Nicolas Jaeger

Born on October 20th, 1946, disappeared in May 1980

en français site en français

nicolas jaeger nicolas jaeger nicolas jaeger
© Janine Niepce    

Alpinist and medical doctor,

Mountain guide. He graduated as best of the class under Jean Franco in 1975.
Doctor specialised in Physiology of the high altitude, he wrote a thesis on the behaviour of man at extreme altitude.
Son of the photographer Janine Niepce.

Médaille d’Or de la Jeunesse et des Sports, Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Mérite

Les Andes du Pérou- Au cœur de la Cordillère Blanche (The Peruvian Andes – at the Heart of the Cordillera Blanca) - Denoël -1979
Carnets de solitude – 60 jours seul à 6700 m d’altitude (Notebooks of solitude – 60 days alone at 6700 metres) - Denoël – 1979


Often described as one of the most brilliant climbers of his generation, Nicolas Jaeger was a specialist of solo ascents, both in the Alps and in the Andes. He disappeared during a solo attempt on Lhotse in the Himalayas.

Ascents in the Alps

His record includes more than 100 solo ascents in the Alps, especially in the Mont Blanc Massif. Among these, about twenty large-scale routes of high difficulty, including 1st and 2nd ascents and original combinations.

In particular:
- Aiguille Verte, Arête Sans Nom, 1st solo
- Aiguille Verte, Nant Blanc Face, 2nd solo
- Les Droites, North Face, 2nd solo
- Les Droites, Nord Spur intégral, 1st solo
- Grand Dru, South Pillar, 1st solo
- Traverse Tronchey-Jorasses-Rochefort-Géant, 1st traverse
- Aiguille du Grépon by South Pillar of Pic de Roc, 2nd ascent and 1st complete route
- Mont Blanc du Tacul, Gervasutti Pillar, quickest ascent
- Mont Blanc du Tacul, Boccalatte Pillar Direct, 2nd ascent
- Aiguille Noire de Peuterey,Complete South Ridge, 1st solo
- Pointe Gugliermina, Boccalatte-Gervasutti Route, 2nd solo
- Mont Blanc, Route Major, 2nd solo
- Mont Blanc, Grand Pilier d’Angle, Bonatti-Gobbi Route, 1st solo, then Central Pillar of Freney, 2nd solo (1st climb with this combination)
- Traverse North-South of the Chamonix Aiguilles de Chamonix, original route and 1st solo.

Expeditions to the Andes

Nicolas Jaeger organized two expeditions to the Andes during which he made eleven solo ascents (of which 9 were new routes).

Expedition Peru 1977 – doctor and expedition leader for a three month stay:
- cord free flight from the summit of the Huascaran Sur, 6768 m by René Ghilini
- Movie « Huascaran 77 » made by Denis Ducroz
-6 ascents including 3 new routess made by the members of the team (René Ghilini, Marie-Odile Meunier, John Bouchard and Bernard Prud’homme)
- 6 solo ascents by Nicolas Jaeger:

• N. Alpamayo, 5947 m., South-West Face, Italian 1975 Route, 2nd ascent, 1st solo of this mountain
• N. Santa Cruz, 6259 m., North Ridge intégrale, 1st ascent, 4th ,ascent in absolute and 1st solo of this mountain
• N. Ranrapalca , 6162 m., South East Face, 1stascent , 1st solo of this mountain
• N. Pucaranra, 6147 m., North West Rideg, 1st ascent, 1st solo of this mountain
• N. Palcaraju, 6274 m., South East Ridge, 1st Ascent, 1st solo of this mountain
• N. Huascaran Sur, 6768 m., North East Ridge, Spanish route of 1961, 2nd ascent and 3rd solo of this mountain.

Solo Expedition to Peru 1978 : ultra-light expedition (Nicolas Jaeger is the only climber, accompanied by a non-climbingr photographer) during a two month stay.

5 solo ascents:

• Taulliraju, 5830 m., South Face and South-south East Ridget, 1st ascent and 4th absolute ascent of this moutain and 1st solo
• Abasraju, 5750 m., East Face Direct, 1st ascent in absolute of this mountain, solo and with a traverse
• N. Santa Cruz, 6259 m., South East Face Direct, 1st ascent and 1st traverse of this mountain
• N. Huandoy Oeste, 6356 m., South West Face Direct, 1st ascent and 2nd solo of this summit
• Chacraraju Este, 6001 m., Face South Direct, 1st ascent, 3rd ascent in absolute and 1st solo of this mountain

Doctor for high altitude and responsible for food for the Franco-German Everest expedition, led by Pierre Mazeaud and Karl Herrligkoffer.

Climbed Everest, 8848 m., the Roof of the World, on October 15th, 1978 with Pierre Mazeaud, Kurt Diemberger and Jean Afanassieff.

On Oct. 16th, with Jean Afanassieff, established a record height for a ski descent : descending from 8200 m. to 6500 m. by couloir below the South Col.

Organizer of the 1979 Peru Expedition, divided into 2 parts:
- Various ascents in the Huayhuash Range with Brian Hall, Alan Rouse and Philippe Charliat (cameraman) :

    • Ninashanca, 5637 m., 1st ascent of the West Spur
    • Yerupaja, 6634 m., West face and South Ridge
    • Trapecio, 5653 m., 1st traverse by the South West Spur and the North Face
    • Complete traverse of the Rasac Group (main summit 6040 m.), solo : West face of Rasac West, West Face of Rasac Main principal…

- Operation Solo Survival Huascaran : study of the resistance of the human body at extreme altitude during a two month stay at 6700 m., near the highest summit of the Peruvian Andes.the highest summit of the Peruvian Andes of Peru.