Tim Miller, a 28-year-old climber from Glasgow, has been awarded the Piolet d’Or, or Golden Ice Axe, for his remarkable feat of climbing the Jugal Spire in Nepal. The Piolet d’Or is considered the Oscars of mountaineering, and recognizes the most outstanding and innovative ascents of the year.
A dream come true for Tim Miller
Tim Miller has been passionate about climbing since he was a teenager, and has excelled in various disciplines, such as ice climbing, dry tooling, and mixed climbing. He has also competed in national and international events, and won the Junior Scottish Tooling Series in 2013.
However, his true calling was outdoor climbing, especially in the high mountains of Asia. He has undertaken several expeditions to the Himalayas, Karakoram, and Pamir ranges, where he has climbed new routes and unclimbed peaks up to 7000 meters.
One of his most ambitious projects was the Jugal Spire, a 6000-meter peak that had never been climbed before. The spire is part of the Jugal Himal, a subrange of the Himalayas that lies near the border of Nepal and Tibet. The spire is known for its technical difficulty, steepness, and remoteness.
Tim Miller and his climbing partner, Tom Livingstone, attempted the Jugal Spire in October 2023, after two years of planning and preparation. They spent 10 days on the mountain, facing harsh weather, rockfall, and avalanches. They finally reached the summit on October 23, after climbing a new route that they named “The Prow”.
The Prow is rated ED+ (extremely difficult), and involves climbing over 1500 meters of mixed terrain, with sections of ice, snow, and rock. The route is considered one of the hardest and most aesthetic lines in the Himalayas.
Tim Miller described the climb as a dream come true, and said that he was honored to receive the Piolet d’Or for his achievement. He also thanked his partner, Tom Livingstone, for his support and friendship.
A remarkable comeback from a near-fatal accident
Tim Miller’s success on the Jugal Spire is even more impressive considering that he survived a near-fatal accident five years ago. In 2018, he was caught in an avalanche while climbing in the Alps, and suffered severe injuries, including a broken back, pelvis, and ribs. He also lost his close friend and mentor, Uisdean Hawthorn, who died in the same incident.
Tim Miller spent several months in hospital and rehabilitation, and had to undergo multiple surgeries and physiotherapy. He was told that he might never climb again, but he refused to give up on his passion. He gradually regained his strength and mobility, and returned to climbing with determination and courage.
He dedicated his climb of the Jugal Spire to the memory of Uisdean Hawthorn, and said that he felt his presence throughout the expedition. He also expressed his gratitude to his family, friends, sponsors, and supporters, who helped him overcome his ordeal and pursue his dreams.
A role model for the next generation of climbers
Tim Miller is not only a talented and adventurous climber, but also a generous and inspiring instructor. He holds a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor qualification, and volunteers as a climbing coach at The Glasgow Academy, where he studied as a student.
He also holds a degree in Earth Science from The University of Glasgow, and has a keen interest in the geology and ecology of the mountains. He is an advocate for environmental protection and responsible tourism, and supports various initiatives and organizations that promote these causes.
Tim Miller is widely regarded as a role model for the next generation of climbers, and has received many accolades and awards for his achievements and contributions. In 2020, he won the Youth Mountain Culture Award from the West Highland College UHI and the Fort William Mountain Festival. He has also been featured in several documentaries, magazines, and podcasts, where he shares his stories and insights.
Tim Miller said that he hopes to inspire more people to discover the joy and beauty of climbing, and to explore the world with curiosity and respect. He also said that he has many more goals and projects in mind, and that he looks forward to his next adventure.