The climbing ace was honoured with a special mention at the 2013 Piolets d’Or award ceremony which took place earlier this month.
Judges consisting of alpinists Silvo Karo, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Katsutaka Yokoyama and Stephen Venables chose to recognise David Lama, and climbing partner Peter Ortner, for achieving the first free ascent of Cerro Torre in Patagonia as well as Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk for the first "by fair means ascent" of the same peak.
“The Piolets d’Ors are the most well-known awards in mountaineering. The fact that my free ascent of Cerro Torre received a special mention there is something I don’t take for granted and I’m pleased with that recognition," said Lama.
"At the same time I’m of the opinion that alpinism has way too much to do with arts to be able to categorize achievements with prizes or awards. We are not athletes that fight over the best ascent; we are climbers and alpinists that live their ideas and dreams! What I liked most about the ceremony was the international exchange between like-minded mountain enthusiasts.”
David and Ortner form a party that has been responsible for some of the most stunning alpine achievements in recent years and, of course, while they were in Chamonix the two young alpinists, from Tyrol, also wanted to do some climbing on one of the many stunning faces in the Mont Blanc region.
“The mountains above Chamonix have inspired me since my early competition days," said Lama, "and ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ is a route that I've had on my mind for a couple of years.”
Not a lot of persuading was needed to get Peter psyched, so the duo set off for the climb. Finding the route in heavy fog turned out to be quite a challenge, but then the climb itself proved to be as good as its reputation. Although conditions weren’t ideal, David and Peter managed to speed through the route quick enough to make it back in time for the ceremony in Chamonix.
“The fourth and the fifth pitch turned out to be the crux of the route. It’s a really demanding dihedral, especially if there is very little ice. The rest of the 600 metres of climbing were pure enjoyment!” said David.