Letters from Sophie Lavaud: July 3rd, 2023

sunset just above camp 3 6900m photo@DawaSangaysherpa

Dear friends,

A dream that takes shape, the grail is reached!

I actually can’t grasp it at all! One thing is sure we reached the whole team, (François, Mingma, Ulysse, Pasang, Imtyaz, Dawa Sangay, and me) all together at the summit of Nanga Parbat at 8126 m around 9:15 am on June 26 after 15 hours of ascent.

Left the night before around 6 pm, in the middle of the night, the leading team stopped. No more fixed strings. The quantity carried on the mountain is insufficient to reach the summit. What to do?
In the wind and snow hitting our faces, it’s a difficult decision to make.

Finally, Dawa Sangay gets closer to me and says, “We go on without a fixed rope!”
We still have 500 m of unevenness on very steep slopes to climb. It’s long, difficult, and busy… At the top, not even time to savor, we stay there for only a few minutes with the descent in front…

It is around 4 pm that we fall into tents at camp 3.

The night does not leave us any respite. The wind and the accumulation of snow against the wall literally push the tent into the void! At one o’clock in the morning, we flee Camp 3, leaving several items trapped under the mass of snow!

Around 4 am we reach Camp 2 then de-escalation of the Kinshofer then the 1000 meters of ice and finally Camp 1. We arrive at the base camp decomposed with fatigue to swallow a breakfast. God, this is good!

The great book of the 8000 ends but leaves room for a new adventure book… I already think!!!

Many THANKS to you all,
I kiss you all,

Islamabad, 3 July 2023

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