The French mountain guide and professional alpinist Benjamin Védrines has set a new speed record on Broad Peak: in just seven hours and 28 minutes he reached the summit of the 8051 meter high mountain from the Godwin-Austen Glacier.
Boarded on July 19 Benjamin Vedrines the twelfth highest eight-thousander in the world for the first time. "Without supplemental oxygen, alone and with a lot of difficulties in the last part of the climb." Ten days later he was then ready for the main goal of the expedition: climbing the mountain as quickly as possible Broad Peaks. He hadn't expected that he would succeed in halving the previous best time of just under 16 hours.
Everything fits together on record day
Benjamin Védrines climbed the speed ascent together with the alpinist Francis Cazzanelli on. They started at midnight on the Godwin-Austen Glacier at 4890 meters. "I went ahead and realized very quickly that this was not a day like any other," says the top French alpinist. "My legs were in great shape, my motivation was unwavering and the conditions were almost perfect."
He enjoyed the whole climb, from the beautiful sunrise to the chats with friends he met along the way. "It was so much easier than the first ascent, everything was fine."
Benjamin Védrines was only unsure about one point, the rate of ascent: "I didn't really know what pace to go. I was afraid of overexerting myself." As he climbs to the top of Broad Peak, his watch ticks at 7 hours and 28 minutes. A new speed record.
Benjamin Védrines crossing the Massif des Écrins
First paragliding flight from Broad Peak
The wind was perfect at the summit. "The ultimate dream for every paraglider," enthuses Benjamin Védrines. "I wasn't sure if what I was experiencing was real. I spread my umbrella out on the snow ten meters below the summit. A little momentum backwards and the screen was over my head."
Being the first in history to launch a paraglider from Broad Peak was a big moment in his life, Védrines said. And as a positive side effect, the alpinist was back at base camp at eight o'clock in time for breakfast.
That might interest you
- World record: Sanu Sherpa has climbed all 14 eight-thousanders twice
- Speed records in alpinism: why, why, why?
- Interview: Professional spin-Nicolas Hojac on role models and speed records
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Credits: Cover picture Benjamin Vedrines