Even when male climbers saw a sexy young woman, Marie Pier Descharnais, show up at base camp, they tended not to take her seriously.

“They said to me, ‘Yes, look at Barbie Marie in the mountains!'” Marie-Pier Descharnais says in an interview. I feel like I don’t have one. Tomboy. »

She wondered if she should distort herself to fit an established image, but ultimately decided to take responsibility.

“I’ve been teased a lot and I struggled with it at first, but at the same time I like to shake up the certainties of men and strong masculinity. I was good, fit and fast.”

Marie Pier Descharnais has climbed the highest volcanoes on seven continents. She also successfully climbed six of the highest peaks on these continents, including Everest. But most of all, she reached the top of K2, a much more difficult and especially dangerous mountain than Everest. She is the only Quebecer to accomplish this feat.

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She just wrote a book, we are mountains, talks about his experiences in Takayama. But the story begins with him on December 26, 2004, on the surface of the sea in Phuket, Thailand. She was on a beach vacation with her father and his partner when the earth shook. The three are attacked by a tsunami, but miraculously survive. This experience changes Marie Peer’s attitude towards life.

“We know from experience that life can be taken from us. I can’t say it’s easy, but it feels that way.”

His interest in mountains came much later, when he saw Mount Everest while trekking in Nepal. It starts with a small mountain, has successes and failures, and evolves.

Initially, I had a very selfish mission, trying to prove to others that I could climb mountains. Then, along the way, I really fell in love with mountains.

Marie-Pier Descharnais

As she gained experience, she realized that there was no place for ego in the mountains. This is a recurring theme in her books.

Every time I arrived on a road trip with a little arrogance and a little ego, I was hated. Every time you think, “Okay, splash,” the mountain brings you back a little lower. She reminds us that we must have humility.

Marie-Pier Descharnais

This lesson applies to everyone, mountaineer or not. Therefore, this book is aimed at a wide audience, but even mountain enthusiasts will find interesting information about the progress of an expedition, starting from the financing. Just to climb the Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica, or Mount Sidley, the highest volcano, you will have to pay more than $100,000.

“It hurts when I talk about it. squeak. I think I invested about $1 million out of my own pocket from the beginning, including airline tickets, insurance, and equipment. »

Marie Pier Descharnais has been working in the business field for many years, which helped her finance her expedition. She is currently focusing on meetings and accompanying groups in the mountains. Obviously, she doesn’t have a home. And we’re not even talking about RRSPs.

In her book, Marie-Pier Descharnays also discusses the group dynamics, especially in very expensive expeditions like Mount Everest, where experienced mountaineers and commercial expedition customers compete.

Because it’s expensive, some people and business leaders of a certain stature choose to buy the Summit for themselves. Finally, they realize they have to climb a mountain and get beaten up.

Marie-Pier Descharnais

There are stories about strategies for acclimatization and the dangers of the famous mountaintop fever that makes you forget all precautions.

This book is very well written. Key stakeholders were greatly surprised. “At first I didn’t think I had the makings of a writer. When Éditions de l’Homme contacted me, I said, ‘No, I don’t like writing, I want sentences.’ . ghostwriter. In the end, I put in the effort, the words flowed, and I spent three weeks in Nepal writing the entire book. »

Very Québécois expressions, such as “breiler sa vie,” add accent to the story. “Linguists tried to bring me back, but that’s how I express myself, and I want it to sound like me and I want people to recognize it.”

we are mountains

we are mountains

Marie-Pier Descharnais

Les editions de l’Homme

200 pages


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Incredibly, there are no special effects in this beautiful video featuring Canadian snowboarder Spencer O’Brien.

This is the percentage of outdoor activity guides in Quebec that are women.

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