Reach the summit at the risk of their lives

News 15 July, 2017
  • Photo François Mailhot
    The Quebec Marina Lançon, Guillaume Pelletier, and François Mailhot will go to the assault of the highest peaks of Kyrgyzstan.

    Yanick Fish

    Saturday, 15 July 2017 22:34

    Saturday, 15 July 2017 22:34

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    DRUMMONDVILLE | Three Quebecers risk their lives to climb two summits of the more difficult to access. During their expedition a month and a half, they will perform more than 14 kilometres of ascent through the snow capped peaks of Russian mountains.

    Marina sand Lance, Francis Mailhot, Guillaume Pelletier, and their companion mexican Ivan Loredo Vidal defy avalanches, slumps, sails white (whiteout) and oedema in order to discover the Lenin peak, the Khan Tengri. This summit, although far from the highest (7010 m, while the Everest is 8848 m), is one of the most difficult since particularly steep.

    Peak steep

    The Khan Tengri is considered to be one of the most aesthetic, but also one of the summits of the most difficult to climb.

    It is characterized by a vertex pyramidal, symmetrical, red marble. The snow fails to accumulate at the top of the mountain because of its peak steep. To arrive at the summit, the adventurers will have to do ice climbing on a slope at 75 % of height.

    “Even with a good weather window we are not sure to be able to set foot upon its summit. The challenge is to size and that is what is attractive. This mountain is aesthetically out of the ordinary. We are looking forward to it, ” explains François Mailhot, a native of Drummondville.

    The adventurer, who has taken part in many missions, including one in Antarctica, knows very well that he might leave his skin, as several of his fellows before, but this is not the fear that is going to the curb.

    Photo courtesy Frederic Heymes CC-BY-SA

    Mount Khan Tengri is considered to be one of the most technical.


    Few succeed

    Because of the risks associated with its ascent, only a few climbers per year succeed in reaching its summit.

    “I am not without thinking about it, yes I’m afraid and it’s okay because it makes it so that people are better prepared. If I die, it will be sad because I will not have the opportunity to live my other adventures, but we only have one life to live. I don’t want to get to the end of my life with regrets. If I die in shipping, it will be with a smile, ” he says.

    In addition to the hazards of the weather and the mountains, the quartet will have to deal with the dangers of high altitude.

    At 7000 meters, oxygen is rare and François Mailhot compares the effect to a state of intoxication.

    “It becomes difficult to think and make good decisions. Even a node can be difficult. It is necessary to be prepared for everything to become automatic, ” he says.

    Tiresome Voyage

    Khan Tengri : 7010 m

    Mount Lenin : 7134 m

    Everest : 8848 m

    • The mount Lenin at an altitude of 7134 meters, but is a technical challenge less than that of Khan Tengri at 7010 meters
    • In comparison, mount Everest, the highest peak of the world, 8848 meters
    • The expedition is scheduled to start on 18 July
    • The two mountains are part of the chain of the Tian Shan
    • Every adventurer should carry a backpack of 60 books containing food and equipment
    • Kyrgyzstan is a former republic of the USSR. Many citizens are still nomadic
    • The adventurers turn a documentary during their expedition