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Patrick Berhault dies on the Taeschorn

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Times article regarding another victim of the Alps.

Quote:
A CELEBRATED French mountaineer fell to his death attempting to complete his dream of climbing the 82 Alpine summits higher than 4,000m (13,123ft).

Patrick Berhault, 47, plunged 600m (1,968ft) on Wednesday as he and his fellow mountaineer and childhood friend, Philippe Magnin, attempted the 67th summit.

His death sparked intense emotion in France, where his attempt to conquer the highest peaks in a single expedition was seen as one of the last great unfulfilled mountain adventures.


An admirable challenge but a sad end. Partcicularly as it appears to have been an unfortunate accident while he was on easy ground.

I had not heard of him in mountaineering circles but the article states that he was a teacher at France's National Mountaineering and Skiing School in Chamonix and so i wonder whether any SnowHeads knew him.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Very sad. When I was on a mountaintop last month our guide told us about him and pointed out the peak he was climbing at that moment.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Yes, very sad. He seems to have been a very nice guy: well respected and not prone to take risks (though clearly "driven"). My consolations to his wife and daughters (similar age to my own....). Life just aint fair Sad
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Shame he didn't make it...
Have recently been reading lots of climbing books (into thin air, touching the void, etc) and am amazed at how driven mountaineers are. Never used to understand how they would want to keep going with such an inherently risky sport once after marriage and kids, but I guess nothing else beats the 'buzz' or 'high' of conquering the mountain...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mountain mad, it's not so much the conquering, more the sheer joy of being there and being in control in an inherently dangerous environment. As soon as you feel that you're not in control it quickly loses its pleasure (believe me!).

While I still rock climb (which is much safer than non-climbers realise) I have not done any mountaineering for a while and suspect that i may never do it properly again. Even at the lowly level that i was operating at, you do need a certain ability to forget life's responsibilities due to the fact that so many of the risks in the high mountains cannot be contained (of course, a large part of the pleasure is the fact that it often forces you to forget life's responsibilities).

Have you read This Game of Ghosts and The Beckoning Silence, both by Joe Simpson? They give real insights into the mind of one climber who is faced with the dilemma of whether to continue climbing when he is losing so many friends to the lifestyle he loves.
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Sad indeed....
I recently met a couple of mountaineers (Brits who've moved to Serre Che), and if at all possible, they were more obsessed/excited/enthusuastic with their sport than we skiers are with ours, which underlines MM's view I suppose.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Tony - they're on my reading list. Just about to start reading The Climb - which is the opposite viewpoint to Into Thin Air.
Find the sport fascinating, as it complements my own love of the mountains (hence want to get into ski touring, and looking into a winter skills course) but happy to read about other people doing this stuff rather than taking up mountaineering or climbing myself.
The mental achievements/dilemmas that need to accompany the physical aspect of these sports make it so interesting. Just a shame that for the many successes in this area there are also some failures.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
mountain mad, I would agree that anyone spending any time alpine mountaineering is taking risks that are much greater than for your average hill walker, but I would recommend looking into rock climbing if the outdoors interests you in general.

Being in Bristol, there are some great climbing areas near you and the climbing wall in the old St Werburgs (sp?) church is an excellent facility where you can learn the techniques and meet fellow climbers.

Whilst it looks risky to be hanging onto a rockface by your fingertips, climbers spend an inordinate amount of their time thinking about the safety aspect. A big focus of a climb is using the ropework skills that are required to ensure that any fall is arrested safely and quickly. On British cliff faces there are very few objective dangers and so the risks you take are down to you.

As a climber, you often find yourself in places that no-one else goes - hanging off Devon seacliffs, high up on a crag in the Lake District with the birds circling beneath you...the sense of escapism and being at one with the mountains is far greater than with any other outdoor sport I have found.

blimey, i think i need to get out on the crags again myself! Very Happy
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Tony Lane wrote:
blimey, i think i need to get out on the crags again myself! Very Happy
You better ask David Goldsmith first, he may have uses in mind for Alan first.
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Groan Mark (although did like your 'marmotte on toast' on the other thread!) Very Happy

Tony - climbing is no good for me - have a bad fear of heights - can cope as long as feet (or skis) are on the ground - but the idea of hanging on by my hands or a rope gives me the heeby jeebies...! rolling eyes
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