Alpine style vs. Nismdai style ?
On 19 November last, on the stage of the Briançon Theatre, France, the Georgians Archil Badriashvili and Baqar Gelashvili were the first mountaineers of the ceremony to hold up, smiling but modestly, a Piolet d’Or. A Piolet d’Or awarded for a first they achieved in nine days in September 2021: the ascent (and descent) of the north-west face of the north-west Saraghrar (7,300 m, Pakistan), a summit of the Hindu Kush that had remained unclimbed until then.
Badriashvili and Gelashvili (who teamed up with Giorgi Tepnadze, not present in Briançon, editor’s note) were applauded for a long time by the 500 people who packed the hall. Among them were a crowd of mountaineering enthusiasts, the local elected representatives hosting the event and also the Georgian Minister of Culture and Sport, Tea Tsouloukiani. This Georgian success is unprecedented, and “the archetype of a modern Piolet d’Or”, says himalayist Patrick Wagnon, the only member of the jury present and himself selected in 2005 for
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