My father, Richard Hechtel, and the Peuterey Integral
Posted by sibylle in books, films, photography, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Eulogies, Europe (Sunday June 19, 2011 at 9:53 am)

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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.

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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.

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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.

3 comments for My father, Richard Hechtel, and the Peuterey Integral »

  1. What a wonderful tribute. Wouldn’t he be proud that his daughter and grandson are continuing the family climbing tradition!

    Comment by Claire Walter — July 7, 2011 @ 4:16 am

  2. I bought your fathers book after reading your description of the climb and was impressed. What a father - and nice to hear you take up the climbing tradition.

    I am writing a book on Mont Blanc with historical descriptions and have written some on your fathers marvellous ascent. Could I use two of the pictures here for the book?

    Best regards
    Bo (danish climber, aged 55)

    Comment by Bo Belvedere Christensen — March 18, 2012 @ 4:40 am

  3. Hi Bo, I’m glad that you enjoyed his book and account of his ascent. Let me ask my mother about permission to use his photos.

    Comment by sibylle — March 19, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

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