Marco Siffredi Autumn Everest 2002
In 2001, Marco Siffredi (France), a member of the Himalayan
Experience Everest Expedition snowboarded down Everest
on 5/23 from the Summit of Everest. It took Marco
approximately 2 and 1/2 hours to snowboard down to
ABC. Marco is one of the worlds leading extreme
snow boarders. At around 6am on May 23rd he started
his descent, 2 & 1/2 hours later, Marco, on his Elan
Snowboard, he completed the first-ever descent of
Everest of this type. This accomplishment followed
Davo Karnicar who completed
the first ever complete ski descent last autumn. The
word from Everest was, "Here it is, Marco made it to
the summit today. He made it before the Sherpas at
6AM. He watched the day rise alone on top of the
world, after Sherpas climbers joined him [on the
Summit], he locked into his bindings and went for it.
At the "Norton" couloir North Face, at 200 meters from
the summit one of his bindings broke due to extreme
cold (-35 C), a Sherpa came to his aid, fixed it with
a tool kit, and he went on to pulverize extreme
snowboarding history !!!!!!!!!!!!! 8848 meters to 6400
meters, no rappels, no ropes, approx. 2 to 2-1/2 hour
asked one serious Everest Expedition leader about this
event, he stated to EverestNews.com, "The snowboarder
did it...he's got to be nuts!!!!" That Everest
Expedition Leader had huge respect for what happened.
Marco had made history....
Marco Siffredi a 23
years old young "Chamoniard" (people from Chamonix).
His father is a "guide de chamonix". Marco
is a great
alpinist and snowboarder. He made a lot of "premieres"
in snowboard in the couloirs of the Chamonix Valley.
He discovered Himalaya in 1999 and rode Cho Oyu and
the Shishapangma (both 8000 +) with his snowboard. In
May 2001 he reached Everest summit and was the first
one to ride the north versant (Tibet side) by the
Norton couloir (on snowboard).
This Autumn 2002, for
his second Everest expedition he wanted to ride the
Hornbein couloir. He was with two Sherpas (Phurba
Tashi and Lhobsang Temba) and another French guide
from Megeve: Olivier Besson. It was the only
expedition on the north side (Tibet) during this
period that we are aware of. Marco phoned several
times to France and said there was a lot of snow.
After 3 weeks, he is believed to have reached the
summit of Everest. Olivier Besson, who stayed alone in
the camp, seems to say in the French press that he saw
him on the summit with the binoculars. Then, Marco
started to ride the Hornbein couloir....
The Sherpas climbed with Marco but he was, of
course, the only one to ride the Hornbein. Olivier Besson- the other French guide - stayed alone at the
camp. He watched Marco riding the first meters
of the Hornbein with binoculars and then the couloir
could not be seen from the camp.
The descent was
supposed to last a few hours but Marco never have appeared on the Rongbuck glacier.... Olivier and the
two Sherpas, are said to be trying to find him on the
glacier and watched the couloir with binoculars. The
French daily paper Liberation says: "no track can be
seen after 8500 m and there is no evidence of an
avalanche neither". The French press says the
snowboard track stops around 8500 m and then,
Most reports are sketchy. ]
A lot of people love
Marco very much in France. He is different, anything
but a star. He didn't want any big sponsor and worked
by himself to pay for his expeditions. He was elected
"rider of the year" in 2001 but it didn't change
anything: no sponsors, no ads. He was a great
snowboarder, skier and alpinist.
Marco Siffredi, a
true alpinist, one of those men who take the risk to
go far beyond the norm, where others can only dream.
He road the Hornbein on Everest....
Our Prayers are with
him and his family...
Update: Hope of
finding Marco alive has been
given up, the searches have not found him. A Puja is
planned for October at Everest Base Camp with family