Alpinist John Roskelley, 65, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Piolet d’Or in Chamonix, France, in late March 2014. The honor is given to those “whose spirit inspired subsequent generations.” Roskelly is the first American and sixth recipient of the Golden Ice Axe.
Roskelley, who now resides in Spokane, Washington, is best known for his solo ascent of Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world, without use artificial oxygen in 1980. The technical difficulties of the route "were of a level never before attained in Himalayan climbing," Roskelley wrote in the American Alpine Journal.
Roskelley told Rock and Ice magazine that the lifetime achievement award is “a surprise to me, given the hundreds of exceptional climbers throughout the world. I will be accepting it on behalf of all of my teammates through the years who made this possible. After all, I couldn’t have reached the summits of so many classics without them.”