She's like that … Elisabeth Revol


Each week, Philippe Ridet has a personality that makes the news. Like the French mountaineer who, after escaping death during his ascent of the Nanga Parbat in January 2018, has just climbed two Himalayan peaks. A feat.

Posted today at 01:39, updated at 06h26 Time to Play 32 min.


AT his place, we would not have moved. While warm in our cottage, we would have watched the snow crowning little by little the peaks around. A book in hand. A plaid on the knees. And why not a cat too to perfect the chromo? So happy finally to have recovered all our fingers, to be alive, to be out of the hell of the Himalayas. But we are not Elizabeth Revol, 39, mountaineer, 1.50 m of energy and endurance.

At the end of May, she offered herself an Everest and, in the aftermath, we could say, Lhotse, just like others visit the cathedrals of Amiens and Beauvais the same day …

Child, we read First of rope, Roger Frison-Roche, and Annapurna, first 8,000, from Maurice Herzog. We still remember the cover of the volume at Arthaud, a black and white photo where only the small French flag attached to the handle of the ice ax is in color. From time to time, the replay of Tintin in Tibet reminded us of the solidarity essential to the practice of this discipline. But, deep down, we never knew how to decide the part of courage and unconsciousness that had to be combined to attack the peaks.

The story of Elisabeth Revol, survivor, in 2018, of a winter climb in alpine style (without oxygen, without fixed rope, without sherpa) of the terrible Nanga Parbat (8 126 meters) at the end of which she had to give up at the The death of his climbing companion, who was snow-blind, convinced us that the Himalayans, who reached a form of plenitude at an altitude of 8,000 meters and at least 40 degrees, belonged to a humanity of which we were excluded. "Up there, I'm escaping out of time"she had told Release in 2018.

But she put it back without saying a word to anyone. A climb in the shape of a relapse? At the end of May, she offered herself an Everest and, in the aftermath, we could say, the Lhotse, a nearby summit, just like others visit the cathedrals of Amiens and Beauvais the same day … Without oxygen, always. Yet had she not declared to The Obs, in 2018, returning from his ordeal on the slopes of "The killer mountain" : "It will take time to find the desire to go back up there" ?

Read also Four new mountaineers die trying to reach Everest

Time ? Barely more than a year … Must he be strong, the call of the heights! At 4, she was already climbing the hills behind her home. At 18, she climbs a peak in the Andes, which is for mountaineers what the paddling pool is big pool for swimmers. His obsession: "The Himalayas in winter". EPS teacher, she goes on leave without pay. With Tomasz Mackiewicz, a Polish mountaineer, they try two years in a row the Nanga Parbat, twice they fail. The third, they succeed, but Tomasz leaves his life. Much has been written about this disappearance. Did he have to die to save her? Only Elisabeth Revol knows it intimately.

Interviewed by a journalist from ReleaseThe mountaineer did not want to explain these new climbs. "I do not communicate about me, she argued. It was a personal trip », even though the 10,000 summit rider will be crossed since Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary defeated Everest for the first time since 1953. When the weather is good, mountaineers line up in the thin air of the peaks , tight against each other. Elizabeth Revol was among them. Maybe that's why she returned to the Himalayas. To understand what good is running the mountains if it is to die there.

Read also It's like that … Pascal Praud
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