Pelmo d’Oro: the Foundation honours Anselmo Cagnati

Vigo di Cadore will host the 24th edition of the Pelmo d’Oro Award on Saturday 30 July 2022 at 10.15 a.m. in the Arena di Laggio. This year, the UNESCO Dolomites Special Prize will be awarded to Anselmo Cagnati, one of the leading experts on the cryosphere at both the national and international levels.

Locandina dedicata al Premio Pelmo d'Oro

The award winners

The recipients of the 2022 Pelmo d’Oro are Francesco Vascellari from Cadore and Loris De Barba from Limano for active mountaineering, Mauro Valmassoi from Cadore for his mountaineering career, and Pietro Sommavilla from Belluno for alpine culture. The Special Award from the Province of Belluno goes to Stefania Constantini and René De Silvestro, champions at the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing. The awards ceremony is organised every year by the Province of Belluno and held in collaboration with the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation.

Cagnati: experiencing (and studying) snow and ice

The jury explains its motivation for awarding the UNESCO Dolomites special prize to mountaineer and scholar Anselmo Cagnati, who worked at the Avalanche Centre in Arabba for years: “He is a mountaineer and ski-mountaineer of distinction, although he avoids the publicity that sporting exploits in the Dolomites often attract. He has worked at the Avalanche Centre in Arabba for decades and is the author of numerous scientific publications. He has never failed to provide his expertise and experience in social and cultural activities in the spirit of service, setting an example when it comes to upholding the values of the Dolomites World Heritage, which are inherent in UNESCO’s mission.”

Anselmo Cagnati was born in Falcade and still lives there, combining his passion for the mountains, which he experiences directly by opening and being the first to ski down new, often extreme and exploratory routes, with his professional activities; this has led him to become one of the leading experts in the cryosphere. However, he has also dealt with all aspects of mountaineering and ski mountaineering in snowy environments from the study of accidents and self-rescue in avalanches, to the psychological aspects of risk perception and the possibility of reducing it, to the impact of deglaciation on mountaineering activities. His numerous scientific expeditions to polar and sub-polar areas have been, as he himself testifies, “…aimed at highlighting an idea that is now trending, but was not at the time – specifically, that there are climate changes taking place that will go down in history as momentous. We are talking about areas that are veritable climate archives that are fundamental for understanding the past and future of the environment”.