I am very happy to announce you that me and my partners (my brother Olivier, Sean Villanueva, Ben Ditto and Reverend Bob Shepton) have just received the Piolet d'Or for our expedition in Greenland last summer. It is supposedly the most prestigious mountain award.
We are very surprised to have been first of all nominated and then now received the"Piolet d'Or" because it did not even cross our minds once that our expedition, where we actually didn't use a piolet could fit to the piolet d'or ;) Indeed our exedition was very different than any of the other nominated expeditions... and in that matter it was hard to imagine to be compared with any of them. All of them were extremely impressive so it felt a bit awkward because in my opinion all of them deserved to have it also.
From what I understood, here are few points why they picked our expedition:
- Tthey really appreciated the fact that we left the 9 climbs we put up in Greenland very clean. Only one bolt was placed on the whole exepdition.
- The area on the northwest coast of Greenland was totally unexplored and very remote.
- The spirit of our team
- But personally I think it's mostly the music that seduced them;)
Also from what I understood, chosing our expedition was a way to open the minds of poeple by proving that alpinism is a very wide discipline and most of all just a spirit of approching all types of mountain challenges.
The other Piolet d'Or was given to Katsutaka Yokoyama and Yasushi Okada for I-TO (ED+: WI5 M6, 2500m) on Mt. Logan's southeast face.
Have a nice day,