Piolet d'Or - 2002:
January 12, 2002
during the International Ice Fall Meet at Argentière-la-Béssée came off presentation of the award for the best ascent achievement of the year. Organizers of competition are the French GHM (Groupe de Haute Montagne) and Montagnes magazine. Sir Chris Bonington presided the jury this year. The ascent was chosen from a select group of six nominations that best represent the most important alpine achievements of the year 2001.

Cris Bonington

The nominees for the Piolet d'Or 2002 award were:

  • Jim Bridwell and Spencer Pfingsten - both are from USA. Dent Moose peak, Alaska, the first ascent The Beast route on Eastern wall, top: 3150m, length of a route - 1500m. Difficulty: VII/A5/6a +/WI4 +/M6. Duration of ascent n: 29 days in 2000y and 30 in 2001.
  • Marko Prezelj - Slovenia, Stephen Koch - USA. Denali peak, Alaska. Luna route,the first ascent, the SW Face. The length of a route is 6193m (17 longueurs). Difficulty: V +, WI6 +, M5 +. Duration: 23 hours.
  • Mauro Bole, Mario Cortese and Fabio Dandri - all are from Italy. The first ascent of "Woman and Chalk" on the East Face of Shipton Spire, Trango Towers in Pakistan, The height of top: 5850m. Length of a route: 11500m (29 rope pitches). Difficulty: 8a. Duration: 13 days on a wall, exploring by free-style climbing, the insurance without sky-hooks employment.
  • Patrick Berhault - France Big Alps traverse. 22 principled tops of the Alps, between them on foot, on a bicycle or on a ski. 167 days, 141683 m climbing, 22 280 m on walls.
  • Valery Babanov - Russia. Solo first-ascent of the north face of Meru Central Peak (6310m), located in India's Garwhal. Height: 6310m. Length of a route: 2000m. Difficulty: ED (5 +/6a, A1/A2, M5, 75 ). Duration of ascent: 5 days on a wall (September 17-22).
  • Victor Kozlov's team, (the leader of the team S.Timofeev + 11) First ascent to the Lhotse Middle, Nepal. Height: 8414m. Length of a route: 2000m. Difficulty: ice 80 , vertical rocky plates up to 15 meters at height over 8000 m. Duration: 2 months (April 1 - May 29), 6 days on final attempt, basecamp - top (May 23-27).

Valery Babanov is this year's winner of the Piolet d"Or 2002. He climbed the 2000m long route over a five day period from 17-22 September 2001 and encountered difficulties of up to 5+/6a, A1/A2, M5, 75°. It was Babanov's second attempt at the route after a failed attempt in Spring 2001, and also his third consecutive nomination for the Piolet d'Or. In past year Valery was nominated with ascent on Northern wall of Kangtega peak also. Then winners became Thomas Huber and Ivan Volf for magnificent ascent on Shivling. You can see details of ascent on Valery's official site -



It is pleasant to notice that it's already the second ascent performed by the Russian climbers in a history of the award, estimated as the best of the year. First time the Piolet d'Or has received Sergey Efimov's team for "a solution of a century problem" - ascent of the West Face of Mackalu.


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