VIDEO: "China on Ice," an enchanting valley, surreal ice
In 2013, a small group of Team Petzl members went on an ice climbing trip to explore the Siguniang Mountains in China. Inside the national park of the same name, Erwan Le Lann, Mathieu Maynadier, Marcos Costa, Audrey Sniezek and Takako Hoshi followed in the crampon steps of "Rastafar'Ice," establishing a few new lines of mixed climbing among an infinite number of possibilities up and down the enchanting valley covered in surreal-looking ice. An adventure revealed in Guillaume Vallot and Raphael Lassablière's new movie, "China on Ice."
Philippe Batoux in Yosemite: Plan B
Geneva International Airport, October 2013. Philippe Batoux, along with a few members of the FFME national mountaineering team (France), takes off for Yosemite. The goal of their trip is to perfect technique for placing nuts and cams, as well as to gain aid-climbing experience. This will prepare them for a future expedition up a highly technical route on a 6000m high peak in either China or Alaska in 2015. The very full schedule in California includes trying to free a route on the legendary El Capitan, to climb an aid route, and to link the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome and the Nose in a day. Unfortunately their original plan is derailed by the closing of all national parks due to the government shutdown. Philippe Batoux talks about the ascents from their plan b.
A scientific expedition to the Island of Madang: arborist-climbers explore the forest canopy
The goal of the 2012 scientific expedition to the Island of Madang in Papua New Guinea was to conduct a biodiversity inventory (insects, plants, trees…), to collect epiphyte plants, and to compare different altitude zones. Two arborist-climbers participated in the expedition, Noui Baiben and Laurent Pierron.
The Eiffel Tower and a Disco Ball: an extraordinary work site and original photos
In 2012 photographer Stéphan Denys closely covered the sound and light system installation on the Eiffel Tower, especially the assembly and suspension of the "Queen of the Night." This nighttime work site, supervised by the rigging company Magnum, created a unique atmosphere around the Eiffel Tower.
Enjoy 100 never-before-seen photos...
Ice climber Gord McArthur is heading to the 2014 Sochi Olympics
A few months ago we got an email from one of our athletes, Gord McArthur. Gord’s a talented and driven ice climber and a member of the Canadian National Team. Thanks to his strong showing at the 2013 ice climbing world championships in Kirov, Russia, Gord was invited to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where he’ll compete in the ice climbing “demonstration" event. We tracked down Gord in the midst of his busy training schedule to ask him a few questions about Sochi and ice climbing as a possible Olympic sport…
Ueli Steck: historic solo of Annapurna’s South Face
A few years ago, when Ueli Steck became a member of Team Petzl, he shared with us his personal motto, "Everything I can imagine is possible." On October 10, 2013, he made mountaineering history by soloing Annapurna’s South Face in a record 28 hours. What he had imagined became a reality; an extraordinary feat indeed.
Today, Ueli Steck tells us about the ascent and shares his own personal approach to the mountains.
New route on the South Face of Gaurishankar: "Voyage au bout de la peine"
On October 23, 2013, French mountaineers Pierre Labbre, Mathieu Maynadier, Jérôme Parar and Mathieu Detrie established a new impressive line on the South Face of Gaurishankar called, "Voyage au bout de la peine," (in English, "Going through all the trouble"). Now back in France, they took the time to tell to us about the expedition prior to the release this winter of the film about their adventure.
China Jam expedition: big wall climbing in the Tien Shan range
This year Belgian big wall climbers Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll, Nicolas Favresse and Stéphane Hanssens decided to embark on a new project, making a slight exception to their usual rules by bringing Frenchman Evrard Wendenbaum in tow to take photos and video of their adventure. Read the expedition report about their trip to a relatively unknown region along the Chinese-Kyrgyz border, as told by Evrard and Stéphane.
Expedition BU56: secret code or magic words?
A secret code for the uninitiated but magic words for cavers throughout the world! BU56, aka "Sima de las Puertas de Illamina," is one of the biggest and most beautiful caves on the planet. Located in the Budoguia Mountains of Spain's Navarre region, this cave represents one of the key links within the immense PSM network (Pierre Saint Martin, which today contains 240 explored kilometers of caves). Read the expedition report as told by Phil Bence…