"Lhomme qui revient de haut (Return from the Heights)" got the 2006 Alpine Club of Canada award for Best Film on Climbing. Directed by Gilles Perret, the film records the journey of French alpinist Marc Batard as he comes to terms with his homosexuality. Image courtesy of the Banff Centre (click to enlarge).

Everest 2008: Marc Batard back for speed record attempt on north side

Posted: Jan 21, 2008 05:49 am EST
(MountEverest.net) 20 years after his Everest south side speed record; this spring Marc Batard will try to beat Austrian Christian Stangl's speed record on Everest north side.

French Marc Batard climbed Everest without oxygen in record 22,5 hours (fall 1988) and returned in fall 1990 for another (no 02) Everest south side ascent.

Six years later on Everest north side; in 1996 Italian ski-mountaineer Hans Kammerlander reached the summit from ABC in record 17 hours and skied down from 7800m.

10 years later again, in 2006, Christian Stangl climbed Everest north side from ABC (6.400 m) to summit in 16 hours and 42 minutes; beating Kammerlander by only 18 minutes.

Christian said that Kammerlander had used 'resupplies' (Sherpas in camp 1 and 2 with hot drinks etc.), while Stangl is a 'Sky-runner' - that is climbing alone without crew, artificial oxygen and camps; taking the fastest track against the clock.

Christian Stangl climbed in a light down suit and carried ½ liter of liquid, carbohydrate-gel packs and salted cookies. He used a ski-pole, but no ice-axe or jumar. He had no radio or sat-phone with him.

(Ed. note: American Joby Ogwyn also made a speed ascent attempt on Everest's North side but turned back at 8500m.)

South side (route 3548m/about 17 km) speed records

Marc Batard September 26, 1988, without oxygen 22. 30 min
(Marc Batard also climbed Everest on October 5, 1990, without oxygen)
Kaji Sherpa October 17, 1998 with oxygen 20. 24 min
Babu Chiri Sherpa May 21, 2000 with oxygen 16. 56 min
Pemba Dorjie Sherpa May 22, 2003 with oxygen 12. 45 min Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa May 25, 2003 with oxygen 10. 56 min
Pemba Dorjie Sherpa, May 21, 2004 with oxygen 8. 10 min.

North side (route 2448m/about 10 kms) speed records:

Christian Stangl May 25, 2006 without oxygen 16. 42 min.