Among the many international climbers and writers at the 2018 Piolet d’Or was Canadian Bernadette McDonald. The event took place from Sept. 20 to 23 in Ladek Zdroj in Poland.
Historically, the event has taken place in Chamonix, La Grave, Grenoble and Courmayeur. This was the first time the Piolet d’Or took place outside of France.
A number of top climbers made the trip to the awards ceremony, including Chantel Astorga and Anne Gilbert Chase, who received Notable Female Achievement awards for the first ascent of the southwest face of Nilkanth in India’s Garhwal Himalaya, which they climbed with Jason Thompson.
Tommy Caldwell was on hand to receive an award that Alex Honnold won, as Honnold was at a film premiere in New York for Free Solo.
Leszek Cichy, who made the first winter ascent of Everest who presented the award to Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajima from Japan. The two made the first ascent of the northeast face of Shispare in the Pakistan Karakoram.
Then Chris Bonington awarded French climbers Frédéric Degoulet, Benjamin Guigonnet and Hélias Millerioux for their new route on the south face of Nuptse.
The last of the three awards went to the Czech team of Zdeněk Hák and Marek Holeček for their new direct route on the southwest face of Gasherbrum I.
The Piolet d’Or Career or Lifetime Achievement Award went to Slovenian alpinist Andrej Štremfelj. Nico Favresse and Sean Villanueva then played music for Štremfelj
Top climber Luka Lindic said, “It was an honor for me to be part of an event where Andrej Štremfelj became the first Slovenian to gain a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Piolets d’Or ceremony. I think it’s a good idea the event moved to a different place to get some freshness. I must honestly say that with the strong tradition of festivals in Poland, and the good atmosphere I experienced in Ladek, I could hardly imagine a better place. Hats off to the organizers.”
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