Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Kiwi alpinist is finalist for prestigious award

Kiwi alpinist is finalist for prestigious mountaineering award

New Zealand Alpine Club President John Cocks has today congratulated New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) member Graham Zimmerman for being selected as one of five finalists for the prestigious Piolets d’Or.

“This is a marvellous achievement and truly deserved. Graham’s ascent of Mt Laurens in a remote part of Alaska is at the extreme outer limits of human capability. A first ascent, conducted in this true ‘alpine’ style, is the purest form of climbing,” Mt Cocks said

“A nomination for the Piolets d’Or is a rare and highly sought-after occurrence. NZAC and the New Zealand climbing community are justifiably proud of Graham. For his ascent to be recognised internationally, at the highest level, is fantastic,” Mr Cocks said.

The Piolets d’Or (Golden Ice Axe) is an annual award recognising cutting-edge alpine climbs. In a pursuit that finds it difficult to compare the relative difficulty of climbs, it is regarded as the highest honour.

“Competition for the Piolets d’Or is incredibly high. Only the very best alpinists and their boldest ascents are considered,” Mr Cocks said.

On his nomination Graham commented: “I am truly honoured. While I do not believe in competition in climbing I see the Piolets d’Or as recognizing significant ascents that have held true to the core values of exploration, strong style and ethics and a maintenance of strong safety margins……I feel very good about it.”

“The first ascent of the North East buttress of Mt Laurens was an excellent trip that I felt resonated with my personal values of what I would like to achieve in the mountains. In an area with many unknowns we made decisions that allowed us to stay safe and climb a big technical route following a beautiful line,” he said.

Only one New Zealander, Athol Whimp, has won the Piolet D’or. In 1998 Whimp was awarded the prize for the first direct ascent of the north face of Thalay Sagar, in the Himalayas.

Graham Zimmerman received financial support from NZAC for his ascent of Mt Laurens, in the form of an NZAC Expedition Fund grant.

Background

The purpose of the Piolets d’Or awards is to raise awareness about the year’s greatest ascents from across the world. They aim to celebrate the taste for adventure, the bravery and sense of exploration that lie behind the art of climbing in the world’s great mountain ranges.

Graham Zimmermann was born in New Zealand and has split his time between NZ and the US. He has climbed extensively in New Zealand, North America, South America and Nepal. He recently opened a difficult route on the Aguja Guillaumet (Patagonia), and explored the wild Revelations Mountains (Alaska). He climbs exclusively in ‘alpine’ style.

Mount Laurens, 3,052m(Alaska) This isolated icy giant is situated on the Lacuna Glacier, south of Foraker. Mark Allen (USA) and Graham Zimmerman (USA/New Zealand) took two days to get to the base of the peak from their drop-off point, and then succeeded in making the first ascent of the northeast buttress and north ridge. They reached the summit after two bivouacs, for only its second ascent, negotiating unprotected climbing around large gargoyle cornices. Their ascent, and subsequent descent via the east face, was completed in a total of 67hours from 20-22 May.

The New Zealand Alpine Club was formed in 1891 and aims to promote and support climbing at all levels within New Zealand. The club has over 3200 members, ten regional sections and five full-time staff based at its headquarters in Christchurch. The scope of its activities are broad including publishing, the provision of 17 alpine huts and base lodges, instruction, advocacy, travel insurance and support for overseas climbing expeditions.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: The Typewriter Factory

I finished reading Don’t Dream It’s Over not long after it came out last August. I even started writing a review, which took something of an ‘I’m sorry people, but it’s already over’ approach. I’ve been pretty negative about journalism as it’s practiced in the mainstream (or MSM, or corporate media or liberal media or whatever terminology you prefer) for quite some time (see for example Stop the Press), and I believe the current capitalist media model is destructive and can’t be reformed. More>>

Sheep Update: Solo World Shearing Record Broken In Southland

Southland shearer Leon Samuels today set a new World solo eight-hours strongwool ewe-shearing after a tally of 605 in a wool shed north of Gore. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Dick Frizzell At The Solander Gallery

One of the most influential and celebrated contemporary Pop artists working in New Zealand, Dick Frizzell is mostly known for his appropriation of kitsch Kiwiana icons, which he often incorporates into cartoon-like paintings and lithographs. Not content with adhering to one particular style, he likes to adopt consciously unfashionable styles of painting, in a manner reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. More>>

Old Music: Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces NZ Tour

Following his recent sold out North American and UK tours, Adam Ant is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of his landmark KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER album with a newly-remastered reissue (Sony Legacy) and Australasian tour. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Looking Back

Writing a memoir that appeals to a broad readership is a difficult undertaking. As an experienced communicator, Lloyd Geering keeps the reader’s interest alive through ten chapters (or portholes) giving views of different aspects of his life in 20th-century New Zealand. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Purple (and Violet) Prose

This is the second recent conjoint publication by Reeve and Stapp; all to do with esoteric, arcane and obscure vocabulary – sesquipedalian, anyone – and so much more besides. Before I write further, I must stress that the book is an equal partnership between words and images and that one cannot thrive without the other. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news