Benjamin Vedrines


Born in the small village at the foot of France’s Vercors Massif, Benjamin has been surrounded by mountains for all his life. The medium-sized peaks of his home range were not enough for an alpinist of his talents, however. After discovering ski touring at 14 and qualifying as a mountain guide in 2016, Benjamin has become known as one of the world’s fastest mountaineers, setting speed records everywhere from the Alps to the Himalayas.

Quick Facts


Châtillon-en-Diois, France


Briançon, France

Biggest dream

Taking off from Everest summit with a paraglider.

How do I focus

Animal instinct. Think less and concentrate on your breathing.

Best advice

Don’t be afraid to fail.

What inspires you?

Speed, lightness and simplicity. And if I have to name someone, my inspiration as a climber comes from Ueli Steck and Patrick Berhault.

Words to live by

Follow your instincts and go for it!

Favourite other fitness exercise

Cycling on the roads around Briançon.

I don’t leave home without my...

I love food! Wherever I can, I take a piece of Parmigiano.

Top 5 career highlights

  • Broad Peak, Pakistan 8051m – New ascent record in 7h28, without oxygen. The fastest ascent of an 8000m peak in history. The same day, paragliding take-off from the summit, a world first. (2022)
  • Chamlang, Nepal 7319m – Opening two different ascents on the northeast face with Nicolas Jean in 2019. And with Charles Dubouloz, a direct line on the north side in 2021. 1600m face with many technical pitches in mixed climbing, in 4 days.
  • Eiger 3967m - Matterhorn 4478m - Grandes Jorasses 4208m – Ascent of the three great north faces of the Alps via direct routes. The Harlin route to the Eiger in 5 days. The "Direct Friendship" route to the Grandes Jorasses in 4 days. Finally, the "Gogna" route to the Matterhorn, making the first winter day ascent. All in less than a month with Léo Billon and Seb Ratel.
  • Chamonix - Zermatt – New speed record on this famous ski route with Samuel Eguy. Setting off 2:54 p.m. from the church of Chamonix to the church of Zermatt. Totally autonomous, no refuels, and no preliminary recce. (2023)
  • Barre des Écrins 4102m – Opening of a new major route the south face of the southernmost 4000m peak in the Alps. An obvious line, steep and difficult, in the middle of January with Nicolas Jean and Julien Cruvelier de Luze. 1300m, M7, WI5+, 6b max. in three days.


Alpinist, guide, skier, climber… Benjamin Védrines is the definition of a high mountain all-rounder. Born in the small village of Châtillon-en-Diois in the Drôme region of France, he gained a foothold as a climber on the limestone cliffs of Le Glandasse, the Vercors Massif’s highest peak.

Around the same time, Benjamin also discovered skiing on weekend trips to his mother’s hometown of Briançon. Learning to ski with his uncle – himself an instructor and guide – Benjamin didn’t enjoy it to begin with. But at the age of 14, he discovered ski touring and at this point mountain sports really took hold.

With a new-found independence from lift lines and marked pistes, Benjamin spent whole days exploring the mountains and mastering the art of steep skiing in the Écrins Massif. At the age of 21, he started training to become a mountain guide, a qualification he attained in 2016.

Since then, Benjamin has completed the first south-north crossing of the Mont Blanc Massif and opened new routes in the Alps and Himalayas. But he is best known for his speed climbing. In 2022, he set a new record for an 8000er on Pakistan’s Broad Peak. Ascending at a mind-blowing, and record-breaking, 450 vertical metres per hour, he also became the first to descend from the summit with a paraglider.

To Benjamin, mountain sports are not about competition but rather freedom and self-expression. Central to all his projects is the ability to move independently, without reliance on fixed ropes and bottled oxygen. In the future, he will continue to pursue projects that combine technique, physique and aesthetics, and has ambitions to descend Everest in a paraglider, discover virgin peaks in Antarctica and set a new climbing record on Denali.

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