Gaston Rébuffat

Gaston Rébuffat (May 7, 1921, Marseille, France – May 31/June 1, 1985, Paris) discovered rock climbing in the Calanques of Marseille and at the age of 16, he joined the CAF (High Provence section), where he discovered high mountain climbing and met Henri Moulin, whom he considered his “grandfather in mountaineering.”
The Alps and the Mont Blanc massif became his playground. He became a mountain guide in 1942. He gained international fame in 1950 as one of the four main climbers in a French expedition during the first ascent of Annapurna, the highest peak reached at that time. His most notable mountaineering achievement was being the first man to climb six of the great north faces of the Alps — the Grandes Jorasses, Piz Badile, Petit Dru, Matterhorn, Cima Grande di Lavaredo, and the Eiger. His insistence on seeing a climb as a harmonious communion with the mountain, rather than a battle waged against it, seemed radical at the time, although Rébuffat’s aesthetics have since prevailed. He opened more than 40 new climbing routes in the Alps.

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