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 NEWS - Grivel
03/05/07
Christophe Profit interview - 10 times the Eiger as mountain guide
www.grivel.com
Grivel
On 09/04/07 Christophe Profit, one of the most important mountaineers of all times, climbed the North Face of the Eiger for the tenth time with a client.
 
Why did such a famous alpinist decide to become a mountain guide?
I’ve wanted to be a guide ever since I was a child.. It’s a way of keeping the passion alive, using my experience, communicating my knowledge and sharing all the important aspects of the mountains.

Why take clients on such challenging climbs?
Being a guide gives me the opportunity of doing everything, from easy to the most difficult ascents. What’s important is to use my own experience and share it with my client. It is also what allows me to make my living.
This time on the Eiger it had just snowed. Cutting tracks through the snow made for a challenging and extremely technical ascent. Climbing up the “difficult crack” and the “ramp” we had to keep on stopping to remove snow build up and the wet rock meant we had to go really carefully. That’s what I love most about alpinism, it’s a mix of ability, commitment and fun!

Why the North Face of the Eiger?
Every thing that alpinism represents can be found on this wall! And then there’s the sentimental side. I’ve had so many experiences on this face with memories that I’ll always keep. Dominique Radigue came with me on the approach the first time I attempted the first winter ascent after I’d climbed the wall in the autumn with some guide friends, including André-Pierre Rhem, who I’ve dedicated this climb to.



Can a guide assume responsibility for a client on the Eiger and is it the same situation as above 8000 metres?
I consider the Eiger to be for a “classic guide”. At an altitude of above 8.000mt many different aspects come into play, including problems due to oxygen deprivation and nobody can assume responsibility for someone else. Anyway, a guide must prepare himself properly also for an ascent on the Eiger as well. I’ve known Valery for more than ten years. We’ve climbed all over the place and on different terrains together: rock, ice falls, goulottes, mixed. This winter, as we waited for the anticyclone, we trained on the Arete de Tronchey on the Grandes Jorasses, on the Nord of Drus couloir with an unplanned bivouac and several other gullies. Valery’s passion for the mountain is unsurpassed and climbing with him is a joy. I am very happy that this tenth ascent was with him.



What is Profit’s style as mountain guide?
I try to keep myself in perfect harmony with the mountains and make time for them. Here’s an example: if the weather is good then I’ll bivouac over night rather then rush up and down in one day.

What secret can you pass on to the younger generation who want to become guides on the big walls?
Take all the time you need to get to know your clients so that you build up a good team and maintain a degree of humility within your relationship with the mountains.







Photo 1 -4 : Christophe Profit climbing the "Difficult crack"
Photo 5 : On the summit!

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