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Asia, Pakistan, Gasherbrum I  

Gasherbrum I. Ours was a joint Franco-Pakistani military expedition. The French members were Captain Pierre Lavier, A/C Georges Derycke, Adj. Lionel Mailly, Adj. Bruno Prom, Adj. Yves Tedeschi, S/C Bernard and S/C Philippe Renard. The Pakistanis were Major Waqar, Captain Saeed, Captain Amjad, Havildar Yousaf and Havildar Mohammad Ullah. We had hoped to climb the north ridge, but the weather when we arrived at Base Camp on July 18 persuaded us to climb the west ridge, which the Japanese had just ascended. We placed Camps I and II at 5900 and 6700 meters on July 20 and 22. A light Camp III was installed at 7100 meters on July 25 by three climbers. That same day Tedeschi, Derycke, Yousaf, Mohammad Ullah and I got to Camp III, having left Base Camp the day before. At one A.M. on July 26, we set out for the summit. At dawn, we were at 7400 meters, finding the going difficult in 30cm of soft snow. Finally, at noon, we all reached the summit. After three tries, I took off and flew by paraglider to Base Camp from 7100 meters. On July 27 and 28, the other climbers made an attempt, but they were fatigued. Only Mailly and Prom made it to Camp III. Prom continued on alone to 7800 meters, where snowfall forced him to retreat. He sprained his ankle on the descent and had to be helped back to Base.

Alain Estève, Captain, Groupe Militaire de Haute Montagne