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EverestHistory.com: Yves LaForest

Sagarmatha - journey of the soul: So many books have been written, so many stories told and movies made to present us with the detailed description of the various ascents of Everest, that one is tempted to conclude that everything that could have been said on the subject has already been said!

We could never be more wrong! This story continues to fascinate, to touch, climbers and non-climbers alike. I spent almost 20 years of my life climbing mountains, driven by a force I did not understood for a long time. Even then, I had to gather bits of understanding, I had to read piles of books in order to  grasp my own motivations, to know myself a little better. Climbing mountains is much more than a display of will and strength. It forces us to go beyond our limitations. It gives the chance to face Nature without the artifacts of civilized life, and in doing so, to find our rightful place in a powerful yet benevolent Nature. But, on top of it all, it let us experience a feeling of self-accomplishment that  words can hardly describe!

Sagarmatha is the Nepalese name of Everest. It is also a vivid presentation of the adventure as well as an intimate interpretation  of the journey within. You will hear both he Goddess of the Mountain and the little Voice of Intuition helping the climber as he toils through hardships, doubt and fear, snow storms and high altitude respiratory ailments. He will need all the help he can get... in order to stand a mere 45 minutes on the summit. Then, it is back down again, to life in the valley. Life goes on with a renewed sense of consciousness; a totally new sense of achievement. Because there are many Everests in life. And they are not all made out of rock and ice!

Using both metaphor and narrative, this presentation invites everyone to seek their own path of adventure. "You will remember this presentation, it is a promise!" "It is a long route indeed, hardships are countless. This is perhaps why Yves LaForest successfully achieved a profound journey within himself."   excerpt from an article written by Bruno Lévesque

Résumé: Yves LaForest, alpinist,engineer, motivational speaker, author and educator. Born in Montreal, Quebec, March 26, 1956

Academics: B. Sc. A. Mechanical Engineering, Sherbrooke University, 1979

Member of the Board of Directors of I.D.E.A.L. Society (Institute of Development in Education, Arts & Leisure)since 1997. Responsible namely of the administratioon and planning of the Society, the technical aspects and construction of buildings and of the mountain climbing outings!


1996  South Face of Aconcagua (6965m), the highest peak of the Americas.
1991 May 15, became the 6th Canadian and the 1st Quebecer to summit Mount Everest (8848m)

As part of an American team, The New England Everest Expedition, this well organized, low budget, low profile expedition succeeded in putting four of its eight members on the top. An excellent success rate considering that, during the same season, six out of eight teams failed in their attempts on the Nepalese side of Everest.  This first-rate outcome is due in part to good planning and leadership, clever member selection, but is largely the result of excellent team-work.

1990 Reconnaissance trip to Nepal: base camp of Everest (5400m)
1985 Mountain guide for two expeditions in  the Peruvian Andes
1983-84 Leader of two expeditions in the Peruvian Andes:
Successes on :
- Taulliraju (5830m) difficult new route on the South Face
- Alpamayo (597m) South-West face
- Piramide de Garcilaso (5885m) first sola ascent, SW face
- Huascaran South (6768m):    - west buttress, solo
- Shield route, solo, bivvy on top    

Motivational speaker and public figure
Since September 1991, hundreds of lectures and slide-shows in companies, large and small, schools of all grades, public librairies, civic centers, and so on, both in French and English, mianly in the Province of Quebec, but also elsewhere in Canada and in the U.S.
Amongst others, the following:
Companies:    Alcan, Bell Canada, Cell Tech (California), Coca-Cola, Federal Bank of Development, Gaz Metropolitain, Groupe Everest, Medtronic, Natrel, Orange and Rockland Utilities (NY), Unitel, and so onŠ
Public halls:    in Montreal, Quebec city, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, St-Jean-sur-RichelieuŠ

Numerous appearances in the media: television, radio, newspapers, magazines, mostly in French, and also in English. It is interesting to realize that for the first time, mountain climbing have been diffused into the public at large in the province of Quebec: thanks to Everest! It wasmade possible,  of course, by the interest Everest always, and still, has on everyone. It also helped Mr. LaForest to become a professional speaker, although he didn¹t have much experience in communication prior to this event! The message he brings is therefore clear and simple, easily understood and useful.

He also received many awards and decorations from governments, sports institutions, municipalities alikeŠ
- Athlete of the Year 1991, La Presse
- Maurice Richard Prize 1991, Société St-Jean-Baptiste
- Athlete of the Year, Claude Raymond Foundation
- Special Award, Mérite Sportif Quebec 1991
- Outdoor and Environmental Award 1991, South Shore Association
- Personality of the Year 1991, Montérégie region
- Athete of excellence, June 1991, Gold Medal Club

Author: Wrote L¹Everest m¹a conquis (Everest has Conquered my Heart) in French, published by Les Éditions Internationales Stanké in 1994. Received a warm welcome from both the public and the critics. All 5000 copies have been sold. A second edition and the publication in English awaits an editorŠ

The presentation: An evening with Yves LaForest is divided in three sections:

1-  Everest is 50 years old!  (Slides and live commentary)  A short historical review of the conquest of Everest. I am trying to remind people of what it might have been to climb Everest 50 years ago, before the satellite phones, the web site, even before tv!  Do you remember?

2-  The Next Generation: (video) Youth will replace Experience. The mountain community will not avoid this universal phenomena. Much to the contrary, one day you see new faces, younger and stronger individuals coming. It is time to pass to the next! One must realize that our knowledge, experience, successes are of course a result of our own dedication and efforts, but are also in great part due to our forebearers. This production tries to bridge the gap between generation, to help the young climbers of the future to learn from their past, and more importantly, to survive their apprenticeship.
You will see some of these young hotshots doing their stunts, you will see experienced climbers interviews. (Lynn Hill, Greg Child...)

3- Sagarmatha - journey of the soul -   A 52 minutes video, complete with video footage, slides, three different people doing the narration (the Goddess of the Mountain, the Little Voice of Intuition), original music written,  arranged and played under the direction of the composer Gilles Hainault (including the title song - Sagarmatha: interpreted by a group of female singers)




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