A New Zealand climber has been recognised for completing one of the world's hardest mountain climbs by making the preliminary list for the prestigious honour Piolets d'Or.
Guy McKinnon was the first to complete a solo climb of the west face of Mt Tutoko in Fiordland, last July, which was a "huge milestone" for New Zealand mountaineering, Alpine Club general manager Sam Newton said.
The Piolets d'Or (Golden Ice Axe) is an annual award recognising cutting-edge alpine climbs. It is regarded as the highest honour in a pursuit that finds it difficult to compare the relative difficulty of climbs.
Only one New Zealander, Athol Whimp, has won the Piolets D'or. In 1998 Whimp was awarded the prize for the first direct ascent of the north face of Thalay Sagar in the Indian Himalayas.