Simone Moro and Denis Urubko have been awarded the prestigious 2009 Eiger Award.
The ceremony on Saturday 6 June in Grindelwald, Switzerland was the culmination of a week long celebration of mountain culture, giving mountaineers and guests the opportunity to explore the fascination of the mountains, through both discussion and experience.
The Eiger Award, first awarded in 2008, was launched to honour “people who have, through their mountaineering achievements, brought the value and fascination of mountaineering and the mountains closer to the general public”. The aim of the award is, quite simply, to inspire all who love the mountains. The mountains present untold physical and mental challenges, whilst giving sanctuary from the stress of everyday life and a certain peace for those who look for it. The award celebrates exploration - because even in the Alps, the playground of Europe, “one can still explore one’s own personal new territory”.
North Face global athlete Simone Moro and Denis Urubko are both renowned for their achievements as alpinists, and for their passion for the mountains. Most recently, in February 2009, together they made the first winter ascent of Makalu (8463m). With this ascent of “the winter crown of the Himalayas”, Simone and Denis touched the limits of human endurance. This ‘crown’ had posed the last great challenge for high altitude Himalayan mountaineering in winter. Their success realised the dreams and experience of almost 30 years, from the first winter attempt in 1980. Makalu is a true giant in stature (at 8463m it is the 5th highest mountain in the world), in beauty, and in the minds and imaginations of the best high altitude alpinists of the world. Simone and Denis opened a chapter into a new era by their success.
Source: North Face press release
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