09 February 2015
The adventure is ready to start. After months of preparation, CAMP athletes Yann Borgnet (23) and Yoann Joly (21), two young emerging talents of French alpinism, begin today the Alpine Line Project: a 1500 kilometer linkup crossing the entire European Alp range - with no motorized means of transportation - while climbing 25 huge peaks via major routes. This adventure is expected to take 4 months, and was inspired by the “Voyage Alpin” of Patrick Berhault in 2000/2001.
«I was 14 and I was in Chamonix for an ENSA stage during which I watched the film of the Alp crossing by Berhault», says Borgnet. «It was in this moment that I gave myself two goals: to repeat the Gousseault-Desmaison route on the Grandes Jorasses - a dream that I made in 2011 - and a trip like that of Patrick. More recently I met Yoann and understanding was immediate: we found we had common ideas and desires and the project arrived as a result».
The Alpine Line Project will be an opportunity to experience new people and challenge new personal horizons through nature: it will be a sport, human, and environmental adventure. Borgnet and Joly will move from one alpine wall to another under their own power - on land by walking, cycling and skiing; across water by sailing and kayaking; through air by paraglider – thus creating a line that will express their vision of human-powered mountaineering. From Monte Cinto in Corsica to Triglav in the Julian Alps, the two friends will proceed in the opposite direction travelled by Berhault and attempt to extend the total distance and number of peaks. They plan to climb symbolic peaks that are not necessarily the highest or the most famous (though they'll include Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, the Eiger and the Grandes Jorasses).
«We chose wonderful walls, routes that have signed the history of mountaineering or that have a special value for us», they explain. «La Pointe Percée, for example, is not a so important peak but it is the highest in the Aravis: the massif where we discovered mountaineering. We have many ideas and we will think how to achieve them: we aim to repeat important routes, to make enchainments and also to complete new routes. Everything will depend on the weather and our condition, without taking unnecessary risks».
The crossing will be a rediscovery of the Alps: the most explored and best known mountain range on the planet, but still a place where adventure is possible. Or rather, in the opinion of our two protagonists, «the almost total absence of virgin places makes the Alps even more interesting», inspiring the challenge to combine disciplines such as climbing and paragliding to climb a wall, fly to another and broaden the horizons of technical mountain adventure.
The experience of the journey - the real trip that builds on itself day by day - will be the essence of the Alpine Line Project. «We have a program to follow, but without constraints: we will evaluate what to do based on the meetings and opportunities», explain Yann and Yoann. «Our most important interest is the human aspect: this is the reason we decided to open the project to all those who want to share with us a part of the way, by contacting us via the site alpinelineproject.com. We dream of a great climbing party from end-to-end of the Alps - many people who love the mountains and nature, ready to respect and defend them».
Follow Yann and Yoann on www.alpinelineproject.com.
Yann Borgnet and Yoann Joly are supported by:
Glaces des Alpes e Au Vieux Campeur
CAMP, Scarpa, Plum, Viewranger, Beal, Alpina Savoie, Guidetti e Icebreacker