As Chamonix and Courmayeur make the final preparations for an entire weekend of alpine celebration, we are now able to reveal the full programme of events for the 2015 Piolets d'Or.
The events kick off with a fitting tribute to one of the legends of alpinism, in the form of Jeff Lowe's Metanoia. The film will be screened at Chamonix's Vox cinema on Thursday 9th April at 9pm (tickets cost €5) and will be presented by another legendary climber, Catherine Destivelle. Touted as "one man's journey from the top of the world to the end of the line," the film chronicles Lowe's phenomenal contributions to climbing and the more recent challenges he has faced after being diagnosed with an "unknown neurodegenerative process" similar to MS.
On Friday 10th April, events continue in Chamonix at The Majestic from 6.30pm, where Chris Bonington will be hosting a book signing. There will also be food, drinks and live swing band Hot Savoy Jazz Affair.
From 8.30pm - and free to enter - the Piolets d'Or will look beyond the preceding year to launch the "1865: The Golden Age of Alpinism" event, which will be celebrated throughout the year in Chamonix to mark 150 years of alpine climbing.
This will be followed by the presentation of 4 prestigious awards. Firstly the venerable Sir Chris Bonington will be awarded the 2015 Piolet d'Or Career for a lifetime spent, not just climbing mountains, but espousing the sport to others. There will also be presentations to three climbing teams who have been recognising for their 2014 ascents:
- Aleksander Gukov and Aleksey Lonchinskiy (Russia) for their first ascent of the 1,620m high Southwest Face of Thamserku, Nepal.
- Ales Cesen, Luka Lindic and Marko Prezelj (Slovenia) for the first ascent of the 1,350m North face of Hagshu in the Indian Himalaya at ED, 90° ice.
- Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold (USA) for their complete traverse of Fitz Roy in Patagonia.
On Saturday evening (11 April) the action moves to Courmayeur and the Palanoir Cinema for the Official Ceremony of the 2015 Awards. From 9pm Kay Rush will host the event, with live music from l'Orage.
For more information visit the Piolets d'Or website.