Translation by Dr. Jean-François
Hi EverestNews.com, Here's a
few pictures sent by Jean-Christophe from BC. It seems that our transmission
problem (between JC's Thuraya sat phone and his computer) is finally over,
once and for all! Yesterday, Jean-Christophe decided to maximise the end of
this current weather window by climbling directly from BC to 6900 m. It was
a long climbing day of 1600 m. Last night, as a deserved reward,
Jean-Christophe had the wonderful chance of looking at the sunset on Mount
Everest from about 7000 m.
Today, December 28, JC has
been well advised by Yan to climb back down before noon, because high altitude
winds are expected to increase to... 200 km/h later in the day!!! He planned
tough to climb to around 7400m in the morning, before turning around (if the
weather permitted it). Nights are extremely cold with temperatures (under the
tent) at 6500m of –35°C. The cold factor is going to get terrible to handle:
under the tent temperatures are expected to reach -45°C to –55° on higher
Jean-Christophe will take a
couple of days off at BC because high altitude winds should stay violent for
at least the whole week. This situation should be perfect for an awaiting
degustation of foie gras and... Champagne at BC!
See you all! Katia Lafaille.
Translation by Dr.
Jean-François for EverestNews.com
2005/2006: First Makalu’s winter ascent and solo!!!
Jean-Christophe Lafaille will realize during winter 2005/2006, his twelfth
summit higher than 8000 meters with the first winter ascent
solo and without oxygen to the MAKALU 8481 meters. This mountain
was tried several times in winter by expeditions known as "heavy" (see
appendix; "Alpine" style and "heavy" expeditions) of which one was by Reinhold
of the first 8000 in winter by Jean-Christophe, on December 11, 2004 on the
"Shishapangma" (8036m) served to him as a test for the incoming project. He
made up a very positive assessment of its mental and physical resistance under
extreme conditions and could evaluate the aspects to be practised in its
preparation. Polish, specialists in heavy winter expeditions, affirmed that it
was impossible to carry out a winter ascent of a 8000 in alpine style (see
appendix; The "Alpine" style and "heavy" expeditions) With the ascent of
Shishapangma Jean-Christophe still showed that it was possible while being
alone, without infrastructure at the base camp besides its cook!
Partners/Products: Since one year we are hard working on the preparation of
this winter 2005. This preparation includes clothing and the technical
material, the food, the physical training and the mental one. Beyond the
physical and mental training, the word "protection" joins together the whole
of our technical partners on different points thus complementary. Without
them, without this confidence regarding their know-how this project would not
Products. These products make possible the impossible, products which ensure
an irreproachable and completely reliable protection to be calm in any
circumstance. Collaboration with GORE-TEX lasts already for almost 10 years
and enables Jean-Christophe to profit from new technologies, to have products
made to measure to answer the extremely demanding schedule of his conditions.
A product or a weakening membrane, badly conceived at 8000 meters can cost the
life to Jean-Christophe. He does not have right to the error and neither the
manufacturers. Collaboration that Jean-Christophe maintains with his technical
partners goes beyond "sponsoring", it is above all the reciprocal confidence
and the best which surround him. They form part of the key of its success.
Jean-Christophe will use for this winter Makalu 2005 Mountain Hardwear in
GORE-TEX XCR products and sleeping bags as well as the tents of altitude
Mountain Hardwear which currently are the best on the market. Under the
request of Jean-Christophe, they carried out a tent of bivouac ultra light for
Sport and Jean-Christophe have designed an "innovative” sleeping bag for his
expedition in December 2004, it will go out again with this perfect product
baptized "Shishapangma" by Lestra Sports. The “dry salaisons"Black Mountain",
bring quality products with essential nutritional interests in expeditions;
Jean-Christophe regularly consumes them throughout the year and during his
expeditions. Collaboration with LPG Systems which develops and manufactures
machines which enable to work balance, coordination, the muscular
reinforcement, recovery allow to refine this demanding preparation.
It is made up, of course, by the partners of Jean-Christophe but also by:
Lafaille: wife and manager of Jean-Christophe.
Giezendanner: Router weather
Professionalism: Since four years, Jean-Christophe has still reached a stage
in his course, the ascents which he has carried out for all these years make
that he has acquired maturity and experience while remaining passionate by
what he does. The projects which he considers today join together these
elements and require an extremely high preparation. Absolutely nothing is left
randomly, material, alimentation, physique, mental, relax, each element of his
preparation is thoroughly calculated, studied to reach the "perfection". It is
something new in the world of the mountain, extremely enriching and
interesting. Passion, professionalism, assiduity, perseverance, the patience
of Jean-Christophe and those around him make possible his ascents very
committed on the summits of more than 8000 meters.
complete autonomy, as Jean-Christophe likes it; to well manage its strategy of
ascent under conditions of extreme cold, its tiredness, and its mental force.
He does not wish to climb the summits of more than 8000 meters only to collect
them, he gives a great importance to the way in which he will climb this or
that mountain. He likes the difficulty, engagement, to explore the universe of
the high altitude. He has never used an artificial oxygen contribution in
expedition (which lowers the person of approximately 1000m which means to say
that one person who reaches 8000 m with oxygen is in fact physiologically at
7000m... in sporting terms it is not the same...) because what interests him
is precisely to climb there by himself. If he did not have the physiological
capacity to climb the 8000, he would simply climb less high tops.
his potential, the characteristic which defines Jean-Christophe it is his very
futuristic vision of the alpinism... In 1996, he connects in less than four
days Gasherbrum I and II (8068m and 8035m), in 2002 with the ascent of
Annapurna he shows that it is possible to traverse fifteen kilometres on an
edge during four days in the "thin air" between 7200 and 8000 meters, in
December 2004, he carries out the first winter ascent of Shishapangma solo and
in alpine style. The barriers which he makes fall make possible to imagine
8481m: Situation: Mahalangur Himal, Nepal oriental.27°53’ lat.N / 87°05’
Summit : May 15 1955 via north west edge by Jean Couzy and Lionel Terray
to 27 November 2005: end of the preparation abroad
2006: back to France.
follow-up: Katia Lafaille, in liaison regularly with Jean-Christophe, will put
on line on their site www.jclafaille.com information in real time about Jean-Christophe’s
progression. The largest site on mountain will translate into English and will
put on line the official communiqués that Katia will send to them on
WINTER in Himalaya:
problem in the ascent of summits of more than 8000 meters in winter is mainly
related to the cold large mixture + altitude. In a very simplistic way here is
in two lines what happens: when one is in a state of hypoxia (lack of oxygen)
blood thickens, blood circulation slow down, the risks of frostbite are then
high in winter with temperatures even colder and shorter days this process is
also very problematic because the solid mass undergoes almost every day the
famous "Jet Stream" whose airliners use for fly which blow on average of
160/180km/h. When he climbed the Shishapangma, the wind at the top was 70
km/h. The temperature this day at the top was of -35°, by adding the speed of
the wind (wind chill) it reached approximately - 60 °.
« Alpine »
style and « Heavy » expeditions: The difference between the alpine style and
heavy expeditions are as follows: Heavy expeditions install progressively with
their progression on the mountain fixed cords on which the mountaineers rise
with a handle car-blocking (called the jumar) during the rise and the descent
like self-insurance. Besides the base camp, several other camps are installed
on the mountain; an advanced base camp, a camp 1, camp 2, camp 3 and even
sometimes a camp 4. This style of ascent does not require technical qualities
of climbing and requires much material on the mountain.
style is at the opposite and requires technical qualities of climber because
there are not fixed cords installed (except for the delicate passage of a
crack for example or a short portion and very technique of a passage on the
route) thus not safety as well on the rise as in the descent. In addition,
there is possibly an advanced base camp but then there are not several camps
installed on the mountain. The same camp moves with the climber and follows
him according to his acclimatization. This technique leaves the mountain
"clean" but is very committed, the most committed one in the Himalayas.
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