Elite French Team Will Attempt New Route on Pumari Chhish

Mathieu Maynadier and brothers Louna and Tristan Ladevant of France are going up the Hispar Glacier toward 7,492m Pumari Chhish in Pakistan’s Shimshal Valley. Over the next month, they aim to open a new alpine-style route to its main, central summit.

A pyramidal peak of rock and ice.

Pumari Chhish Central. Photo: Mueez Ud din


Local talent will help them along the way. Javed Ali is guiding them on the three-day trek from Karimabad to Base Camp, Mueez Ud din is the expedition photographer, and Ozair Khan will film the climb for a future documentary.

Previous ascents

Maynadier tried to bag the first ascent of Pumari Chhish East (6,850m) with Tom Livingstone in 2021. One year later, Victor Saucede, Jerome Sullivan, and Christophe Augier succeeded and bagged a Piolet d’Or for the landmark climb. Check the video below.


Yannick Graziani and Christian Trommsdorff climbed 7,350m Pumari Chhish South, one kilometer away, in 2007. But the main summit of Pumari Chhish has had only one ascent, by a Japanese team from Hokkaido’s Alpine Association in 1979 from its west side. Maynadier and his companions will try to open their route up the highly difficult south face, alpine style.

“This wall will be a big challenge,” Maynadier admitted.

Top alpinists

Mathieu Maynadier is one of today’s top alpinists. Every year, he launches ambitious projects of exploratory alpinism, mainly new routes or first ascents in alpine style. In 2023, he climbed the impressive Meru South in India’s Garhwal Himalaya with Roger Schaeli and Simon Gietl. See video below.

His partners, the Ladevant brothers, are prominent European sports climbing figures. They are especially successful in ice-climbing competitions. In 2022, Louna won gold and Tristan won silver in the world championships. In their twenties, they also combine competitions with multi-pitch trad routes and big walls in the Alps and Kyrgyzstan.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.