Concept

Gaston Rébuffat

Summary
Gaston Rébuffat (ɡastɔ̃ ʁebyfa; 7 May 1921, Marseille – 31 May 1985, Paris) was a French alpinist, mountain guide, and author. He is well known as a member of the first expedition to summit Annapurna 1 in 1950 and the first man to climb all six of the great north faces of the Alps. In 1984, he was made an officer in the French Legion of Honour for his service as a mountaineering instructor for the French military. At the age of 64, Gaston Rébuffat died of cancer in Paris, France. The climbing technique Gaston was named after him. A photo of Rébuffat atop the Aiguille du Roc in the French Alps is on the Voyager Golden Records. Gaston Rébuffat was born on 7 May 1921 in Marseilles, France. He began climbing at the age of 14 in the Calanques near Marseilles. At the age of 16, he became a member of the Club Alpin Français (French Alpine Club), where he was introduced to high altitude mountaineering. There he met Lionel Terray, a French mountaineer who would join Rébuffat on the 1950 Annapurna ascent. He later moved to Chamonix, France and became a member of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix. He soon began climbing in the Alps, where he would spend much of his career. During World War II, Gaston Rébuffat attended Jeunesse et Montagne, a French youth training organization. He graduated in 1942, earning his mountain guide certification at the age of 21, despite the minimum age for certification being 23. He continued as an instructor for Jeunesse et Montagne, until, in 1944, he became an instructor for the French National Ski and Mountaineering School (ENSA) as well as the High Mountain Military School, where he served as a mountaineering instructor for several years, eventually earning him the Légion d'Honneur. After some time as an instructor, Rébuffat wanted to spend more time as a guide. He stated in his 1954 work Starlight and Storm: "Each winter I found myself impatiently awaiting July. At last, the day would come for departure to Ailefroide or Chamonix. There I would spend a few days on the tops, only to return and wait for another year.
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