Alan Rousseau and Tino Villanueva win 2020 Piolets d'Or

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Alan Rousseau and Tino Villanueva win 2020 Piolets d'Or

On September 19, 2020 four remarkable ascents will be awarded Piolets d'Or 2020 during the 25th edition of the Ladek Mountain Film Festival in Poland.  Of the four being awarded, two of the teams are American! Our own Beal and Grivel athlete Alan Rousseau is receiving the award for his 2019 ascent with Tino Villanueva of Tengi Ragi Tau (22,762 ft). 

The two highly experienced alpine guides completed the round trip October 10-17 from a glacer camp below the West face, spending 4 days on the technical terrain of the West Face. This ascent was 10 years in the making, as Alan started looking for a weakness on Tengi Ragi Tau at the age of 24 and is now receiving the award at the age of 34! After countless hours of planning, multiple trips to the area, a failed attempt due to weather, and plenty of blood, sweat, and tears, and cash thrown at the objective, they finally accomplished the objective and ascended where nobody else has.

Alan Rousseau and Tino Villanueva pose for a selfie at a bivy ledge part way up Tengi Ragi TauAlan Rousseau and Tino Villanueva pose for a selfie at a bivy ledge part way up Tengi Ragi Tau

Alan (left) and Tino (right) about half way up the face, on a ledge where they spen a total of four nights on different attempts. - ©Tino Villanueva

"In 2012, on their first expedition to the Himalaya, Alan Rousseau and Tino Villanueva made the first ascent of Langmoche Ri on the north ridge of Tengi Ragi Tau in Nepal's Rolwaling Himal. Walking below the west face of Tengi Ragi Tau they were mesmerized by its sheer magnitude and fine ice runnels through beautiful granite. They returned in 2014 to attempt a direct line, climbing to around 6,500m in less than ideal weather before retreating. Five years later and the face was now attracting the attention of several strong parties.

After crossing the Tashi Laptsa pass and camping on the Drolambo Glacier, the two Americans climbed the initial dry-tooling pitches to access the snowy face, then made three bivouacs before reaching the summit. A tricky rappel descent was made down the line of ascent. With a multi-pitch ice crux high on the route, followed by steep flutings of unprotectable snow, this technical and elegant line on one of the most outstanding unclimbed faces of the Rolwaling was just reward for the perseverance of two experienced alpine guides. Their ascent was only the second of this difficult mountain and the first in alpine style." - https://pioletsdor.net/index.php/en/home/2020-honoured-ascents/112-tengi-ragi-tau-6-938m

 

Drawing of the route "Release the Kraken" up the West Face of Tengi Ragi TauDrawing of the route "Release the Kraken" up the West Face of Tengi Ragi Tau

The team's line up the West Face. Release the Kraken. - ©Tino Villanueva/American Alpine Journal 

Alan Rousseau leading a pitch on Tengi Ragi Tau.Alan Rousseau leading a pitch on Tengi Ragi Tau.

Alan leading a mixed pitch - ©Tino Villanueva

Headshot of Alan RousseauHeadshot of Alan Rousseau

Learn more about Alan Rousseau on his athlete bio.

Learn more about Tino Villanueva on his website.

August 28, 2020
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