Some news, as they come...

Saturday February 10, 2001. (Le Monde)

After 167 days on the Alps mountains, Patrick Bérhault comes back to earth.

The mountain climber from Nice (South of France) arrived on Friday, Feb 9, in Menton (Alpes-Maritimes), at the end of a 6-month trip, during which he climbed 22 summits (141 863 meters climbed, including 22 280 on mountain faces). He climbed all the most important and difficult routes.

See the details on the "Monde" website.

LE MONDE - Saturday December 23, 2000

Death of Pierre Allain

Great mountain climber and inventor of the soft-sole climbing shoe, Pierre Allain died on Dec 19 in Grenoble, at the age of 96.
One of the most difficult climbs of Pierre Allain was the first ascent of the North face of the Petit Dru, with Raymond Leininger, on July 31 and August 1, 1935, where he used the shoes of his invention for the first time in the mountains. .
Born in 1904, Pierre Allain used to spend his free time climbing on the boulders in Fontainebleau. In 1949, he publishes a book, "Alpinisme et compétition" (Arthaud). In 1936, he is part of the first French expedition to Himalaya. But for "medical reasons" (?), he was not allowed to participate to the Annapurna expedition, in 1951.
From then on, Pierre Allain spends most of his time designing and manufacturing climbing equipment: the soft-sole climbing shoes (long known as "PA"), the first aluminum carabiners, the first down vests, etc...

In 1963, he starts a factory in Uriage, close to Grenoble, where he makes up to 40000 carabiners a year - alone.