On the 19th of July, 2023, Tom Lafaille completed the first French ski descent of Broad Peak without supplementary oxygen. He was accompanied by Polish skier and mountaineer Anna Tybor, being the first woman to ski it.
A“parallel universe to me, where I had no reference point”. That’s how French skier and mountaineer Tom Lafaille describes the summit of Broad Peak and its “extremely high” altitude, having never been above 6,000 meters before. On the 19th of July, 2023, Tom Lafaille and Polish skier-mountaineer Anna Tybor set off on skis from this point at 8051 meters.
A project with “many uncertainties” for the 21-year-old skier and mountaineer from Chamonix, who didn’t know if his “body would tolerate this state of hypoxia […] and if we would be able to stand up on the descent.” The challenge was a success and Tom Lafaille became the first Frenchman to ski down Broad Peak. Anna Tybor also signs an record, being the first woman to ever ski down this mountain.
a tolerated form of doping that lowers your altitude by 2,000 meters
On his Instagram account, Tom Lafaille writes that he didn’t need any outside help to carry gears, set up camp, fetch water or cook. He also adds that he did not use supplementary oxygen, which he considers “a tolerated form of doping that lowers your altitude by 2,000 meters”, before adding that “there is no moral judgment here” and “everyone lives their dreams in their own way. The important thing is just to make a difference.”
I cannot deny the guilt I felt about heading to this mountain
First French descent for Tom Lafaille and first women’s descent for Anna Tybor
Tom Lafaille completed the first French descent of Broad Peak. A special summit for the son of Jean-Christophe Lafaille, who suffered a pulmonary oedema on this mountain in 2003 after climbing Dhaulagiri and Nanga Parbat in less than two months with American Ed Viesturs, and saved by Denis Urubko. “I cannot deny the guilt I felt about heading to this mountain,” he confided on social networks.
For Anna Tybor, 31 years, this is the first women’s descent of Broad Peak, following the runs of two of her compatriots: Andrzej Bargiel in 2015 and Bartek Ziemski in 2022. In 2021, she also became the first Polish woman in history to descend Manaslu (8,163 m) on skis, without supplementary oxygen.