2011 Piolet d’Or Lifetime Contribution Award winner Doug Scott. Previous winners include Walter Bonatti and Reinhold Messner. The Piolet d’Or awards take place April 13-16 in Chamonix, France and Courmayeur, Italy. [Photo] Giulio Malfer
Following Walter Bonatti (2009) and Reinhold Messner (2010), Doug Scott has become the third recipient of the Piolet d’Or Lifetime Contribution Award for 2011. Scott started climbing at age 12 near his home in Nottingham, England. His self-titled “lengthy apprenticeship” began in the Alps and advanced to larger mountains abroad. He pioneered modern alpine style in the Greater Ranges, taking part in 45 expeditions to Asia resulting in 40 summits, half of them first ascents. Highlights of his career include one of the first major oxygen-free climbs in the Himalaya, the north ridge of Kangchenjunga in 1979, and a legendary eight day crawl down the Ogre in 1978 with two broken legs. Aside from his summit of Everest in 1975, he has always climbed in light and fast style. Scott is widely considered one of the greatest mountaineers of all time.
In 1990 while climbing in the Choktoi Valley in the Karakoram, Scott witnessed a porter fall into a river and disappear. Upon returning to the man’s village, he learned of a 50% child mortality rate due to Gastroenteritis from contaminated water. Scott raised funds and organized the construction of a pipeline to bring clean water to the village. Seeing the easily achieved success of the project, and feeling that he owed something to the porters and people of the region, Scott founded the charity Community Action Nepal in 1994 and has been organizing improvement projects ever since.
The Piolets d’Or is an annual celebration of alpinism. Held at the foot of Mont-Blanc, the festival brings together the worlds top mountaineers to honor the most significant ascents of the year. Though the Lifetime Contribution Award has been announced, the festival does not take place until April 13th-16th. The remaining awards will be chosen from 53 major ascents that took place in 2010. The jury is led by Greg Child, and includes four alpinists and two journalists.