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Jean-Christophe Lafaille 2003: Broad Peak
 


 Current Pakistan Time

Translations by Adrian Sutton for EverestNews.com

Article ascension du Nanga Parbat et du Broad Peak (In French)

We came back to France on the 22nd July, with part of us still on the Baltoro glacier and another part of us focused on the reunion with our children whom I haven’t seen for 3 weeks and who Jean Christophe hasn’t seen for 3 months. We are really looking forward to holding them in our arms.

It is difficult to tell the tale of Jean Christophe’s amazing feat of climbing 3 8,000 metre mountains in the space of 2 months. Dhaulagiri (8,167 metres) on the 20th May, Nanga Parbat (8,125 mts) by a new route called ‘Tom’ – dedicated to our son – on the 23rd June and to finish with, Broad Peak (8,051 mts) on the 15th July.

The journey began on the 17th April with Jean Christophe leaving France for Nepal. On the evening of the 23rd April, after a 3-day trek, he arrived at Dhaulagiri Base Camp at 4,700 metres. He reached the summit, on his own, on the 20th May at 10am having battled against particularly difficult weather conditions.

As for me, I left France on the 5th May to meet Jean Christophe, with our children Jeremi and Tom. We went to Marpha, the last village before base camp. We arrived on the 13th May, after 6 days trekking, and were planning to meet Jean Christophe there. On the 21st May, he arrived and on the 23rd we left for Kathmandu where he spent a week’s holiday with our children. On the 30th May I left for France and Jean Christophe left for Pakistan.

On the 1st June, he arrived in Islamabad and on the 5th at Nanga Parbat base camp (Diamir side) at 4,000 metres. He was delighted to meet his American friend Ed Viesturs there, who had arrived a week earlier, with whom he was planning to share 2 ascents in the future – Nanga Parbat and Broad Peak.

At base camp there was also a large team of Kazakh climbers (12 in all), a basque climber - Inaki Ochoa, and an Italian – Simone Moro. This meant the cost of the expedition went down, because the permit is divided by the number of climbers. The mountain was in good condition.

Jean Christophe also noticed that the climbing line he had planned from books in France was in excellent condition, based on his view of the top section of the route that he had from base camp.

He didn’t waste any time, and the day after his arrival at base camp, he climbed up to and slept at camp 1 at 4,900 metres with Ed. On the 7th, he set up Camp 2 at 6,000 metres and on the morning of the 8th, they went back down to base, as the weather was changing.

On the 11th June, with Ed V, he climbed up to and slept at camp 2. On the 12th , he came down to base camp, not feeling too well. He had picked up a type of food poisoning that takes about 10 days to develop. It makes one feel weak, with legs like jelly, nausea and a bad stomach. The end result was that Jean Christophe had to spend a week at base camp in order to recover.

On the 16th June, he decided to make up for lost time and take advantage of the good weather predicted by the weather forecast. So he climbed from base camp straight to camp 3 at 7,000 metres so that he could dump his kit that he didn’t have the chance to do before he fell ill. He then went back to base camp.

He went to check out the conditions at the base of the route that he was planning to attempt and the good news was that they were excellent. It was very difficult to plan such an attempt with so many people around at base camp without attracting attention. The Italian climber Simone Moro went to see Jean Christophe to propose that they attempt the route together. He wasn’t keen on this idea, as he had planned the route on his own, but the mountains belong to everyone and so he accepted the offer of teaming up with Simone.

The approach to the face is made on a fairly open glacier. It is better travelling in twos on this type of terrain. Ed decided to start off on the initial route, the ‘Kinshofer’ and go straight from camp 1 to 3.

Part two of the report is here!

His dispatches from Dhaulagiri this year are here.

His dispatches from Nanga Parbat this year are here.

 





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