The Piolet d’Or – or the Golden Ice Axe – is an award given for outstanding achievements within mountaineering.
Hosted by the leading centres of alpinism of Courmayeur and Chamonix in April 2011 it recognises those climbers who have done something extraordinary in the mountains. This year Doug was one of the three recipients receiving a special award for his Lifetime Contribution to mountaineering.
Although best known for making the first British ascent of Everest with Dougal Haston, Doug has made a total of forty five first ascents in the Himalaya and the World’s Greater Ranges. A record which nobody has bettered.
He said of the award, ‘Well I still enjoy getting out into the hills, but I suppose that at 70 I’m probably now past my best in the mountains, so it was a bit of a thrill to have all my past climbs recognised and to be able to enjoy a good party out in Chamonix and Courmayeur.’
Doug now joins the pantheon of the world’s greatest mountaineers – including Reinhold Messner and Walter Bonatti – who’ve received the Golden Ice Axe. He is however, no stranger to awards having received the Patron’s Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society as well as the CBE.
He commented, ‘Well awards are very nice things to get, but really the enjoyment I’ve received through the mountains – the wonderful experiences, great situations, stupendous views and outstanding friendships – does mean more. Through mountaineering I’ve been able to enjoy two sets of adventures, the first was in climbing and the second was in setting up Community Action Nepal. And really this has been the greatest thrill, for not only has it kept me in the mountains well beyond my expected sell by date, but it’s tremendous being able to work with and help the hill people of the Himalaya’.
Doug still lectures regularly about his climbing adventures to raise funds for Community Action Nepal and as he said ‘If you want to hear at first hand about my adventures of yesteryear – and why I won the Piolet d’Or – or to join in and help me with my current adventures come along to one of my lectures.’
Many Congratulations Doug!Go Back