Scots climbers conquer ‘the last great unclimbed route of the Himalayas’

Sandy Allan, from Newtonmore, and Rick Allen, from Aberdeen have been awarded the prestigious Piolet d’Or after a successful expedition to the Himalayas last year.

Dave Thompson, SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament to congratulate the two climbers.

Mr Thompson says: ‘I congratulate both mountaineers on this well-deserved honour for their efforts climbing the Himalayas.

‘Sandy and Rick are a testament to the adventurous Scottish spirit and continue the great Scottish tradition of mountaineers like John Cunningham, Tom Patey, and Dougal Haston.’

The Piolet d’Or has been described as the Oscar of mountaineering.This is the first time a Scot has been awarded the distinguished honour.

Previously described as the last great unclimbed route of the Himalayas, the two climbers successfully completed the Mazeno Ridge on the mountain Nanga Parbat.

Their expedition took them on a dangerous and gruelling trek over 13km consistently above 7000m in altitude.

Allan and Allen were honoured during a three-day event held in Chamonix in France and in Courmayeur in Italy.

Dave Thomson says: ‘I dabble with mountain walking and cannot imagine the level of physical and emotional determination involved in such an undertaking.

‘I would welcome the opportunity to personally congratulate both Sandy and Rick, and wish them nothing but the best in their future climbing endeavours.’

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