Article in La Stampa with Christophe Profit

In the mountains without seeing

“Four hours of pure happiness”

The mountaineer Christophe Profit accompanied a blind customer


A man and a woman, side by side, in a sort of rhythmic synchrony, rise towards the tip of Crévacol, in the valley of Gran San Bernardo. Both wear dark sunglasses, but she always keeps a firm hand on the strap of the backpack of his companion. They are Laura Riccardi, nearly blind 30 years, e Christophe Profit, French mountain guide and renowned mountaineer, also the author of a new route on K2. Along the Aosta Valley that hike time, They have experienced alpine ascent away from traditional norms.
While Riccardi, physiotherapist of Pavia 48 years, He has already lived on the mountain paths accompanied by other, Profit for only the second time with a blind customer in a life and a career that he was the protagonist of the concatenation of the three grandi.pareti north of the Alps (Grandes Jorasses, Eiger and Matterhorn), carried out for the first time over a period of 24 hours in 1985 and for the first time in the winter two years later, in 40 hours and 54 minutes. "This winter I had already come here by Leo (Leonardo Urano dell’Hotel Des Alpes di Saint-Rhemy-en-Bosses, ed), We had experienced the walk on the snow – He tells the climber – and time and I arrived what I consider a great gift: four hours of climbing with Laura who can not see but can feel the basics of mountain. I shared with her the animal aspect, instinctive ascent. Pure congratulates ". "More than half, high up on the mountain peak – go on – count the steps: slow, but able to never stop, because each of them and tied the true flavor of the mountain, that wild, instinctive inner landscape that reconnects the human nature ". And that can also be enjoyed, and maybe more, no eyes to see the scenery (breathtaking) all around. Profit talks about the explosion of the other senses, such as touch and smell: "The wind caresses the skin and penetrates through the hair, the foot rests and pushes the earth including irregular '. «In Laura – He tells the climber – every time (and there are many) when I turned to look at his face, I saw a rare thing, that does not happen often when I accompany. He was struck by the absence of crispature and effort in its expression. II face was calm and you could see that his mind was present here and now. To enjoy every moment. I found it exciting ". The mountain guide and hikers had to cross also quite uneven steps, Whether on the snow and steep slopes. "The effort was there because the mountain teaches, but it should remain above uri pleasure where time rather than something to fight, becomes an ally. By Laura this my philosophy of life and work there was not even need to explain ". He felt the weight of greater responsibilities accompanying a blind person? «No – responds Profit -, but I felt a confidence that came to 200 percent ". On trust, Riccardi adds: «Lo sono una smoking, however, this experience has been extraordinarily intuitive. Not with all happens “hear”. With Christophe I walked holding his hand on its trunk, because ll took strength and settled '. Profit want to add one last thing: "The life and mysterious – he smiles – and this was “A nice story”!».

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