The 2001 Polartec Challenge award recipients were announced at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival
, unveiling 18 of the world's best adventure expeditions to take place over the next 12 months.
Polartec Challenge is an international grant program that supports the spirit and practice of outdoor adventure. The awards support trips by frugal, low-impact individuals and teams whose vision, commitment, credibility and respect for the local culture and environment serve as role models to outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.
The Polartec Advisory Board meets annually. This group of internationally renowned adventurers draws from its own experiences to award a total of $75,000 to international expeditions. Board members include Chairman Stephen Venables (UK), John Harlin (USA), Gretel Ehrlich (USA), Bernard Amy (FRA), Jack Tackle (USA), Giorgio Daidola (ITA), Tatsuno Isamu (JAP), Arlene Burns (USA), Greg Child (AUS), Nicho Mailaender (GER) and Mark Jenkins (USA).
"With over 140 entries, there were so many exciting applications that our job was very challenging. I think we have ended up with a fantastic range of expeditions, all of which have captured our imagination," states Venables.
The winners for 2001 and their objectives are:
Rolando Garabotti (ARG) Ogre 2001 International Expedition, Pakistan
Graham Charles (NZ) Antarctic Peninsula Sea kayak Expedition, Antarctica
Jed Weingarten (USA) First Descent of the Yigong Tsangpo River, Tibet, China
Steve House (USA) Nuptse East Alpine Style, Nepal
Krzystof Wielicki (POL) Makalu K2 Winter 2000 - 2002, Nepal and Pakistan
Mick Fowler (UK) First Ascent of Peak 43, Nepal
Kanya Tanaka (JAP) Solo walk/ski traverse of the Canadian Rockies, Canada
Sean Isaac (CAN) Alpine style first ascent of Kizil Asker, Kyrghyzstan
Mike Libecki (USA) Traverse of the Taklimakan Desert, China
Manu Pellissier (FRA) First ascent of the NW ridge of Rakaposhi, Pakistan
Matt Terry (USA) Ecuador 2001 first descents and protection of the Napo Watershed, Ecuador
Simon Yates (UK) British Darwin Range Expedition, Chile
Jimmy Chin (USA) First ascent of the south face of K7, Pakistan
Giles Elkaim (FRA) Arktika Linking the North Cape to the Bering Strait, Scandanavia and Russia
Carlos Buhler (USA) 2001 International Melungtse Expedition, Tibet, China
Seb Mankelow (UK) Himalayan Ski Traverse, India
Jean Michel Asselin (FRA) Ascent of Amne Machen, Tibet, China
Lonnie Dupre (USA) Completion of the first circumnavigation of Greenland, Greenland
For detailed descriptions of the expeditions, Click Here.
Polartec Challenge is sponsored by Malden Mills Industries, Inc., manufacturer of Polartec fabrics, the most innovative and technically advanced fabrics for all climates and adventures.