Battling uncertainty of top of mount Everest | Fabienne Sicot-Personnic | TEDxÉcoleCentraleLyon

Battling uncertainty of top of mount Everest | Fabienne Sicot-Personnic | TEDxÉcoleCentraleLyon

Fabienne's Journey

  • Fabienne, a 39-year-old French nurse with osteogenesis imperfecta and ankylosing spondylitis, aims to become the first person with her conditions to summit Mount Everest.
  • Her project, "Piolet de Verre" (Glass Ice Axe), involves climbing seven 4,000-meter peaks before attempting Everest.
  • Despite challenges such as the expedition's high cost, extreme conditions, and her medical uncertainties, Fabienne raises funds, trains extensively, and acclimatizes to high altitudes.

Expedition to Mount Everest

  • In March 2023, Fabienne arrives at the Mount Everest base camp and begins her ascent, facing harsh weather and medical challenges.
  • The narrator, also facing physical challenges due to Crohn's disease and spondyloarthritis, perseveres despite setbacks and dangerous situations such as an avalanche and icy slopes.
  • They describe the difficulties of using supplemental oxygen and the harsh conditions at Camp 4, known as the "death zone."
  • On May 17th, they set off for the final ascent, enduring extreme cold and strong winds.
  • At the South Balcony, 8,400 meters above sea level, the narrator experiences self-doubt but finds the strength to continue.
  • As the sun rises, they are rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Achievements and Reflections

  • Fabienne successfully summits Mount Everest, becoming the 14th French person to do so despite her disability.
  • She plans to climb Mount Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world, without supplemental oxygen.
  • Fabienne believes that self-doubt and limitations imposed by others are often the biggest obstacles, not one's physical or mental abilities.
  • Despite criticism from some mountaineering professionals who consider her project suicidal, she sees it as a symbol of hope and possibility.
  • She emphasizes the importance of having the right support and belief in oneself to achieve one's goals.

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