
Nyanchen Tanglha taken by Nick Bullock and Paul Ramsden
The Piolet d’Or are awarded annually to team(s) who complete outstanding ascents in ‘the greater rangers’ as judged by an international jury of pre-eminent mountaineers. This year the jury comprised Kazu Amano (Japan), Valery Babanov (Russia, now living in Canada), Herve Barmasse (Italy), Kelly Cordes (USA), Andy Houseman (UK), Thomas Huber (Germany), Sebastien Ratel (France), and ï¬nally Raphael Slawinski (Canada).
Nick Bullock and Paul Ramsden, two well-known mountaineers, got together for an attempt on Nyanchen Tanglha is a 7,000m massif in central Tibet. A rarely visited mountain, with currently diï¬ƒcult bureaucratic access, virtually no one had seen the north side of it, let alone been there. A distant photograph by the Japanese explorer Tom Nakamura inspired Bullock and Ramsden to complete the ï¬rst ascent of the 1,600m north face of the 7,046m southeast summit. This involved technical climbing (ED+), with a tricky descent in poor weather of the previously untouched east ridge into a completely diï¬€erent valley system. It was Paul Ramsden’s fourth Piolet d’Or.
The second award went to the Russian team comprising Dmitry Golovchenko, Dmitry Grigoriev and Sergey Nilov for their ascent of Thalaya Sagar, a 6,904m peak in India. Although the north face has many diï¬€erent lines already they climbed a virgin buttress direct. Dmitry Golovchenko, Dmitry Grigoriev, and Sergey Nilov, a tried and tested team on the big mountains with half a dozen or more years under their belts together, the North Buttress of 6,904m Thalay Sagar gave sustained alpine style ascent requiring eight bivouacs and with an overall diï¬ƒculty of ED2 and pitches of 5c A3 WI5 M7. They found that one of the most taxing sections comes right at the top, climbing through the overhanging shattered shale band. From the summit the Russians then went down the normal route on the west ridge.
The Torres Traverse completed by Haley and Honnold
The international jury also made two further ‘special mentions’; firstly by a Korean team of Cho Seok-mun, Kim Chang-ho, and Park Joung-yong who climbed a new route up the south face of Gangapurna (7,455m) in the Annapurna Sanctuary and secondly to Americans Colin Haley and Alex Honnold who completed the Torres Traverse in a single day.
For more on the Piolet d’Ors awards click through here.