Silvo Karo, the Piolet d’Or 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award video


The video portrait of 61-year-old Slovenian mountaineer Silvo Karo who was awarded with the 14th Piolets d’Or Carrière 2022 last weekend at Briançon in France.

“Alpinism is an adventure and commercialism is taking that away.” These are the words of Silvo Karo, the 61-year-old Slovenian mountaineer last weekend at Briançon in France received the 14th Piolets d’Or Carrière 2022.

Previosuly the Lifetime Achievement award, officially entitiled Walter Bonatti Award went to Walter Bonatti, Reinhold Messner, Doug Scott, Robert Paragot, Kurt Diemberger, John Roskelley, Chris Bonington, Wojciech Kurtyka, Jeff Lowe, Andrej Štremfelj, Krzysztof Wielicki, Catherine Destivelle and Yasushi Yamanoi. Check out the video portrait prepared for the ceremony.

Karo has climbed over 2000 routes and made more than 300 first ascents. A selection of his most significant contributions outside Slovenia include:
1983: Fitz Roy, east face, new route, Devil’s Dihedral (6a A2 90°). Aguja Val Bois, east face, new route. D.E. (5 100°)
1985: Yalung Kang, north face, new route, reached 8,100m. Grandes Jorasses, north face, third ascent of Rolling Stones (6b A3 80°)
1986: Cerro Torre, east face, new route, Hell’s Direct (7a A4 M6 95°)
Broad Peak, normal route Torre Egger, southeast face, new route, Psycho Vertical (6c A3 90°). El Mocho, north face, new route, Grey Yellow Arrow (7a A0)
1987: Lhotse Shar, southeast ridge, reached 7,300m 1987-88. Cerro Torre, south face, new route (6b A4 75°)
1990: Bhagirathi III, west face, new route (6b A4 85°). Everest, west ridge to 7,500m
1993: El Capitan, Wyoming Sheep Ranch (5.10 A5)
1996: Nalumasortoq, new route, Mussel Power (7a A3). El Capitan, Salathé Wall in 10h 25min. Half Dome, Direct Northwest Face, 11h 20mins (speed record at that time)
1997: El Capitan, West Face (5.11c) in eight hours car to car
1999: Fitz Roy, west face, Ensueno, second overall and first free ascent (6b+ obl 45°). Fitz Roy, Slovak Route, alpine style with new variation from Glaciar Torre (6c 40°)
2000: La Esfinge, new route, Cruz del Sur (7b)
2002: Grand Pilier d’Angle, Divine Providence to Mont Blanc summit
2003: Cerro Murallon, first ascent of main summit
2005: Cerro Torre, southeast ridge, new route, Slovenian Sit Start (in a single push of 28 hours; 7a A2 70°). Aguja Poincenot, Sperone degli Italiani, second ascent (and first of this route to the summit, 6c A3).
2006: Trango Tower, Eternal Flame, first one-day ascent (7a A2 M5)
2009: Tofana de Rozes, south face, Goodbye 1999 (7b on sight, repeat). Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, Punta Brendal southeast face, Nero su Bianco (7b on sight, repeat). Meru Central, attempt on the then unclimbed Shark’s Fin in alpine style.

During all this time he made many new routes, first free ascents, and speed climbs in his native Julian and Kamnik Alps, including mountain routes such as Zaumak Nerva (7c) that were the most difficult in the country at the time. At his peak he was redpointing 8a.

In 2007 he founded the Mountain Film Festival in Slovenia, which aims to increase the production of Slovenian mountain films and popularize mountain culture.

In 2010 the then President of Slovenia, Danilo Turk, conferred one of the highest state honours, the Order of Merit, on Karo and Knez for “their achievements in Slovenian mountain climbing and for their contribution to the reputation of Slovenian mountaineering, and the greater recognition of Slovenia, throughout the world”.


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