16 peaks, 110 km, 11850 m altitude: Benjamin Védrine's K2 preparation is in full swing

The French professional alpinist and mountain guide Benjamin Védrines circled the entire Serre-Chevalier valley northwest of Briançon on March 21st and 22nd. He covered a distance of 110 kilometers on touring skis and climbed 16 meters in altitude across 11850 peaks.

The complete circumnavigation of the entire valley of Serre-Chevalier in the heart of the French Alps had Benjamin Vedrines been in my head for a long time. Last week he put his crazy idea into action. The start and finish point of his mega tour was Briançon. In total, the French alpinist and mountain guide climbed 16 peaks on his round trip and covered 11850 meters in altitude and 110 kilometers.

For two days I roamed the peaks and sharp ridges of this beautiful region of my base camp.

Benjamin Vedrines
Benjamin Védrines during the circumnavigation of the Serre-Chevalier valley. Image: @thibaut.marot and @gripmediavideo
Benjamin Védrines during the circumnavigation of the Serre-Chevalier valley. Picture: @thibaut.marot and @gripmediavideo

Experience in the foreground

Benjamin Védrines is known for his mountaineering achievements such as his Winter North Face Trilogy with Léo Billon or his Speed ​​record at Broad Peak. His latest adventure on his own doorstep wasn't about breaking any record. “I just felt the desire to experience something powerful by connecting the areas I love.”

Rectangle_Knatsch in Magic Wood

The magic worked and the emotions were present the whole time.

Benjamin Vedrines

Sometimes finding the way required a lot of courage and perseverance, says Védrines. But overall his form was good.

16 peaks, 110 kilometers, 11850 meters in altitude

Day 1: 
1. Cretes de Peyrolle
2. La Gardiole
3. Le Grand Area 
4. Tete Noire 
5. Le Benoîte
6. Crete du Chardonnet 
7. Le Grand Galibier 
8. Pointe de la Mandette 

Day 2:
9. Pic Blanc du Galibier 
10. Pic des Trois Évêchés
11. Pic Ouest de Combeynot 
12. Pic du Lac de Combeynot 
13. Calotte des Agneaux 3634m
14. Pic du Rif 
15. La Condamine 
16. Le Prorel

Track from Benjamin Védrines' megatour in the Serre-Chevalier Valley.
Track from Benjamin Védrines' megatour in the Serre-Chevalier Valley.

Training for single push on K2

This winter is not the first time Benjamin Védrines has attracted attention with extensive ski mountaineering adventures. Big tours, which in turn represent stages on the way to an even bigger goal for the Frenchman: climbing K2 in one continuous push.

The alpinist wants to put this plan into practice in July and, if the climb is successful, will start with his paraglider from near the summit.

Benjamin Védrines was already on K2022 in 2, but had to turn around at 8400 meters due to severe hypoxia. After other mountaineers found him almost unconscious and provided him with bottled oxygen, he was able to descend independently and later fly back to base camp with his paraglider.

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Credits: Cover picture Benjamin Vedrines

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