New FKT on the Haute Route: Benjamin Védrines and Samuel Equy link Chamonix to Zermatt in 14:54

On this mythical ski mountaineering route that is the Haute Route linking Chamonix to Zermatt, French athletes Benjamin Védrines and Samuel Equy broke the 15-hour barrier, lowering the previous mark of Olivier Meynet and the PGHM marshal Bastien Fleury by 1 hour 41 minutes.

Chamonix church, 00:43, Monday April 10th. Without any fanfare, two skiers in tights set off from the square in front of the modest church building, the starting point for any self-respecting record in the area. But where are they headed? The summit of Mont Blanc, a crossing of the massif? The direction of their strides, weighed down by the shuffling of their skis on their small competition backpacks, leads rather to the route of the Haute Route.

In the dark night, the faces of the protagonists can be distinguished by the light of their headlamps: they are Samuel Équy, a member of the French ski mountaineering team, and Benjamin Védrines, the gifted mountaineer from Monêtier who was nicknamed the “rocket of the Ecrins” in Alpine Mag. As much to say that apart from a few chamois, we know few animals able to compete with them in terms of speed in the mountains.

Samuel Équy and Benjamin Védrines in their Chamonix-Zermatt crossing, Monday April 10, 2023. ©Montaz-Rosset Studio

In their sights, the Haute Route record. It is Benjamin Védrines’ obsession this winter: “I don’t know if it will be possible this year, the snow conditions don’t seem good enough to attempt it“, he told