Born in the shadow of the Matterhorn to a family of mountaineers, Hervé is one of the world's most accomplished and respected alpinists. A love of the mountains is buried in his DNA (he is the fourth generation of his family to work as a mountain guide) but what really motivates him is the search for the unknown. He is fuelled by a desire to discover places nobody has been to before and by a determination to explore the limits of what is possible.
Spending 365 consecutive days doing mountaineering/outdoor activity
How do I focus
We have only one life, let's make it memorable
What inspires you?
The true mountaineer is the man who attempts new ascents, and equally, whether he succeeds or fails, delights in the fun and joy of the struggle. Albert Frederick Mummery (1855-1895)
Words to live by
Emotion, dream, fear, joy, family, reality, friends, success, failure.
Favourite other fitness exercise
I don’t leave home without my...
Top 5 career highlights
- Matterhorn 4478m - First winter chaining and solo ascent of the four ridges and first solo winter ascent of the Furggen ridge by way of the overhangs (2014)
- Patagonia - First winter ascent of Cerro Pollone; first ascent and first winter of colmillos central and colmillos right - south (2013)
- Pakistan - Sing Gang Glacier / Snow Lake - First ascent of three unclimbed peaks; crossing of Muki 6330 m, ascent and ski descent of a summit of 5966 m on the left bank of Sing Gang Glacier and the ascent of the lower Solu Tower 5880 m (2012)
- Monte Rosa 4634 m - South-west face – New route – Viaggio nella Memoria – ED (2011)
- Mont Blanc 4810 m - South Face or Brouillard side – New route – La Classica Moderna - ED (2011)
Hervé Barmasse is the definition of a true explorer. He is motivated by seeking the unknown. But he’s proven that it doesn’t need to be on some far-flung peak. He continues to put up new routes on even the most frequently climbed mountains in the Alps. And he often does so on his own.
Rather than pursuing the highest climbs, he looks for technical, interesting and – most importantly – unattempted routes. For example, he opened the Viaggio nella Memoria ED route on the south-west face of the Monte Rosa, La Classica Moderna ED on the south face of Mont Blanc and a solo ascent on the south face of the Matterhorn, all in 2011. In 2014, he completed the first winter link up of the four ridges of the Matterhorn, which he even achieved solo.
Outside of the Alps, he’s opened routes in Patagonia, Pakistan and China, some of which were undertaken in winter. However, his most memorable ascent, personally, was in 2010 when he climbed a new route on the south face of the Matterhorn – the Couloir Barmasse (1,200m hard mixed route ABO) – together with his father, Marco.
Aside from climbing up mountains, Hervé also loves to ski down them – he almost had a career as a ski racer until an accident at the age of 15 forced him to switch sports. In 2012 he completed a climb and ski descent of a 5966m summit on the left bank of the Sing Gang Glacier in Pakistan and he continues to combine his two passions to explore new areas of the Alps.
2005, 2006, 2008, 2010
Paolo Consiglio Award
Grolla d’Oro Award
Award G. Monzino
Premio Luigi Leoni
Premio Sport e Civiltà Città di Parma