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    Armand Charlet


    Armand Charlet


    Armand Charlet, known for his talents as a glacier climber, is an outstanding rock climber. Born in Argentière on February 9, 1900, he is considered the greatest guide of his generation, with more than three thousand ascents. The Aiguilles Rouges, just above his home, is a fantastic training ground, where he often trains, with his brother Georges, also an outstanding guide. Armand's prodigious speed of execution, his sense of the route and his perfect knowledge of the terrain enabled him to win most of his great firsts in a single day. He will do some of his biggest races outside of his professional activity, often with his friend Camille Devouassoux. Thus, in 1928, they embarked on a race that was a few steps ahead of mountaineering at the time: the Verte via the Nant Blanc side of the Aiguille Sans Nom. Very long, because it starts under the Col des Drus, it imposes very high glacial and rocky difficulties, and Armand will admit to having reached his limits there. Camille "Pica" often told the famous anecdote where Armand climbs on his head, crampons on his feet, to get out of trouble. The great Argentière guide climbs the routes of the Aiguille Verte a hundred times, by no less than 14 routes, including 7 new ones. Apart from this summit, among his greatest successes, there is also the conquest and the crossing of the Aiguilles du Diable. The second part of Armand Charlet's career will be decisive for the guiding profession. He is one of the first to stress the need for a rational, unique formation for all guides. He has the legitimacy to do so, and when the national guide diploma was created in 1948, he had already joined the National School of Skiing and Mountaineering (ENSA). Professor-master in charge of training guides, he will remain at the helm of teaching for many years. He will leave his strong mark on the profession. At the same time, he devoted himself to the life of the valley, took care of the maintenance of the refuges and was a member of the cable car commission. He died on November 28, 1975 in Argentière, aged 75. Authority in the world of mountaineering, as much as in his valley, demanding with him as with others, Armand Charlet is the undisputed leader and beacon of his generation. Busk Douglas faithfully transcribes the memories of the great guide of Argentière in his book: "Armand Charlet, Portrait of a guide".

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    Armand Charlet

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