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Posts Tagged ‘Everest’

Pierre Tardivel was born 50 years ago on November 26, 1963 in Annecy, Haute-Savoie, France. Influences by the movies and the first tracks of greats like Patrick Vallençant and Sylvain Saudan, Tardivel became part of a small group of French Extreme skiers to have made his marks with an impressive 100 first descents in 1980 and still accomplishing first descents. Although most of his first descents are in the Alps, he accomplished in 1992 a first descent on Mont Everest southern summit; also an altitude record at that time of 8770m.

An appropriate quote from Eider:

Pierre Tardivel has spent 20 years…. 20 years skiing the steeps. A well-known figure in the (tiny) extreme skiing community, he is the undeniable godfather of this elite discipline, and at almost 50 years old continues to put down first descents.

A monument built one turn after the other, Pierre represents the epitome of alpine skiing applied to the high-mountains, descending lines that any mortal skier would simply consider unskiable. In fact, his motto is, “no slope is impossible to ski.”

I couldn’t select just one video for this month. So here are three absolutely impressive homemade clips plus one interview for the local TV after that last video posted. The music is also pretty awesome.

Comments (in French) were written by/and Tardivel’s partners.

1987 Pointe Percée – Face Ouest – 5.3 E3 AD
Posted by Jean-Christophe Roumailhac

Pierre Tardivel et Jean-Christophe Roumailhac lors d’une des toutes premières descentes de la face Ouest de la Pointe Percée dans le massif des Aravis. Une belle voie réalisée avec le matériel de l’époque, skis droits de 2 m et chaussures de slalom.

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2008 : Pointe Perçée 2752m-Massif des Aravis – Pierre Tardivel et Jérémy Janody
Posted by Yadugaz

Itinéraire ouvert par S.Meyet et E.Guilhot. Raide et gazeux 5.4 E4 250m avec 1 rappel de 40 m. Avec Pierrot on y retourne pour voir si y a moyen de passer sans rappel et voir de prolonger… 3 tentatives et 2 échecs pour finalement éviter le rappel par la Variante Yadugaz. Pas déçu du voyage l’itinéraire est soutenu. Bravo les ouvreurs!

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2012 : Pierre Tardivel et Laurent Leemans, face Nord de la Tour “Les Grands Barjots”
Posted by Laurent Leemans and Piolet15

1ère descente à skis de la face N de la Tour, le 15 janvier 2012, par Pierre Tardivel et Laurent Leemans, accompagné par Rodolphe Popier , itinéraire baptisé “Les Grands Barjots”, dans le massif du Bargy, une ligne repérée par Pierre Tardivel quelques temps auparavant. Une ligne rendue très difficile par les mauvaises conditions de neige, dans les passages clé les plus exposés et raides. Des pentes allant de 45° à 50°, Cotation proposée 5.4/E4 ,avec la présence de barres rocheuses. Les parties les moins raides, en poudreuse tassée, très agréable à skier . Une ligne se terminant par un couloir encaissé, pour enfin déboucher sur le vallon du Bronze.
Retrouvez toutes les photos sur www.piolet15.com

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Interview with Tardivel after his first descent of the Northface of la Tour “Les Grands Barjots”
Posted by TV8MontBlanc
Pierre Tardivel : un vrai grand barjot (Bargy)

You’ll find below some great interviews and great pictures plus various website information on Pierre Tardivel. All of the information is in French, except the last one.

Pierre Tardivel’s Blog List of Tardivel’s first descents

Montagnologie : Entretien avec Pierre Tardivel
Montagnes Reportages ITV : Interview Pierre Tardivel skieur extrème
Information on Tardivel on the Bivouak website
PisteHors website : Stirred but not Shaken
(in English)

“Skiing a new couloir in the Mont-Blanc massif, without abseiling or rock skiing is still possible today! You merely have to leave the ski lifts far behind, open you eyes and wait for the right conditions”

Bonne fête Pierre. Que tu puisses encore de trouver de nombreuses premières descentes!!!

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Day 4 of the season and my season only started 8 days ago. Here’s another TR from the nostalgia file…one from 10 years ago: the 2002-03 season.

With a new baby at home, the season started late, but I was catching up. After a late start at Whiteface on Sunday, January 5, I skied the first Masters’ race of the season at Fortune then Saturday was the first ski lessons with the Edelweiss Ski School for Morgane. Although she started skiing at 2 1/2, we wanted to register her into a ski program so we would reserve time for her and not get carried away time-wise by her new sister.

It was Canadian Week at Sugarloaf; they offered Canadians deals on lodging and lift tickets on this mid-January midweek for us crazies. As soon as I graduated from university and its ski team, I was no longer able or had any desire to ski anything with less than a 2000’ vertical. I started seeking out specials within 3 hours from Montreal (300km from Champlain Bridge); although I no longer live in Montreal, I’m still seeking out skiing deals ten years later.

mtl-loaf
source : Google Map – Montréal (A), Bromont (B), Sugarloaf (C)

Like the previous Sugarloaf Canadian Week visit in 2002, Lucky Luke was in for some Maine turns at the Loaf; much better than going to work. I don’t remember if I slept at my mom’s in Montreal or headed straight for Lucky’s place in Bromont in the Eastern Townships on the Sunday night. We had a bunch of cassettes and 2 pairs of skis each for the slightly less than 3 hours road trip from Bromont. Once off the autoroute and after a few turns, we ended up on one of the straightest non-flat highways that I know: Quebec Highway 212. Once we crossed into Maine at Woburn, we kept our eyes open for moose on that last 30 -minute stretch between the Quebec-Maine border and Sugarloaf. Lucky had already been unlucky once, crashing into a deer while going to a ski race ten years previously (R.I.P. Ford Tempo). I wanted to be sure it didn’t happen again, especially with a moose. Not sure if we saw any moose or deer on that day, but my average over the years on this stretch of road or the one heading towards Sunday River is pretty high.

I love skiing at Sugarloaf, I love the topography. A nice cone with fall-line skiing which gets steeper as you get higher. On that day, like on many of my trips, I had my good skis (the 183cm Atomic Beta Race 10:22, a pure GS ski) and my rock skis (10-year old, 205cm straight yellow Rossignol 7Ss). Started off the morning with the good pair, the rock skis were staying in the car for now.

The sky was gray and the place was fairly deserted. I guess it’s not surprising for a non-Holiday Monday at Sugarloaf in mid-January. There was a small layer of fresh snow on the beautiful corduroy base. Lucky and I were running laps all over the mountain. We started off with runs off the 1750’ Sugarloaf SuperQuad, hitting runs like Hayburner, King’s Landing, Comp Hill and Narrow Gauge, slowly moving further to the right to the 1500’ slower Spillway double. Always thought it was pretty impressive to have two double chairs running side-by-side using the same towers. Unlike the previous year, the King Pine quad was closed, basically the only lifts running were Spillway and the HSQ. Concentrated on turns on Spillway, Sluice…then throwing us down the steep White Nitro pitch and hitting the runway down the narrower trails like Wedge and Bubblecuffer.

As we accumulated the runs, the snow was also accumulating. We decided to keep the fast skis and keep carving some nice high-speed turns in the fresh layer of snow. Shadowing each other, loading the skis to an explosive acceleration at every long radius turns over the roll of the narrow trails. The perception of these lower trails is very different when you’re running at warp speed with the twists, rolls and blurred trees on each side. No time to stop during these fast laps, we only stopped for lunch. In the afternoon, we continued racing down trails in what was now a blizzard. Loving to ski high-speed turns in a snow storm: not something I’ve been in a habit to do, but the skis were skiing awesome on that day. It wasn’t only a powder GS day, it was a memorable day which I can recall 10 years after. Although the Spillway double was a relatively slow lift, we skied 24 runs which would be somewhere between 36000 and 42000 vertical feet on that day.. I remember Lucky saying we skied Everest and a half!!! In the previous year, we skied much slower, more varied terrain, more lifts for a total of 31k.

Drive Home and the next Big Eastern Mountain Outing Deals

The drive back to Bromont wasn’t as fast. We drove back in the full-out storm and dark, it took us over 5 hours to make it back to Bromont: double the morning travel time. We thought of staying the night, but Lucky had to work the next day. I left for Montreal that morning for a stop at Dafran in Montreal to pick up and pay for my new pair of slalom skis for the next Masters’ Race. It was my first pair of Slalom under 201cm in 20 years: some short 157cm Atomic SL11s.

What a great day, the next ski deals in our January Calendar were Whiteface’s Superbowl Super Sunday on the 26th followed by Mad River Glen’s Roll back the Clock day on the 28th. Lucky Luke was definitely in for MRG, however this time I was going to leave my GS skis at home. The new slalom when going to left in Ottawa also.

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