Editor’s Note: Last year’s Piolet d’Or ceremony, which awarded three teams the golden ice axe, has caused some confusion about this year’s awards. Alpinist mistakenly reported that three awards would be given to teams with the most technical, committing and exploratory ascents. In fact, the Piolet jury has license to award one, some or all of the finalists with a golden ice axe; they also may or may not categorize the award(s). This story was amended on March 4, 2010.
The jury that will determine the winner(s) of this year’s Piolet d’Or recently pared down 52 climbs, settling on five finalists: Kazakh Dedechko-Urubko (M6 6b A2/3, 2600m) by Kazakhs Denis Urubko and Boris Dedechko on the southeast face of Cho Oyu (8201m), Nepal; Bullock-Houseman (M6, 1800m) by Brits Nick Bullock and Andy Houseman on the north face of Chang Himal (6750m), Nepal; Carte Blanche (6c 75 degrees, 1100m) by Russians Mikhail Mikhailov and Alexander Ruchkin on Peak 6134m, China; The Great White Jade Heist (M6 WI5 5.7 R, 2650m) by Americans Jed Brown and Kyle Dempster, and Scotsman Bruce Normand on a north-facing buttress along the west ridge of Xuelian Feng (6422m), China; and Sokolov-Gorelik (ED, 2400m) by Russians Vitaly Gorelik and Gleb Sokolov on Peak Pobeda (7439m), Kyrgyzstan.
Voting and the award ceremony will take place in the afternoon of April 10 in Chamonix, France. Festivities in Chamonix and Courmayeur, Italy, will run April 7-10.
Reinhold Messner also will receive a golden axe. He has been selected as the 2010 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award.