The 2018 Piolet d’Or Awards have been announced and there are a number of ascents the award went to, including those on Gasherbrum I, Shispare and Nuptse.

The organization gave a special mention to Chantel Astorga, Anne Gilbert Chase and Jason Thompson for their first ascent of the southwest face, which took two trips to complete.

A special shout-out was also given to Astorga and Gilbert Chase for a recent climb in Alaska.

In a statement, the Piolet d’Or said, “Astorga and Gilbert Chase’s recent landmark four-day ascent of the Slovak Direct, a 2,750-metre route at Alaskan grade-six 5.9X M6 WI6+ on the south face of Denali.

“It’s one of the most difficult and direct routes on the mountain, are representative of the increasing rise in the levels of female alpinism.

“We hope that their ascents will continue to inspire and encourage women alpinists, as they inspire us all.”

Gilbert Chase and Astorga made the first all-female ascent of the Slovak Direct in June. Listen to Chris Kalman chat with Gilbert Chase below about how she got hooked on Denali (she and Astorga attempted this climb two years in a row), the joys of climbing steep ice with a 30-pound pack and how she feels about first female ascents.”

The Piolet d’Or award goes to alpine style climbs, often at high altitude, which requires the acceptance of loneliness.

“Up there it is only our strength of mind that keeps us alive,” states the Piolet d’Or. “Combine this with very technical climbing and you reach almost the ultimate levels of commitment and luck.

“This sort of climb is rarely achieved and the degree of uncertainty at the start is so high that few people are prepared to accept the challenge.”

Yesterday Chantel and I stepped off the Kahiltna glacier back into Talkeetna after almost a month off the grid. Smelling the warm summer air and putting on flip flops and cotton never felt so good. // From June 2-5 2018, C and I made the 9th overall (we think) and first female ascent of the Slovak direct on the South Face of Mount Denali completing a 2 year dream. It was an amazing and wild adventure that I can’t put into words at this time. It took everything we had and challenged our mental and physical strength many times over. What a beautiful mountain and a badass route! Thank you Blažej Adam, Tono Križo and František Korl for the vision in 1984. Thank you to @petzl_official for making this dream a reality and to @patagonia @lasportivana @julboeyewearna @clifbar for keeping me warm and happy up there. Also thank you to the @denalinps rangers for all of the hard work you do on the mountain. What an amazing place!! #alpineclimbing #denalinationalpark #lovethelifeyoulive

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