Millet athletes Aurélien Vaissière and Symon Welfringer on Lobuche East

Interview with Millet athletes Aurélien Vaissière and Symon Welfringer after their ascent of Lobuche East in the Khumbu Himalaya.

Interview with Millet athletes Aurélien Vaissière and Symon Welfringer after their ascent of Lobuche East in the Khumbu Himalaya.

DID YOU THINK IT WOULD BE SO SMOOTH?

AV : With Symon in the team, yeah, pretty much. But we expected something surprising, that’s for sure. But it wasn’t actually our initial project – that was the north face of Cholatse.

SW : Autumn conditions in the Himalaya really depend on what the weather was like in July and August, i.e. the monsoon season – and this year, it was practically non-existent, so the mountains we faced in October were just how they are in summer: very dry, and not much ice. In these conditions, our initial objective – ice/mixed climbing right up a north face – turned out to be a non-starter.
We’d headed to this valley for its overall potential – we’d have the option of switching to a different objective, with a different exposure. So we had a look at the south side of the valley for a rock-climbing target. That’s when we found this pillar, and the possibility of opening a route up it.

AV : : In terms of altitude, Symon and Antonin already had high-altitude experience, just short of 6,000 – unlike Laurent and me. So we decided to opt for a massif where there were summits of 6,000-6,500 nearby, so we could test ourselves at that altitude.

For the full interview check out www.millet-mountain.com