Y. Graziani at the top of the Gasherbrum I!
Nothing stops Yannick Graziani, his morale is stronger than anyone else's. The saga would last from June 17th to August 1st, but its climax took place on July 24th, 2015.
It would take a lot of patience for the three mountaineers before beginning their ascent, the "real deal." The acclimation was long but life-saving, despite the unpleasant weather conditions. Several round trips had to be made between the camps which had been preinstalled at several levels on the mountain. The snow even transformed one tent into an igloo, just to get an idea of what bad weather is capable of in these parts.
Then came the propitious moment. Saadiq, already having twice ascended G1 (Gasherbrum 1), decided to wait for his three acolytes at Camp 3, located at 6500 meters of altitude. Having left at midnight after a minimally restorative bit of sleep, there were more questions about turning back. The commitment to go 'til the end, despite the fatigue and the cold. "My feet are cold and I'm falling asleep while walking ... I'm really very cold. I swing my legs to circulate my viscous blood; the effect never lasts more than a few minutes ... ( ... ) it didn't work." The ascent went more slowly than expected, but as time passed, the morale of the athletes was regenerated, even as fatigue weighed down on them. Twelve hours elapsed, but they were almost there. "It is noon. I know that we will get there. (...) I do not want to stop, I can sense the end at the summit."
And 34 minutes later, victory, deliverance, happiness, pride, the pressure eases: THE SUMMIT! "After two hours I'm super wiped out ... then ... the slope levels out ... And then, Yes! Yes ! Yes! .... (...) ... .I am on the summit of Gasherbrum 1! Alone"
Indeed, Tom and Ferrán join him a quarter of an hour later. And the emotion takes over. Here, their eyes take it all in. They exult in and make a visual memory of every square millimeter of this 360-degree view before inexorably having to begin the descent.p>
You have to manage the excitement, the exhaustion, the happiness and the seriousness of the situation. The descent is just as dangerous as the ascent, you must remain vigilant. "A single mistake and we are dead." Having left at midnight, Yannick finally arrived at camp 3 at 8 pm. Twenty hours of effort. Tom and Ferrán, together, join Saadiq and Yannick three hours later. But it wasn't over. They then had to rally and dismantle camps 3, 2 and 1 and the base camps, and then cover 120 km on foot to Skardu, where their plane for Islamabad would await them. "But is all this stuff a boot camp or what?"
An expedition like this one is intensive, requiring an excellent level of spirits, exceptional morale, and especially oversized passion. Once again, bravo to Yannick and his two companions, for having been the first to climb this summit alpine-style.
As the Compagnie de Guides de Chamonix</asaid so well, alpine style, designates ascents made at high altitudes, (most often in the Himalayas), by mountaineers carrying their equipment themselves, in the same way as in the Alps. The mountaineers who climb in this style do not have recourse to oxygen bottles and are completely self-sufficient. This style is opposed to the one called "Himalayan" where the climbers establish camps, connected by fixed ropes, and make use of Sherpas (in other words, porters) to carry equipment, food, and sometimes oxygen cylinders in order to reduce the effects of the altitude on the highest peaks. Today, Alpine style is regarded as the purest style and the most environmentally friendly. On the other hand, the commitment of the mountaineers is very important ... Often isolated, they cannot expect emergency assistance in the event of an accident.