KARPOS E CHRISTOPHER DUMAREST
Mountains do not divide. Ever!
Mountains unite people. Those who have the same way of feeling the unevenness of the slope, of the difficulty; the pleasure of having reached a summit, a point beyond it that’s important to us. These people are more alike than you can imagine.
This is what we’ve always thought.
Mountains unite! There are no barriers. Difficulties vanish when people share the same feeling. Even language-related problems disappear. Christophe is one of us, and he’ll be with us on the journey that we’ll take together.
CHRISTOPHE DUMAREST'S BIOGRAPHY
It’s like I was born in a backpack. I discovered the mountains when I was still very young, thanks to the passion that my parents, especially my dad, passed on to me.
They were both horticulturists, hard workers who labored all week. So as soon as the weekend came, or the opportunity to spend a few days on vacation, we went straight to the mountains.
That’s why before my 10th birthday I had already conquered my first 4,000-meter summit and climbed some north faces like the Aiguille de la Dibona, the southern ridge of the Chapelle de la Glière and the north face of the Tsantelena.
In this way, I soon became a lead climber and started guiding my dad in the mountains.
I later joined the regional mountaineering group and fine-tuned my technique following a team of climbers led by a coach. By the end of the two-year course we had climbed some of Canada’s most beautiful and challenging ice falls.
It was during that time that I began climbing with Patrick Gabarrou, whom I had met at the age of 13, climbing on the limestone of the northern Alps. In the 2000s we achieved first ascents of some icefalls and various routes together, including “Patagonic” on the south face of Mont Blanc, “Misericorde” on the south face of the Täschhorn, “Heidi” on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses, “Pilier Tchoua” on the Petites Jorasses, and “Jean-Chri” on the Freney Pillar, and then completed the enchainment of Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn.
Around that same time I also joined the FFME (ENJA) — the national youth team of the French Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing — led by coach Christophe Moulin. We first set out for Norway to tackle an epic five-day climb on the Troll Wall before going to the Buckskin Glacier in Alaska and its gigantic Moose’s Tooth wall.
During my time on the national team I met Aymeric Clouet, with whom I would share mountain adventures for more than 10 years. Our new AC/DC (Aymeric Clouet / Dumarest Christophe) rope party would complete the first enchainments in the Mont Blanc and Écrins massif and would also take us to Alaska, Tibet, Chile and Patagonia, where we would repeat the “Supercanaleta” route and develop a new route on a beautiful pillar to the right of it that would lead us to the summit of Fitz Roy for the second time in the ten days since our arrival.
With Aymeric and other adventurers I tackled some of the most beautiful climbing routes in the world: a dozen routes on the Grandes Jorasses and at least six on the walls of the Dru (including the first winter repeat of “Lafaille,” lasting nine days). Other routes include “Attraverso il pesce” (Marmolada), “La Esfinge” (Peru), “Eternal Flame” on the Trango Towers (Karakoram) and “Cobra Pillar” on Mount Barril (Alaska).
At the same time I began to fall in love with enchainments, where creativity take precedence over speed. This led to new adventures, such as “il Meridiano degli Écrins” (traversing l’Oisans from the north face), “l’Enchaînement Royal” (via “Gabarrou” on Nant Blanc and the Jorasses), the Monte Rosa– Matterhorn traverse, a project on the “3 Monts” route (three routes on the eastern side of the “3 Monts” route on Mont Blanc), the “Bonatti” enchainment (Jorasses–Grand Capucin–Pilier Rouge), the loop around the Fiz range (by way of the most difficult climbing routes) and the loop of the Chartreuse massif. Today I prefer adventures close to home, to reduce the environmental impact of my travels and to demonstrate that with a little creativity and inspiration you can still discover beautiful places in the Alps. I also make use of my love of paragliding for some approaches and to descend from the peaks.
For me, dreaming, climbing and sharing represent three sides of the same mountain. This is why it is very important for me to share my vision of the mountains and everything they offer me through articles, videos and social media.
What I find with Karpos, beyond the extremely high quality of its products, is a brand that reflects this tradition of mountaineering with an eye toward innovation in order to support athletes in their performance and their projects, even the most unconventional ones. It’s a responsive company, always ready to develop new products, led by people who love the mountains. Exactly what I was looking for: a dynamic brand, ready to support me in my most ambitious projects!