Pelmo d’Oro, the Foundation honours the Alpine Club

Pelmo d’Oro and the alpine world celebrate their silver anniversary. The award established by the Province of Belluno is now in its twenty-fifth year. The municipality of San Tomaso Agordino will host the awards ceremony this year, scheduled for Saturday 29 July 2023, starting at 10.15 am. Among the awards is the ‘Special’ award, first presented by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation in 2017; this year, the Special award will go to the Alpine Club, the world’s first alpine club, founded in London on 22 December 1857 by John Ball.

Monte Pelmo, Ph. Elia Lazzari

Our thanks go to those who first loved the Dolomites

There is no doubt that it was the first alpinists who appreciated and disseminated to the outside world the aesthetic, scenic and scientific values that would later become the criteria for the Dolomites’ inclusion on the World Heritage List. Among those early alpinists was John Ball himself who, along with a guide from Borca di Cadore, had been the first to conquer the summit of Pelmo two months before founding the Alpine Club. Since then, these values have become universally known and have increased the responsibility of local populations who are committed to safeguarding the marriage between human activity and environmental protection, which has grown more complex with the development of tourism.

A “coherent” location

San Tomaso Agordino is the right place in which to reaffirm these values – in recent years, the municipality has dedicated itself to a slow type of tourism that respects both time and the environment, thanks in part to the extraordinary views of the north-west face of Monte Civetta.

The award winners

The Pelmo d’Oro Award for active mountaineering will be presented to alpine guide Santiago (Santi) Padròs, Spanish by birth and adopted by Belluno. The award for a thirty-year mountaineering career, highlighted by 140 new routes and countless ascents, including on less-trodden peaks, will go to Alessandro Massucci from Zoldo.  The Alpine Culture Award will go to Italo Zandonella Callegher, who, with a stroke of brilliance, recounted not only the Dolomites and their history, but also the values that bring people and mountains together. On the 25th anniversary of the Pelmo d’Oro, the Special Award of the Province of Belluno will go to its creators, Oscar De Bona and Roberto De Martin. The winner of the “Giuliano De Marchi” Special award is Silvana Rovis, who also knew how to tell the story of mountaineering from a woman’s perspective.