Richard Hechtel (l) and Günther Kittelmann (r)
This Father’s Day, I want to remember my father for the things most enjoyed - reminiscing about his climbs.
In 1953, my father and Günther Kittelmann completed the first ascent of the Peuterey Integral - the complete Peuterey ridge on Mt. Blanc.
The Alpine Club Guidebook describes this climb as “the longest and probably the most difficult traverse of its kind in the Alps. There is more than 4500m of ascent over all types of terrain and in magnificent situations” (Alpine Club Guidebook by Lindsay Griffin.)
Even today, the climb is described as one of the hardest and most committing climbs in the Alps.
At the Col de Peuterey
My father describes this climb in his book, The Merry-Go-Round of my life: an Adventurer’s Diary.
The climb starts in Italy and covers more than 4,500 meters of technical climbing.
Kittelmann on the south ridge of the Aguille Noire
Jonathan Griffith filmed a great video of this climb, which shows the length, magnitude, and exposure of this epic climb. Watching this film impressed me what a great climb my father had done.
Sadly, he has passed and cannot watch this film himself. Nor can I tell him how I miss him; miss climbing with him; and wish he could do one more climb with my son and me.