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The 2009 recipients are....


Photo: Pascal Tournaire

Spirit of exploration: the first ascent of the South-East face of Kamet (7756m, India) by the mixed Japanese team of Kazuya Hiraide and Kei Taniguchi, who opened the route alpine style between 26th September and 7th October 2008.
Name of the route: Samurai directe
Height of climb: 1800m
Difficulties declared: mixed M5+, ice 5+
They were the first climbers to attempt and climb this route. Kei Taniguchi is the first woman to be awarded a Piolet d’Or.

Commitment: a new route on the North face of Kalanka (6931m, India).
In September 2008, the Japanese climbers Fumitaka Ichimura, Yusuke Sato and Kazuki Amano achieved the first complete ascent, alpine-style, of a new route on the North face of Kalanka.
Height of climb: 1800m
Difficulty declared: M5
Two-thirds of the way up, a snowstorm forced them to stop for three days.  The storm over, they then continued to the summit when many would have turned around and descended.

Technical difficulty: the first ascent of the North face of Tengkampoche (6500m, Nepal).
Swiss climbers Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten opened a new route and made the first ascent of the north face of Tengkampoche between 21st and 24th April 2008.
Name of the route: Checkmate
Height of climb: 2000m
Difficulties declared: mixed M7, ice 5, rock 6/A0
The extreme technical level of this climb impressed the jury.  The route was the most difficult ever encountered at this altitude in 2008.
Piolet d'or édition 2012


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