Christophe Profit atop the Eiger (3970m). On April 9, Profit made his tenth successful guide on the Eiger’s north face with client Valery Guillebon. [Photo] Courtesy of Christophe Profit collection
Prolific mountaineer Christophe Profit recently climbed the Eiger’s (3970m) north face for the tenth time with a client. Few have guided the face more than once; Profit is the first to reach double-digits.
The forty-seven year old French guide, who remains active in his native mountains and around the world, is best known for impressive solo speed ascents and enchainments throughout the Alps during the 1980s. His most recent accomplishment, on April 9 with client Valery Guillebon, marks another milestone in a career full of firsts. “Profit doesn’t have anything to prove,” said climber and guide Rolando Garibotti. “No one has been able to match the level of his performance since [his famous ascents], even though that was twenty years ago.”
Profit has an impressive climbing resume, including a first solo ascent (unroped) of the American Direct (ED1 5.10+, 1100m, Hemmings-Robbins, 1962) on the Dru in 1982 in just over three hours, and a sub-thirty-two-hour solo ascent of one of the Alps’s longest routes, La Integral de Peuterey, which involves close to 9,000 feet of climbing. Profit’s solo enchainments in 1985 and 1987 on the north faces of the Matterhorn, Eiger and Grand Jorasses–twenty-four hours in summer and forty-two hours in winter, respectively–were the first of their kind. He also has established big-mountain routes, including a first ascent of K2’s (8611m) northeast ridge with Pierre Beghin in 1991.
Profit’s most recent accomplishment on the Eiger does not compare to his solo ascents of two decades ago, but it does underscore his devotion to the pursuit of alpine climbing. Many continue to revere Profit, Garibotti said, “who continues to practice alpinism with as much passion as before.”