Léo to the rest of the group :
I’m climbing, Tom, I have a lot of respect
for you my friend. I still don’t know if I
made the right decision. I’m really not sure
With each step I wonder if… If it’s gonna be ok…
I’m shitting my pants like never before.
I don’t know if… If what I am doing is right or wrong,
if I should follow them or not. Come on! Come on! Fuck! April 8. The KKH road is rocking me
as fatigue catches up. I open my eyes between two naps
to look at the landscapes. We pass Abbottabad, the town
where Bin Ladin was hiding at. The trip has now started for real. Soon we shall be in the mountains. We are excited.
I’m thirsty for adventure. March 30. One week before departure. I drink some wine with my dad,
discussing the expedition. He is reluctant and worried, so I try to
seem confident and I hide my fear. My thoughts are all about Pakistan,
and my gear list. As light as possible. What is this ? It’s straps, to strap stuff on it. Scrambled eggs, potatoes
and mixed peppers. I think that’s a breakfast. April 10. Packing and repacking
60 kg of freeze-dried food. 20 kg of cheese,
10 kg of dry fruits, 5kg of drones, 3 kg of GoPro,
15 kg of tents, 10 kg of cooking gear,
And 50 kg of propane, Soon we will be like a family
and we’ll need to stand together. Holy shit that sunburn ! Already ?
Oh yeah. Sun is strong. It’s just a beginning. Sleeping-bags, everybody
has his sleeping-bag ? Everybody has the tents ? Let’s check again but I think
we should have everything. From sled to ice axe. We have a total of 360kg of gear
to split between the 8 of us. The closer we get the more unreal it feels.
Skardu lodge’s flowery garden, river Indus flowing down below
My eyes are wide open. That bridge is fucked-up. Dude this is so crazy ! It’s really fucked-up now. April 12, 3200m. The Baltis of Askole are tough men.
They sleep outside without tents. We are the first group of the season
and they all want to work. 25kg, it’s the max
load they can carry. They are of all ages and sizes. The first headaches begin, striking Zak. It must be hard to be surrounded by a group
of Frenchmen, he is so far from home. I hope it’s going to be ok for everyone,
the altitude, the cold, the isolation. April 14, 4000m. Each step brings us closer to the
junction of Nobande Sobande. We just crossed the Panmah glacier. For the first time I lay my eyes upon the Latok
and the South East face of the Biacherahi Tower. We all wonder how its
snowy side looks like. Jérôme, can you see the big wall over
there in front of the dome ? The fat triangle in the middle. Well that is the Biacherahi Tower. Skam La is on the right,
where we want to go through. Yeah dude ! Big day today in the
Karakoram, delightful. This one carries the skis. This one carries food, everything we need to eat tonight, and this is Jolly-Jumper, my buddy. April 15, 4400m,
Goodbye porters. They never go this far on this glacier.
Some are wearing sandals. I could tell they were exhausted and
I didn’t want be doing slavery. These guys are machines. At 11H00 Yannick finally stopped and a
broad smile lit up their faces. Thank you, safe travels.
Thank you very much. Do you remember how far Askole was ?
Yeah. We’ve walked a good chunk already. They really carried us. It’s crazy, they will leave and in 5
minutes we will feel so lonely. Have a good trip. Good luck. May everything be well up there. Goodbye.
Yes, goodbye. April 15, 4400m. Tonight we talk about
the risk of crevasses. we eat our first freeze-dried meals.
The first of a long series. Our isolation has stepped up one notch. We are on our own. We are on our own. April 16, 4830m. I can’t see where I am going,
everything is white. Jérôme is feeling bad,
he can’t breathe. He crumbled in tears. Sit on your bag Jérôme.
We’re gonna give you warm clothes. Try to breathe slowly.
Take off your bindings. You’re not looking too great. Am I gonna be alright ? I don’t know, we’ll see
let’s take a break first. Drink water. In this whiteout we are looking for a good
spot to camp, safe from avalanches if possible. We’re at 4800m,
we’re exhausted, it’s 15h00. That’s enough. Going further would be a mistake. When you go past the point of exhaustion, it takes three times as long
to cover the same distances, three times more exhaustion. We’re almost at 5000m
so we set up camp. I dig an igloo 20m above the
altitude of the Mont-Blanc. We are at the end of our rope.
It’s not time to make a bad joke. I feel like I am living in Tom’s dream.
It’s just how he described it to me. It’s been already 11 days
since I left France. I think of my girlfriend and
close my eyes to fall asleep. Three days ! Two more ? Two more days of snow. And after that it’s gonna be spine wars! Look, I’m gonna ride it
You ready ? Drop in 5. Ok frontside 3! It’s April 17. We entered the storm and we are stuck. We rest. What a pleasure to be here.
Here it’s wild and untouched. We don’t go gentle here.
Even though I like gentle, but not here. Here I am a beast, we are beasts. Karakoram is either heaven or hell. Moods go by, from enthusiasm to doubtfulness,
like the seasons. I like these kids.
I’m happy to be here with them. They are touching something new, it’s amazing. Fuck I’m bummed, I played like a dick! April 20, 5020m. We pass by gigantic crevasses we can only
avoid at the last moment. Each step is harder and harder.
I can feel my muscles burn, yet I don’t stop, I keep the pace. Finally, Hélias the machine who
broke trail all day, stops. Camp 3 will be here. Tomorrow it will be blue and so will
the next four days. Time for action. I’m totally burned out, no more juice. For a ski addict like me, it’s tough to wait
15 days to maybe make three turns. Outside the wind keeps blowing. I’m scared. This fear will not let go of me.
It is omnipresent. April 22, 10th day of the expedition. I open my eyes at 4h10. Excitement for the first day of riding. Assault on the Two Towers ! Assault on the Two Towers. Fuck it’s slippery, I’m tetanized! No wrist strap on this damn thing! Come on Léo! Come on! Yes. Nice Tom, you’re doing it
like a boss you bastard. Yeah Thomas! Yeah man! Shit! So much powder. Holy fuck!
What ?! Yes Tom Tom! Three hours of struggle for only 300m of elevation.
We finally reach the ridge next to the two towers. Don’t go here there’s a cornice. It’s completely insane.
There is a powerful aura in the air. Zak is taking time to get ready. I think he is feeling the
pressure of dropping first. We didn’t talk about it. Drop in 5. Three. Two. Stay calm. It’s crowded on this tiny ridge. Yannick talks a lot. He tries to reassure me. But I need to focus. Ok drop in five. Four, three, two, one. Drop in. Nice one buddy, watch out for the sluff. Easy, easy. Holy molly, riding at 5000m
is something else! Shit! It was heavy. But man! Yannick kept repeating to be careful,
to go slowly. “30% of margin guys”. I visualized the tricky
traverse waiting for me. Yannick was still talking and
Hélias told him to shut up. I felt good. We were at 5300m and I
was gonna do my first run in Pakistan. Three, two, one, let’s go! Bro what a fucking epic line! It feels so good, yes. You crushed it! I didn’t try all the meals yet.
I’m missing a lot of them. I miss the asian noodles,
spaghetti bolognese too. Shit it’s cold here ! We were
better off in the igloo. We all need rest. Since the weather
window to pass the Skam La is shrinking, we decide to go for the
Biacherahi tomorrow morning. No time to fool around : we
go straight at the fat mama. I think I’m gonna take the shit of fear. I can already feel the pressure
and we didn’t even go to bed yet. All in bed at 18h30. A knot in my stomach, I keep my water bottle against me so
it wouldn’t freeze, and I fall asleep thinking : “It’s gonna be alright,
it’s gonna be alright…” Come on. Slept well ? Yeah I slept well. I’m gonna start melting some water. We will go under this monstrous cornice. The exit is around there, more or less. We’ll see. And here is the monster. What do you think ? My dad always told me not to stay under
a cornice like this, it’s not very good. Oh my god. A piece of the cornice broke down
right were we put on the skins. No way ?! The risk is too high
for me, this is my limit. Hélias doesn’t hold me back,
he knows it’s sketchy. I hope it’s not gonna trigger… Fuck I hate this. Gently. Gently. Leo to the rest of the group,
I am climbing. Tom I have a lot of
respect for you my friend. I still don’t know if I
made the right decision. Oh man.. Tom is gonna be so sad. It was his mountain. It’s a fucking heavy decision. The risk was like, 3+. As soon as Yannick’s
rope is tight, you go. OK. Let’s finish this. Come on! Come on! Come on! Fuck. Yannick you’re a machine.
Come on guys! Be careful with the rope, step in the track,
not too close to the cornice. Yes! It’s ok I got you. I’m standing alright.
I am stable. That’s the Oger, this one is not climbed,
and this one either, I think. I’ll go have a look
because if it’s south facing, we will side slip and get in
further down with a rappel, ok ?! It might be better than going
through that shit again. I’m really not well, I have vertigo. Let’s go together ? I have never done this in my life. Come down here, follow my tracks. Here we see the K2, Broad Peak,
Gasherbrum, Masherbrum. It’s mind-blowing, fucking mind-blowing view.
Plus the Latok and the Oger. Base-jumps everywhere. _Side slip with ice axe in hand
_If we put on skis here ? Yeah. Fuck I’m scared to
put on the skis here. Léo, there is a bit of ice,
be really careful, ram your ice axe deep. Yeah. Here we are.
Slowly. Stay on your edges. I’m riding switch down the Biacherahi.
No biggie. In icy 50°. I’m not sure where it’s best.
If the slope is good here. No ice where you are, right ?
Here on the spine there is ice. Come here you can anchor in. Yeah Zak. Two, one, he dropped. Ok I’m holding on to
your rope, I’m free. Alright Léo, ski easy. Yeah boys. Thanks for this adventure my friends.
I’ll wait with Zak at the bottom. Take it easy, say when you’re ready. Go ahead, 5 4 3 2 1 Drop! Sick! You crushed the line bro. You killed it. It did it for you buddy,
I was thinking about you. I was on top of your fucking mountain!
So intense. I’ve never had such an adventure. Like in Formula 1 yeah! Dude it was nuts. Here is your warrior,
the only one who said no. I believe the Biacherahi
will remain in my dreams. At least from the top. It was so intense. Yannick is crazy bro! He walks around without a rope.
“You want an ice axe ? No I’m all good !” Mountaineering is quite a different mind set. I must confess I’m happy in my little
ski resort of Val d’Isère. Doing my little runs, some backflips… This here is not skiing. April 25, 5430m. I still can’t believe
what I skied yesterday. I put my life in the hands of Hélias
and Yannick and I’m not sure why. It’s 9h, we need to decide.
Should we go through the pass or not?! Jérôme and the filmers wanna stay to get
more footage, but we don’t leave him a choice. He follows our opinion and takes
the only valid decision : We shall pass through Skam La! It’s committed you know. Why did I suddenly trust them? Why didn’t I turn around when were
unroped on the wind slab? I’m struggling, it’s 16h00 soon. We’re still not at the pass. Now I want to finish the loop,
discover Snow Lake, come down by the Biafo. Who knows how it will
look the other side ? The sleds weight like a 100 kg.
It’s hectic. April 26, 14th day of expedition. We pull up the six sleds on the last
50 m of the pass. What a remote pass !
And what’s actually behind Skam La ? We’ll need to rappel the sleds down but
we’ll find a way, I am sure of it. But afterwords there
will be no turning back. What’s next is even more tough : we find
a slope full of ice, cornices, and seracs. Yannick found a couloir to go down.
150 m of rappel. We passed the Skam La, we are doomed! The games are over. The goose is cooked. The die is cast. Alea jacta est. Come hell or high water. Whatever happens happens. April 27. I’m thinking of you honey.
I hope you are well. I wish I was warm with you
instead of freezing my balls here. Sky is uncertain, a bit
of blue, a bit of snow. I’m grumpy, I argue
with Tom for no reason. We are here on another planet.
The Sim Gang planet. Time has stopped. We walk this incredible glacier and I
realize I want to stay longer. There is just not enough time.
I don’t like to hurry. We’re on top, we make a platform,
get ready and quickly go down. April 28. Today’s slope
I didn’t feel it either. I’m living this expedition like a true
journey, not as the shooting of a film. There’s much more than just
freeriding in this adventure, a matter of friendship. Look at this view! There’s a northern wind pushing
in our backs. It’s perfect. We cover so much ground! I think we went at least 4km already. It’s picking up! Pretty couloir we’re coming! It would be a shame to go
straight into a crevasse. April 29, 17th day of expedition. 10h30, we’re at the bottom
of three beautiful slopes. Tom, Zak and Hélias take a right,
Yannick and I take a left. I’m starting know him : gotta be
really straightforward. I take the lead,
I’m a Taillefer goddammit. We’re on top. Let’s go! Attracted like magnets to a vertical wall of snow, Hélias,
Zak and myself start the attack on the mountain. A real monster,
for me the thrill goes up one notch. Finally a face I really want to go. The hand gripped around the
ice axe is completely frozen. Because of the ice, Hélias insists
to rope me in for the first turns. Great, I was not planning on
sliding towards my death. It’s steep, very steep,
but the snow is good and I’m feeling it. I let the rope go. Alright buddies. It was incredible! Oh man it was steep up there! Yes bro! Yes boys! Praise be to God! Praise be to God. How are you?
Fine thank you, and you? Why is the flame burning still? Why do I climb? Why do I have to come get lost at
the end of these mountains. Attraction of the unknown? Commitment? Reaching the summit? Yeah, there we are.
That’s why the flame is still burning. When I find myself up
there I know what I feel. I reunite with a moment
I know but had forgotten. A stolen moment. It is so glorious to be here. It’s so beautiful. I live right in the moment, raw reality. I am a man with a satisfied mind
and it’s boiling inside of me. A damn great feeling. Brilliant man! Our Pakistani adventure seems
to have been timeless. This shark fin rising above the ice
straight to the sky. Its frightening vertical lines. Yet it’s just a drop of water in the ocean of
mountains which are over there. Adventure. Walking down the Biafo
I was asking myself : Do I really want to keep doing this? The glaciers. The struggle. The bliss. Of course I want to keep going! Mountains, wild and pure. I feel nostalgic and I want to cry
I don’t even know why. All the adventures we lived. Karakoram. The best trip of my life. What’s your name? Muzammil. I realize how lucky we are. I can’t wait to tell all this to my dad.
He’s gonna make fun of my looks. A feeling of joy fills me
when I think about coming home. Yet I already miss the freedom. Hello! Far from everything. The best shrink. Dreams of this freedom
will haunt me for a while. Pakistan, we’ll meet again. Hello! Hello. How are you ? I’m well thank you. Praise be to God. He is my new buddy. Where is your helmet? Where is your helmet?! Why you coming here? Visiting Pakistan! Do you like my country? Yes, beautiful. “Zabardast !” “The Most Beautiful Mountains In The World”