The Ulju Mountain Culture Awards is awarded to those who have made exceptional contributions to the progress of mountain culture, such as nature, environment, climbing films and literature. The first Ulju Mountain Culture Awards was awarded to ‘son of earth’ Rick Ridgeway in 2017 and the UMCA 2018 was awarded to ‘a professional mountaineer pursuing future-oriented mountaineering’ Sir Chris Bonington.
Selected as the recipient of the Ulju Mountain Culture Awards 2019 is ‘Filmmaker of the 8000s’ Kurt Diemberger (born in 1932), the only surviving mountaineer who has made the first ascents on two mountains over 8,000 meters. Dimberger began climbing mountains as he hunted crystals in the Alps. At the age of 16, he became a full-fledged mountaineer with a climb of LarmKogl (3,014meters). He gained spotlight of the European mountaineering community in 1956 when he climbed the overhang cornice ‘Meringue’ atop the Gran Zebr?, and was invited to Austria’s Broad Peak expedition the following year in 1957, making a successful first ascent with Hermann Buhl. Though he reached the top first, he helped the limping Hermann Buhl back to the top, becoming legendary for true friendship in the history of Himalayan climbing. In 1960, he joined the Swiss International Expedition to make first ascent of Dhaulagiri. Diemberger has also made connections with a Korean expedition team at K2 in 1986, and received the Gold Gentian at the Trento Film Festival for his autobiographical film K2 - traum und schicksal. He has also received the Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, and the Grand Prize at the 2018 International Alliance for Mountain Film. The award ceremony will be held during the opening ceremony of the 4th Ulju Mountain Film Festival. Diemberger will hold various sessions to interact with the audience, including UMCA lecture, UMCA exhibition, and Guest Visit after film screening.