Sophie Lavaud, first French mountaineer to climb all the peaks over 8,000 m on the planet – Liberation

Mountains from elsewheredossierAt the age of 55, the mountaineer joins the very exclusive club of the “8000ers”, mountaineers who have succeeded in climbing the 14 highest peaks in the world, in the Himalayas. She reached the summit of Nanga Parbat, Pakistan, Monday, June 26 in the morning.

Sophie Lavaud enters into the history of the Himalayas twice. She became this Monday, June 26 morning at dawn the first mountaineer of French nationality to complete all the summits over 8,000 meters above sea level on the planet by successfully climbing Nanga Parbat, in Pakistan. She is also the fourth woman in the world to achieve this feat, accomplished by only a few dozen mountaineers, almost all men. Sophie Lavaud joins the Spanish Edurne Pasaban, the Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and the Italian Nives Meroi, according to France 3 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

The announcement of his summit arrival was made by the expedition operator, Seven Summit Treks and its leader, Chhang Dawa Sherpa. “The whole team […] accomplished today, June 26, 2023, a remarkable feat by successfully climbing the 8,126 meters of Nanga Parbat between 6:55 a.m. and 9:35 a.m. ”, can we read in an Instagram post of the first, which cites all the names of the members of the expedition, about twenty mountaineers – including the French François Amilano and Ulysse Lefebvre – and seasoned Sherpas.

Born in Lausanne, Sophie Lavaud has dual nationality, French and Swiss. She also becomes the first Swiss to climb the 14 peaks over 8,000. for the habit of sending a message to her loved ones, once she feels safe”, writes on her side the liberated Dauphiné. “We are ready to attempt the summit, inchallah”, said Sophie Lavaud on June 18 in her last Facebook post on her expedition entitled “But how hard is this mountain !!” sent from base camp number 1, located at 4,900 meters above sea level.

“I had a bad memory of last year which was confirmed this year. The corridor is frighteningly long, 1,000 m of unevenness without respite which leads to the foot of the Kinshofer wall. You still have to climb 150 m on rock with a dihedral, a sloping section and exit on the ridge. Tapered ridge where only a few tents can hold… Small consolation but not the least, the snow conditions are much better and therefore the face is less dangerous”, added the mountaineer.

Other French people have attempted the 14 summits, including very big names in mountaineering, such as Jean-Christophe Lafaille or Chantal Mauduit, without ever succeeding. These peaks oscillate between 8,027 meters in altitude (for Shishapangma) and 8,848 m for Everest. The 14 are mostly located in the Himalayas, scattered between Nepal, Pakistan, India and China. Four of them are in the Karakoram range.


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