The Himalaya Blog

Piolets d'Or 2013 - Review to be held

11 April 2013
Piolets d'Or logo

The Piolets d'Or says it will shortly be holding a meeting with French and Italian partners to "review the event and establish a basis for the continued future of the Piolets d'Or." The announcement follows the resignation of two French-based climbing magazines from the organisation in protest at the decision by this year's jury to award Piolets d'Or to all six of the shortlisted climbing teams.

Piolets d'Or 2013 - Winners and Quitters

9 April 2013
The Dru at sunset

2012 was a bumper year for mountaineering. The Piolets d'Or award - the mountaineering equivalent of the Booker Prize - was last week awarded jointly to six mountaineering teams for their ground-breaking climbs in the Himalaya and Karakoram. Smiles all round, you might think.

Not a bit of it. The Editors-in-Chief of Montagnes Magazine and Vertical Magazine have resigned from the Piolets d'Or Steering Committee.

Piolets d'Or - 6 winners

5 April 2013
Piolets d'Or

The Piolets d'Or jury has decided that all 6 of the teams nominated for this year's Piolets d'Or mountaineering award are winners. The jury of four climbers, headed by jury President Stephen Venables, says it would be invidious to separate the teams. Their decision was announced at a presentation this evening (Friday 5 April) in Courmayeur, at the foot of Mont Blanc.

Piolets d'Or - Special mention for two climbs on Cerro Torre

21 March 2013
Cerro Torre, Argentina

All six of the climbs nominated for this year's Piolets d'Or award are on mountains in the Himalaya and Karakoram. But the jury of mountaineers announced today that it is giving "special mention" to two other climbs besides the nominated ascents. The climbs they have chosen to highlight are two ascents in January last year of the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre in Patagonia (Argentina).

Tibetan National Uprising Day in Scotland

14 March 2013
Tibetan flag

Tibetans and other supporters of Tibetan freedom held a demonstration in Scotland's capital Edinburgh on Sunday 10 March to mark the 54th anniversary of the Lhasa Uprising against Chinese rule. 

The demonstration was organised by Edinburgh University Tibet Society with support from the Tibetan community of Scotland, the Tibet Society UK, Students for a Free Tibet, the Kashmir Solidarity Movement and other groups. It was one of many demonstrations held in towns and cities around the world, including London, Brussels, Berlin, New York, Melbourne, Delhi, Dhramshala, Mumbai, Leh, Tokyo and Madrid.

Piolets d'Or 2013 - 6 climbs nominated

11 March 2013
Read the article

The 72 ascents put forward for the this year's Piolets d'Or mountaineering award have been whittled down by the jury to just 6 nominations. All of the nominated climbs were in the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges, and all of them were completed in alpine style. Some were exploratory ascents of untouched routes. Others were first ascents of sought-after lines that have defeated a number of previous attempts.

Piolets d'Or 2013 - summits, lists and prizes

8 March 2013
Read the article

Prizes are silly. A prize that shines some light into neglected crannies of mountaineering creativity is a useful sort of silliness. The people behind the annual mountaineering Piolet d'Or award seem to understand that.

This year's winners will be announced at a ceremony in Chamonix, France at the beginning of April. But the Piolet d'Or "Super Big List" of "major ascents during 2012"  is perhaps more interesting than the names of the eventual winners.


14 September 2012
Airport arrivals sign

If you don't live in South Asia, your trip to the Indian Himalaya will probably begin at Delhi airport. Watch out!

News from Lhasa?

26 August 2012
Pilgrims in Lhasa

Chinese artist and dissident Ai Wei Wei says he "would feel ashamed to go" to Lhasa. The city seems to be in a state of near-lockdown. Have you been there in the last few months? Please tell us about it.

Ai Wei Wei recently told the US-based Foreign Policy magazine that he has never been to Lhasa. He said:

"I would feel ashamed to go. I think to respect [the Tibetans] is not to touch them, to leave them alone. "

Nepal rethinks solo trekking ban

26 August 2012
Nepal rethinks solo trekking ban

Apparently common sense is winning, at least for the moment. The Nepal Government says it has put its earlier decision to ban solo trekking on hold until further notice.