The US magazine Climbing has published the results of its Golden Piton competition. Both categories and winners were rather specifically American. It will be recalled that last year’s winners included Valery Babanov and Seven Summits Club guide Sergey Kofanov. This year, Sergey became the seventh and youngest Russian to have completed the Seven Summits project.

The Golden Piton 2009 list is follows:

Chris Sharma (category – sport) — unquestionably, two 9b and undisputable authority.

Beth Rodden (trad) and Tommy Caldwell (big wall) — a rare case when family helps sports.

Fumitaka Ichimura, Yusuke Sato, and Katsutaka Yokoyama (alpine) — these Japanese guys have been amazing the alpinist community of Alaska with their series of ascents. Sadly, this year they lost two expedition comrades.

Paul Robinson (bouldering). He climbed whatever could be climbed and broke his leg, poor thing. He now climbs with his legs raised to 90 degrees.

Alex Honnold (solo) – apart from putting on a daring performance in the Yosemite Park, his mates and he impressed the mountain-climbing Britain during the autumn tournament.

Speaking of Sergey Kofanov, his year has been equally fruitful. After making several ascents as part of the Seven Summits Program, by year’s end he had climbed all the highest peaks of the continents. At a recent get-together of the Seven Summits Club, Sergey Kofanov shared his plans – to complete the Seven Summits project again, but this time in record time. He has precisely one year to complete the project again. Sergey is leaving for Aconcagua two weeks from now, with Everest next in line. Mount McKinley is up next in June...