Mathieu Maynadier, full-time alpinist
Rehabilitation and reflections on the incident, meanwhile the head is already thinking to the future challenges: "The problem is that when one is injured, he has a lot of time to make new plans!"
Hi Mathieu. How are you?
I'm getting better, I've just finished my rehabilitation. Now I can do everything again, but carefully. For a couple of months I have to take care of my back. But in mid-January, I’m going to fly to Patagonia! I will try to be fit for that moment.
Already focused on new projects! But first of all tell us what happened to you.
I was in Pakistan on an expedition that had the goal to open new routes on unclimbed peaks. Banally, I was hit by a rocket ...
What do you feel to have learned from this misadventure?
Sometimes you need to pay more attention to the small signals that the mountain sends you. When you spend a lot of time on the wall, you inevitably lower your guard. If you see every time falling rocks around you, from which you always come out unharmed, you feel invincible, untouchable. It’s not like that, this incident has been a signal ...
It's a good lesson, thank you for taking the opportunity to remind it us! Now tell us what plans you have for the future.
My main goal has not changed. I'm looking for an ascent of a new route on an 8000, in alpine style. Probably I will try it in 2020, instead for the next year I will go to Pakistan, where I will try to climb the south face of the K6. This peak is still inviolate, and we may be the first foreigners to have the permission for this expedition. For the fall then, I will go on an eight thousand, trying to get down on skis.
First of all, however, I have this trip to Patagonia, that I was talking to you, in January and February. I've never been to El Chalten, I think is a good way to start again with mountaineering after the accident. The fact is that when one is injured, he has a lot of time to make plans!
A lot of ideas! How Mathieu-the alpinist was born?
I am 34 years old and I started to go to the mountains quite young. At nineteen I was already Aspiring Guide, and this allowed me to see alpinism in another way: in particular the aspect of safety. When I was young, perhaps I took too many risks ... and without even realizing it! But now things have changed. Now I can better interpret the mountain, to understand when there are good conditions and when not, even if the surprises are always there! This is the positive side of becoming experts. The negative one is that spending a lot of time in the mountains there are more possibilities to have accidents.
You are a very versatile mountaineer. How do you choose your goals?
Yes, I like all the disciplines that can be practiced! The mountains are big, they offer a lot of options. Always changing projects, taking every opportunity, keeps me motivated.
Being born as a ski mountaineer makes me easily be aerobically trained. This is really a good thing for expeditions ...
Why do you not focus on just one activity?
Traveling a lot is not easy to maintain a good level of rock climbing, sometimes it is really hard to start climbing again after an expedition. Let's say that you get back in a good shape quickly, but it's hard to improve. At the moment I am focused on expedition, but in the future I would like to train and raise the level as a climber.
Where do you live? And where would you like to live when you will old?
Now I live in Briançon, but I travel for about eight months a year! I also spend a lot of time in the van. Anyway I'm always happy to come back to Briançon, I think it's important to always have a place to feel like home.
When I’ll be tired, hoping not all broken, I'd like to stay in Verdon. It is a wonderful place in every aspect of climbing. There is a great atmosphere, and it's not super-crowded like so many other trendy places.
Thanks Mathieu, it was really a big pleasure to share your emotions, your projects, and most of all your motivation without limits! Good luck for your next adventures!