STA, 1 August 2019 - Slovenian mountaineers Aleš Česen, Luka Stražar and Brit Tom Livingston will receive the Piolet d'Or, the top award in mountaineering, in September for their ascent of Latok I in August last year (as reported here).
"Three expeditions will be awarded this year. The two others will be posthumous awards, unfortunately. The solo ascends by David Lama and Hansjörg Auer, who, sadly, passed away in Canada this spring," Česen has been quoted as saying by the website of the Slovenian Mountaineering Association.
BREAKING NEWS: Mountain Equipment Pro Team Athlete Tom Livingstone has made the long awaited first ascent of Latok I [7145m] from the North over 7 days with Ales Cesen and Luka Strazar - https://t.co/PqnzIdX1hN pic.twitter.com/N50kg6xlN2— MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT (@MTNEQUIPMENT) August 13, 2018
Česen, Stražar and Livingston were only the second expedition that ascended the 7145-metre Latok I and the first ever to reach the peak over its north face.
This will be the second Pioler d'Or for both Česen and Stražar. The former was part of an expedition that won the award in 2015, while the latter was part of an expedition honoured in 2012.
It will also be the eight Piolet d'Or going to Slovenia, since the award was first handed out 27 years ago. Only last year, Andrej Štremfelj was honoured with the lifetime achievement award.
The awards, given out by the French magazine Montagnes and The Groupe de Haute Montagne, will be conferred at the Ladek Mountain Festival running between 19 and 22 September in Poland.
Related: Books about Slovenia - Alpine Warriors, A History of Modern Slovenian Alpinism
By now fans know the routine – Janja Garnbret will come out on top of the Lead and Bouldering events, with her peers competing for second and third places. But this weekend saw a shock result in Chamonix, France, as the 20-year old Slovene, who already has more victories than any other competitor in the sport’s history, reached just 9th place in the semi-finals, not even making it through to the final round. With Garnbret watching the top place on the podium went to Korea’s Chaehyun Seo, followed by China’s YueTong Zhang and Austria’s Jessica Pilz. The highest ranked Slovene was Lučka Rakovec, in 7th place, while Mia Krampl was 11th and Vita Lučkan 12th.
The men’s event was won by the Czech Adam Ondra, followed by Germany’s Alexander Megos and Austria’s Jakob Schubert. The top Slovene men in Chamonix were 18th placed Martin Bergant and 20th placed Domen Škofic.
June 14, 2019
Late snowfalls have delayed the mountaineering season in Slovenia’s high mountains this year, which usually begins mid-June. Anyone headed to high mountains at the moment is advised to bring appropriate winter equipment, or turn around and head down if stumbling upon an icy white surface below a mountain peak.
Accordingly, not all mountain huts have opened their doors to climbers yet. For the current situation on mountain huts please follow this website: https://plangis.pzs.si/?koce=1
Although we seem to be still far from the beginning of the season, the mountain rescue service already intervened 201 times this year and 17 people lost their lives. (source)
Finally, hikers are advised not to greet any helicopters they see by waving to it unless in need of help.
Related: June 16 in Slovenian History: Mountain Rescue Service Established
STA, 9 June 2019 - Winning also the last, sixth, bouldering event in Vail, US, Slovenia's Janja Garnbret has completed this year's World Cup bouldering season making history by winning all events in a season. She clinched the overall bouldering title already earlier this year.
"This was my lifetime dream. I can't believe I did it. I'm speechless, I'm so emotional right now," the world's leading sport climber said crying tears of joy.
No male or female climber has managed to win all World Cup bouldering events in a season since the competition was launched in 1999. This was her 25th World Cup win.
Garnbret comes out about 1:52
Garnbret, the winner of the 2018 Slovenian Athlete of the Year Award, has been winning bouldering events ever since 21 April 2018, when she won in Moscow.
Last September, she was also crowned bouldering champion at the Climbing World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, also taking gold in combined and silver in lead.
Garnbret, who won the lead climbing and combined World Cup titles in the last three years, is a serious candidate for two more milestone achievements this season.
The lead season starts in July and she could well become the first ever climber with four straight lead titles. She also hopes to emerge the winner in combined, which would make her the first climber ever to secure all three titles (bouldering, lead, combined) in a season.
STA, 23 May 2019 - Two Slovenian mountaineers have completed a series of climbs in remote mountains of Alaska on routes that no human ever set foot on before, conquering three virgin peaks in the process.
Janez Svoljšak and Miha Zupin pioneered five complex new routes in the total length of 4,250 metres in the mountains above the Revelation Glacier between mid-March and mid-April.
The longest and toughest to descend was a 1,300 metre Slovenian route up Apocalypse North, a 2,750 metre peak never climbed before. It took the pair eight hours and a half to climb the mountain.
The expedition was supported by the Slovenian Mountaineering Association, which noted in a press release that the area explored had been visited by one mountaineering expedition a year on average over the past decade, and that the base camp was only accessible by aircraft.
"The area is remote, which means communication is limited to satellite phone messages, and access to the base camp depends on the weather," said Svoljšak, the head of the expedition.
"The weather there is very unsettled, which was hardest during the first few days when the wind bent the poles supporting our tent, and forced us to move on our knees while climbing the ridge."
The strong winds blew large amounts of snow into the face of the mountain, which they had to remove in order to hit the rock or ice, which Svoljšak said was harder than climbing.
Svoljšak, like Zupin member of the Kranj mountaineering section, won the European ice climbing championship title plus a World Cup event in 2016.
The Slovenian Alaska expedition also pioneered the conquest of Four Horsemen East (2,600 m) via a 600 metre East Ridge route, and a peak that they named Wailing Wall (2,450 m).
They also climbed the east face of Golgotha (2,724 m) up a virgin 900 metre route that they named Farther, and Seraph (2,650 m) up a 700 metre new route they christened as The Last Supper for Snow Strugglers.
The weekend saw another IFSC competition event, this time bouldering in Munich, with five Slovenian women in the top 8, and two Slovenian men in the same.
As usual, the women’s event was won by Janja Garnbret, with second and tird places going to Fanny Gibert (France) and Mia Krampl (Slovenia). The other Slovenes in the top 8 were Katja Kadić (6th), Vota Lukan (7th) and Lučka Rakovec (8th).
Turning to the men’s event, this was won by Austria’s Jakob Schubert, followed by Adam Ondra (Czech Republic) and Jan Hojer (Germany).The Slovene’s in the top 8 were Anže Perharc (5th) and Gregor Vezonik (8th).
If you’re in Ljubljana and want to see the world’s best sports climbers in action, then note that on Saturday Kongresni trg will see Janja Garnbret and others in a free event, Triglav the Rock, with details here.
STA, 13 May 2019 – May 13 marked 40 years to the day since Andrej Štremfelj and Nejc Zaplotnik made history as the first Slovenians who reached the summit of the highest mountain in the world. On this occasion, the Slovenian Alpine Museum in Mojstrana (NW) honoured the anniversary with a ceremony and an exhibition about their conquest of Mount Everest.
Štremfelj and Zaplotnik were part of a Yugoslav expedition which featured 25 members, with 21 of them being Slovenians, and was led by Slovenian mountaineer Tone Škarja.
The two mountaineers achieved their goal after 45 days of climbing the mountain's western ridge in extreme weather conditions and struggling with oxygen deprivation.
The museum located under Triglav, Slovenia's highest mountain, started the ceremony exactly at 01:51pm, when, according to local time, Zaplotnik announced the exciting news to the base camp.
"Tone, we're at the top. We're sitting at the Chinese pyramid and don't know what to do," he famously said.
Books about Slovenia: Alpine Warriors, A History of Modern Slovenian Alpinism
Two days later the peak was also reached by Slovenian mountaineer Stane Belak - Šrauf and Stipe Božić, the first Croatian to summit Mount Everest, as well as Nepalese mountaineer Ang Phu.
A majority of the Slovenian members of the 1979 expedition and representatives of the Mountaineering Association were received today by President Borut Pahor, who congratulated them on the anniversary.
They also attended the ceremony in Mojstrana, with Škarja pointing out that a number of factors contributed to the accomplishment, including successful preparation, courage, experience, cooperation and pursuit of the common goal.
Štremfelj reminisced about the feat, saying that he and Zaplotnik congratulated themselves at the top and shed a few tears of joy.
"Resounding cheers from all camps told us everything we needed to know about the collective spirit. We reached the top on behalf of all of us and saved the exhibition from fears of failure so that all our efforts would not have been in vain," said Štremfelj, adding that their joy could not last since one of the members had a fatal accident.
The realisation of what they had achieved sank in later, when they were already back and celebrating in Slovenia. Nowadays, their route is considered the most difficult among eleven established routes. Only the 1984 Bulgarian expedition has succeeded in conquering it as well.
To mark the feat, the museum is also hosting an exhibition featuring items and archives about the expedition and Mount Everest in general, including a journal entry by US chronicler of Himalayan mountaineering expeditions Elizabeth Hawley, describing the 1979 expedition.
The 8,848-metre Mount Everest has been summited by 18 Slovenians, who climbed to the top using three different routes.
Slovenian mountaineers have made a name for themselves among the Himalayas' world records, succeeding in climbing a route that had never been attempted before, women's ascent and ascent without the use of supplemental oxygen as well as the first ski descent from the top of the mountain.
All our stories about mountaineering and Slovenia are here
This weekend saw another leg of the IFSC Climbing World Cup, with both bouldering and speed events in Wujiang, China. As usual, Janja Garnbret, who competes only in lead and bouldering, took the top spot on the podium, this time followed by Akiyo Noguchi and Ai Mori, both from Japan. Two other Slovenes also made it into the top 20, with Katija Kadić at 13th position, and Lučka Rakovec at 15th.
Turning to the men’s bouldering event, this was won by Austria’s Jakob Schubert, followed by Keita Dohi and Kokoro Fuji, both from Japan. Slovenia’s Jernej Kruder, usually much higher ranked, had to content himself with 16th place, with Gregor Veznok at 15th , while Anze Peharc was 20th.
Another bouldering competition and another first place finish for Janja Garnbret, as the young Slovene took gold for the third time in the third event of the season in Chongqing, China. She was joined on the podium by Akiyo Noguchi (Japan) in second place, and Austria’s Jessica Pilz. Katija Kadić was the other Slovenian in the top 10, finishing sixth.
Turning to the men’s bouldering, this was won by Manuel Cornu (France), followed by Japan’s Tomoa Narasaki, with Slovenia’s Anže Peharc in third, while Gregor Vezonik was eighth.
The results means that Slovenia remains at the top of the team rankings for bouldering, ahead of Japan and France, while the women’s event is led by Janja Garnbret. With regard to the men’s overall rankings, the Czech Adam Ondra is in the lead, followed by Slovenia’s Jernej Kruder.
It was another good IFSC Climbing Worldcup weekend for Slovene climbers in Moscow, with Janja Garnbret coming in first place in the bouldering event, followed by the UK’s Shauna Coxsey and France’s Fanny Gilbert. In 4th place for the women was another Slovene, Lučka Rakovec.
With regard to the men, Jernej Kruder took the gold, followed by the Czech Adam Ondr and Japan’s Yoshiyuki Ogata, with another Slovene in 4th place, Anže Peharc.
These performances secured first place for Slovenia in the team rankings, with 331 points, followed by Japan (210), and France (151).
All our stories on climbing – both sport and alpine – are here.