MotoGP star Dani Pedrosa and 2010 premier-class rider Hector Barbera successfully reached the summit of Mont Blanc, despite 70 km/h winds and a chill factor of minus 35ºC.
The expedition started out at 4am on Monday from the Gouter mountain refuge in adverse weather conditions to tackle the 1000 metres to the summit.
The peak was reached after a 4 and a half hour climb. The group were connected to each other by ropes and had to cross narrow ridges with sheer drops on either side.
But the bad weather was arguably the biggest challenge and both Pedrosa and Barbera lost feeling in their hands and feet.
Only 25% of the 74 people who set out to climb Mont Blanc that day made it to the summit. The only three to make it who were not mountaineering experts were Pedrosa, Barbera and Dakar star Marc Coma.
“This was an experience that I was really looking forward to, from the very moment that Jesús [Calleja, group leader] put it to me, and the truth is that it went really well,” said Pedrosa.
“We were part of a very experienced group and we were totally protected from any type of risk, and the truth is that we had everything put on a plate for us. We just had to put one foot in front of the other, and the great atmosphere between us meant we had a great time.
“The weather was quite bad; we got very cold up there, but the hard times were more than compensated by the laughs we had all the time. The atmosphere was incredible and the communication was very good.
“Even with the bad weather the expedition was a success and I am pleased because we did not have any problems. This was very good for me in particular because the physical side of things will make me fitter.
“Spending a few days at high altitude has helped me a lot, I got used to the conditions and it has been a great experience, with a great atmosphere among the expedition.”
The team will be back in Chamonix tonight and travel home tomorrow.