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

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news