French Youth Expedition to Ak-Su, Pamir Alai, Tadzikistan, and the Piolet d’Or. A group of young French climbers was selected by the Groupe de Haute Montagne. Under the leadership of Luc Jourjon, François Pallandre and Rémy Karle, they were Raphaël Deschamps, Didier Dumont, Emmanuel Guy, Romain Luksenberg, Bruno Montanarini, Lionel Pouzadoux, Charles Sevin, 15-year-old Jean-Baptiste Jourjon, Eric Neves, Lionel Daudet and David Jonglez. The French spent a month in the region, put up new routes and repeated some of the harder routes. Both Jourjons, Karle, Deschamps, Luksenberg and Montanarini took three days to climb a 48-pitch route on the southeast ridge of the Peak of the Forty Thieves or P 4520. On the west face of the Central Pyramid or P 3850, Luc Jourjon, Montanarini, Deschamps and Pallandre along with several Russians pioneered the Butterfly. On the same peak’s north face, over a period of 15 days, Daudet, Pallandre, Jonglez, Pouzadoux and Sevin worked out a very difficult 720-meter-high route they called Artificial Paradise. It was mostly difficult aid up to A4. On the Russian Tower or P 4240, Pallandre and Pouzadoux freed the Peristroika Crack, first climbed by Spaniards in 1991. They climbed the long 18th pitch free. Both Jourjons, Luksenberg and Jonglez also ascended the highest mountain in the region, Piramidalny (5507 meters, 18,068 feet)by its northeast ridge. For their climbs, the whole group was awarded the Piolet d’Or.