Marc Batard

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Marc Batard (born November 22, 1951 in Villeneuve-sur-Lot) is a mountaineer, speaker, French painter and photographer. He is especially notable for having made the first ascent of Everest alone and without oxygen within 24 hours.


At 18, he discovered mountaineering. He began climbing in the Pyrenees, Luchon. Despite his small size (1.67 m for 55  kg), he has a physical ability which ranks above the average of other great climbers. With only two years of climbing behind him, he is ranked 22nd class of the 45 places available for the 200 candidates to contest for an aspiring guide. His technical skill and strong endurance allow him this performance.[citation needed]


At 23, Batard was the youngest climber to climb without oxygen, an 8000 m: Gasherbrum II (8035 m). He became a guide and began a series of exploits, especially in the Himalayas. He is famous for having opened many ways, made of firsts in terms of speed, as April 27, 1988 where he rose through the southwest pillar of Makalu (8,481 metres (27,825 ft)) alone and in 18 hours, Cho Oyu (8200 m) in 19 hours.

Great ascent in less than 24 hours atop Everest

Since September 26, 1988, he holds the record for the solo ascent of Everest without oxygen in 22 hours and 29 minutes from the base camp on the south face. It is indicated as such in the Guinness Book as the first mountaineer to climb Everest in less than 24 hours. He is nicknamed the sprinter of Everest. He climbed four peaks over a period of nine months in 1988. He climbed four peaks over 8000 m without oxygen and also Dhaulagiri (8167 m) in winter.

Batard led the expedition in which French mountaineer Christine Janin became the first French woman to summit the peak of Mount Everest. However, he reportedly ordered down a Sherpa woman Pasang Lhamu Shrepa, probably to stop her from stealing the limelight from Janin. Had she reached the peak, Sherpa would become the first Nepali woman to conquer Mt. Everest.[1]

Retirement and introspection[edit]

At 43, he retired from the mountain of challenges "engaged". He finally abandoned climbing to devote himself to his children and grandchildren. Then he pursued the first of his childhood passions: painting. Currently, he writes and works as a speaker addressing the themes of prevention and safety, team spirit and self-transcendence.

He animates public and school conferences since 1975. In 1989, in Washington, he delivered his first lecture abroad, followed by other conferences in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Canada, Portugal. Since 1990 he is involved in the corporate world on topics such as prevention and safety, how to have a vision ahead, the courage or the exemplary leader, etc.

With his friend trumpeter Maurice André, he created in 1995 the association "Going through the mountain," the association enables young people and adults who are in a difficult situation, social exclusion, school failure, illness or disability, to find, by the mountain, a motivation to overcome this situation.

See also[edit]


  • Le Sprinter de l'Everest, Denoel, 1989.
  • L'Envers des Cimes, Denoel, 1992.
  • La Sortie des cimes (autobiographie), Glénat, septembre 2003.
  • La Fièvre des sommets (premier roman), Glénat, 2008.