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“L’Esprit de la Montagne”, supported by the Public Library of Courmayeur and Grivel Mont-Blanc, goes on at Courmayeur, at the Jardin de l’Ange.

entra in fotogalleryOn the 8th of August at 9 p.m. there is going to be the women side of the mountain with Francesca Chenal and her film “Manicure”.

Francesca Chenal is one of the best climber and mountaineer of Valle d’Aosta. A thin, light body and strong, tough hands have enabled her to climb up to 8a on cliffs and to overcome overhanging roofs of stone and ice. Which kind of manicure for Francesca? Her hands are dried up by chalk, her fingernails are broken and her knuckles are enlarged by overtraining finger flexor muscles. But “those hands”, clinging to ice axes or to rocks, are also her way to enjoy life, to have fun, “those hands” are sensual and charming too. She takes care of them, keeping them away from traumas and frostbites: a peculiar manicure indeed.

She seems born to climb on the hot Mediterranean cliffs, but she begun her relation with mountains on the snow, being a snowboard instructor. She continued on spectacular ice falls with Ezio Marlier, Patrick Gabarrou and François Damilano, shared the passion for dry-tooling with Massimo Farina, whom she reminds with sensitiveness, entered rock and ice competitions, measured herself on the granite of Mont – Blanc, up to the great opportunity of her life: an expedition to Pakistan. On the top of the central pillar of Chogolisa she felt as in Paradise. A hammering soundtrack by Alicia Keys, Enya, Mia Martini and Shakira gives rhythm to her climbing and push to follow her adventures on mountains.

On the opposite, on the 10th of August, the veritable male side of mountaineering represented by the Swiss top climber Erhard Loretan, the third to complete the ascent of all the 14 8000-metre peaks.

Born in 1959 in Bulle, Valais, he showed his extreme psychic and physical capabilities since he started climbing. He led his first expedition in the Andes when he was only 21 and scaled his first 8000-metre peak, the Nanga Parbat, when he was 23. He completed the series in 1995 reaching the main summit of Kangchenjumga. His distinctive marks of climbing are new and difficult routes and high speed of ascent, without oxygen and high altitude porters, with only a minimum of food and equipment. His most impressive exploits include the traverse of Annapurna ridge, seven and half km long, in 1984, the winter ascent of Dhaulagiri in 1985, the ascent and descent of the northwest face of Mount Everest in only 43 hours in 1986 and the first climbing of the hazardous and extremely exposed east face of Trango Tower, together with Voytek Kurtyka, in 1988. In the Alps he proved his uncommon mental strength and climbing skills, ascending 13 north faces, including Eiger, in only 13 days, in winter 1989. In austral summer 1994/95 he went to Antarctic where he completed two solo first ascents, including the extremely steep 3000-metre high west face of Mount Epperly (4700 m). “White out”, the film, directed by Romolo Nottaris, that is going to be presented at Courmayeur, is the story of this experience. In the film one of the Loretan’s top qualities is stressed: his ability to assess critical situations and turn back just in time, under adverse circumstances, even on sight of the summit.

Erhard Loretan is a member of the Swiss Association of Mountain Guides and the Swiss Alpine Club. In 1996 he received the King Albert Medal of Merit.

by Oriana Pecchio

Grivel Mont Blanch srl

11013 Courmayeur (Aosta) Italy

Phone: +39.0165.84.37.14

Fax: +39.0165.84.48.00

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