Hervé Barmasse is the definition of a true explorer. He is motivated by seeking the unknown. But he’s proven that it doesn’t need to be on some far-flung peak. He continues to put up new routes on even the most frequently climbed mountains in the Alps. And he often does so on his own.
Rather than pursuing the highest climbs, he looks for technical, interesting and – most importantly – unattempted routes. For example, he opened the Viaggio nella Memoria ED route on the south-west face of the Monte Rosa, La Classica Moderna ED on the south face of Mont Blanc and a solo ascent on the south face of the Matterhorn, all in 2011. In 2014, he completed the first winter link up of the four ridges of the Matterhorn, which he even achieved solo.
Outside of the Alps, he’s opened routes in Patagonia, Pakistan and China, some of which were undertaken in winter. However, his most memorable ascent, personally, was in 2010 when he climbed a new route on the south face of the Matterhorn – the Couloir Barmasse (1,200m hard mixed route ABO) – together with his father, Marco.
Aside from climbing up mountains, Hervé also loves to ski down them – he almost had a career as a ski racer until an accident at the age of 15 forced him to switch sports. In 2012 he completed a climb and ski descent of a 5966m summit on the left bank of the Sing Gang Glacier in Pakistan and he continues to combine his two passions to explore new areas of the Alps.