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Asia, Tibet, Kanggado

Shisha Pangma and Unique Training Method. On September 5, I reached the summit of Shisha Pangma with Italians Fausto De Stefani and Sergio Martini by the normal route. We had Base Camp, Camps I, II and III at 5550, 6400, 6900 and 7300 meters. We had no particular problems aside from deep snow, which made trail-breaking arduous and caused avalanche danger in the leftwards traverse of the summit slopes. On September 6, Italians Giorgio Daidola and Pino Negri and Frenchman Didier Givois also reached the summit. Daidola and Givois descended on nordic skis. For me, the originality of the expedition was in my preparation: acclimatization at home. With the aid of a pump, I placed myself in a huge plastic sack, which held some 2000 liters, in which a mixture of air was present which corresponds to the air that would be breathed at one or another altitude. Then with the help of a tube and mask, I breathed this mixture while riding an ergometric bicycle. I began at a simulated altitude of 4000 meters and ended at 5800 meters. This preparation lasted for 20 days. It gave positive results as tested in the hospital before my training, before my departure and after my return from Shisha Pangma. Although I had not been at altitude for three years, I climbed to the summit ten days after arriving in Base Camp. The work was done in collaboration with Dr. Corinne Cristol of the Centre Pilote d’Escalade et d’Alpinisme in Vaulx en Velin, Professor André Geyssant of the GIP Exercice of the St. Etienne Hospital and me. The study continues.

Patrick Berhault, Club Alpin Français