Valandre Blog

A TEAM VALANDRE on a Climb of the Grande Pic de la Meije (3983m/11.950ft)


 

July 31th and august 1th 2012 Paul Régnier, Pierre Olivier Blanc et Francois Ranise entered the foot (3092m) of the 3983m high Grande Pic de la Meije, to Climb the Allain- Leiniger route. This route is a beautiful almost 1000m rock climb on the south face of the Grand Pic de la Meije in the massif des Ecrins south of Grenoble – France. Rated TD (Tres Difficile/Very difficult), it consist of numerous pitches in 5 and one famous icy chimney in 6.

Grande Pic de la Meije (3983m/11.950ft)

The La Meije was one of the last peaks to be climbed in the French Alpes due to the technical difficulties. It’s an 8 to 10hours climb up and a 4h decent of the glacier on the north side. Paul, Pierre and Francois had a late start waiting for the sun to warm them up, and then they entered the route and climbed up with heavy back packs containing the necessary gear. Having some difficulties finding the route, they were happy to be able to make a bivy at the edge of the squared glacier at 3600m (10.800ft).


……and up the chimney we go!
 

Just before sunset, after a memorable night, Paul shoot a video at the bivi, as all happened to have spent the night in their Valandré bags. Paul in a Swing 900, PO in his old time Lafayette and Francois in a Bloody Mary. After summiting, Paul sent the video to us in Belcaire.


The famous BLING sticker!

Paul, Pierre Olivier and Francois have received a Bling sticker and our Flipper booklet containing all information’s of the 14 8000m peaks to thank them for the video.

The booklet is “super gear” to bring along. It allows you to play “the 8000m peak quiz” in the bivy or in the camp – EX: Who was the first to climb Kanchenjunga in winter, and what date? and….Who was the first wonan on Nanga….with or without ox?

Send us a Valandré video, and you will receive a BLING STICKER and the FLIPPER BOOKLET!

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The 2012 summer Olympic games has started in London

The 2012 summer Olympic games

We at Valandre salute all the athletes who made it to the games. The sacrifices made in daily training, and the discipline imposed on all athletes, will for some payoff during the games: Let the competition start and may the best win!

The Olympic champion has to combine several virtues. A disciplined Seoul, drives the body to higher performances on a daily scale, always within the personal maximum (Individual sports), a zen like kind of constant meditation.

Those who the next coming weeks, becomes Olympic Champion in their specialty, represent the summit of their generation.

Mount Olympus

But the summit of the summit is Mount Olympus, rising up to 2.917m (9.570ft) and the highest mountain in Greece. House to the twelve Olympian gods, this mountain is the mother of all SPORTS. And to the Olympian gods, those who summit are: Olympian sports men…..in other words Alpinists!

May the best Athlete win in London!

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Man walks up Mount Kilimanjaro on his hands

Hats off……..everybody clap your hands!

Mountaineering is a personal engagement between the climber and his mountain. Climbing up the Tanzanian volcano Mount Kilimanjaro, is not a big deal in the scale of climbing an 8000m peak. Just 5.895m……yes just a “small little 5.895m”!
Spencer West (USA) confronted his mountain and summited it, in what simply deserves its place in the history of mountaineering: With no legs, Spencer wheel chaired some of the way and climbed where the wheel chair could not go……on his hands. It takes determination and courage and a profound love for life to for fill such an achievement.
A BIG BIG Bravo Spencer……Hats off!
link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18508243

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The day that K2 surrendered to Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

The day that K2 surrendered to Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

K2 is, as we all know, a mountain that has haunted climbers since the first expedition attempts. “The savage mountain”, has always resisted as if no man was allowed to enter it’s domain. Human tragedy is deeply rooted in it’s image, forcing climbers to take every little event into serious consideration: You just do not fool around with the BIG SCARY BROWNIE.

In the April issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 2012, a brilliant article describes the International Amical Alpin climb of this big pile of rock and ice. Rightly they based the assent from the North side (North pillar), properly offering more stable conditions.

Naturally one could look at this climb, as the last in the line of Gerlindes 14 non ox climbs. It is, but it’s also a bit more: This climb represent a human manifestation of outmost will, determination, faith and profound trust. Confronted by this, K2 opened up the closed door and offered 15min to Gerlinde alone on top. No wind, Sun down light from a clear blue sky and surrounded below by all the 8000 she had formerly climbed in the area. An alpine blessing on her final 8000.

READ THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC K2 ARTICLE HERE

Once again K2 has spoken……but this time using a sweet language.

 

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Meet the Kaiser and his highly respectable Kaiserin

Mr Ralf Dujmovits & Mrs Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner | ISPO WINTER 2012

Old friendships are important, so I had the pleasure to meet with Ralf Dujmovits who introduced me to his new wife Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner at the 2012 winter ISPO show in Munich. Ralf reached his last 8000m peak (Lhotse) in 2009 and became the first German on the 14 8000 and number 16 in the line:

1989 — Nuptse NW ridge
1996 — Nuptse Northpillar
1990 — Dhaulagiri
1992 — Mt Everest (supplemental oxygen)
1993 — Baruntse
1994 — K2
1995 — Cho Oyu
1998 — Cho Oyu
1996 — Shisha Pangma
1997 — Shisha Pangma
1999 — Broad Peak
2000 — Gasherbrum II
2001 — Nanga Parbat
2009 — Lhotse

Ralf is a strong and dedicated DAV Guide, and his record contains numerous successful expeditions, guiding clients to a 8000m summit. A true pillar in German High Altitude climbing, and a great man.

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is a Austrian climber, out of the “old school”, extremely attached and sensitive to the notion of “The mountain”. August 2011 Gerlinde and Ralf engaged a climb of the Japanese route of the North Pillar of K2. Here Gerlinde summited her final 8000m peak and became the first woman to complete the 8000m without supplemental oxygen:

1998 — Cho Oyu,
2001 — Makalu,
2002 — Manaslu,
2003 — Nanga Parbat,
2004 — Annapurna I,
2004 — Gasherbrum I,
2005 — Shisha Pangma,
2005 — Gasherbrum II,
2006 — Kangchenjunga,
2007 — Broad Peak,
2008 — Dhaulagiri,
2009 — Lhotse,
2010 — Mount Everest,
2011 — K2.

A full report of the K2 climb 2011, will be published in a 32 page report in NATIONAL GEOGRAFIC, translated and published worldwide, and due to appear in April 2012.

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