Silvo Karo to Receive Lifetime Piolet d’Or

Silvo Karo will receive the Walter Bonatti-Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual ceremony in Briancon, France in November.

The 61-year-old Slovenian has climbed over 2,000 routes and made more than 300 first ascents.

Karo grew up in a small Slovenian village and soon felt the pull of extreme walls.

His most important climbs include first ascents of the South Face of Cerro Torre and the West Face of Bhagirathi III. At the time, Bhagirathi III was considered the hardest technical ascent in the Indian Himalaya. Janez Jeglic was his partner on both climbs.

Karo himself considers 1986’s ‘Psycho Vertical’ on Torre Egger his best new route in Patagonia. There, he also partnered with Jeglic as well as Francek Knez.

Together, the trio became known as The Three Musketeers. In the summer of 1983, when Karo was 23, they put up 19 new routes in Patagonia in two days, climbing largely unroped.

A young Silvo Karo.

A young Silvo Karo. Photo: Personal archive


He also did many first free ascents and speed climbs in his native Julian and Kamnik Alps. These included routes like Zaumak Nerva (7c), which were the most difficult in the country at the time.

Other international landmarks in his rich career included new routes on the East Face of Fitz Roy and the East Face of Aguja Val Bois. He also made the first one-day ascent of Trango Tower’s Eternal Flame.

His career spanned the Himalayan giants as well as 8a sport climbing. He had an affinity for going light and fast.

In 2007, Karo founded the Mountain Film Festival in Slovenia and was awarded his country’s Order of Merit.

Known for his humility, he especially valued close friendships with his climbing partners.

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.