Annapurna. An emblematic summit. The one out of the 14 "8000" summits with the fewest number of expeditions. A challenge for all mountaineers, even today, 71 years after the ascent of Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal.
In a few days, Yorick Vion, a mountaineer, aspiring high-mountain guide and ski instructor in Courchevel, will climb the Himalayan giant, alpine style, that means without assistance nor oxygen.
We met him, on the eve of his departure, to know more about his motivations, his state of mind and to find out a little more about the course of his journey.
Why did you choose to climb Annapurna?
This "8000 is the least conquered, it is one of the most technical. In my mind, it means a lot, this summit must be climbed and not trampled on.
Did you follow any specific training to prepare yourself for the very high altitude?
I did not prepare myself, I just did my job. Given the fact that I am a guide, I go hiking, skiing and climbing every day, I did not need to follow any specific training. My job is enough.
What are the most important things not to forget for a journey like this?
Good shoes and thick gloves.
How long does it take to get prepared for this type of climb?
In my opinion, it takes years to get the technical level to be able to consider the race, but basically it took me about two years to prepare for this expedition.
What is your state of mind on the eve of your departure?
I am impatient, everything has been going fast forward for a few weeks now but the wait is starting to become unbearable. I want to climb!
What will you miss the most?
My wife… And my cat!
How long will the climb last?
We are planning a 5 week trip, but as far as the climbing is concerned, it will last between one week and ten days.
Are you taking any "comfort" food with you?
I've been taking Diots (Savoie sausage). A lot of them. Donkey Diots, especially, and Tomme cheese, a lot. On the other hand, at altitude I find it hard to eat (like everyone else, that said) so, I only took freeze-dried mashed potatoes.
What will be the first thing you do when you get back?