How does Benjamin Védrines prepare for the K2-in-a-day

Benjamin au sommet des Agneaux ©Védrines

How is French Speed Climber Benjamin Védrines preparing for his one-day-ascent of K2 this summer? By completing an eleven-thousand-metre vertical ascent in two days, completing more than 100 kilometers of mountain. A grueling ski and alpinism tour of his nest in the south French Alps, Serre-Chevalier valley, close to Ecrins massif.

Benjamin Védrines follows a precise schedule: that of his training, which must take him to K2, 8611 meters, ready for the one-day ascent of the planet’s second highest peak. This is his goal, and the least we can say is that Benjamin Védrines has the talent to vary his training, favoring grand tours combining skiing and mountaineering. Once again, he has invented a new way of skitouring and traversing the Briançonnais, or let’s say, a fast and furious version.

On March 21, Benjamin Védrines set off from the Eglise de la Collégiale in Briançon, then hit the ridges on the south side of the Serre-Chevalier valley, where he is based. Védrines covered the crête de la Gardiole, Grand Aréa, Tête Noire, the easy but long crêtes du Chardonnet, the summit of Grand Galibier before finishing at Pointe de la Mandette and a restful night in the Galibier refuge. First-day results: 46.67 kilometers, and 5756 m ascent!

Au petit matin du deuxième jour, vers le Pic Blanc.
©Coll. Védrines

La trace GPX de Benjamin Védrines.

An original and original way to explore the valley

The following morning, an early start took him to the classic Pic Blanc du Galibier, then onto the ridge of the Trois Évêchés, before returning south via the Lautaret road pass for the second part of this complete tour of “Serre-Che” valley.

The main course? Ascent and descent of Les Combeynots, before an ascent of the north-west face of Les Agneaux, which he knows more than well having completed five itineraries on this same summit not so long ago. Benjamin Védrines had a tough time of it on Les Agneaux: “making the trail took a lot of courage and tenacity” on this face, where he sunk to his knees.

His “good physical condition” enabled him to reach the summit of the Agneau Blanc, and via a 50° passage on skis to reach the Agneau Noir and then the descent. What remained was a traverse of the Dômes de Monêtier via the Pic du Rif, then via the Condemine to the Col du Prorel. A final descent, partly on foot, took Benjamin Védrines back to Briançon. The result of this second day: 61.48km and over 6000 metres of ascent. That puts him over 11,000 meters, or one Pierra Menta in two days. Enormous, we tell you.

Benjamin’s complete tour of Serre Che is a superb way of exploring his favorite peaks between the Cerces and the Écrins. And once again, an unprecedented one!