Family tree of Lionel TERRAY


FrenchBorn Lionel TERRAY

French climber

Born on July 25, 1921 in Grenoble , France

Died on September 19, 1965 in Vercors , France

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A climbing guide and ski instructor, Terray was active in mountain combat against Germany during World War II. After the war, he became well known as one of the best Chamonix climbers and guides, noted for his speedy ascents of some of the most notorious climbs in the French, Italian, and Swiss Alps: the Walker Spur of the Grandes Jorasses, the south face of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, the north-east face of Piz Badile, and the north face of the Eiger. Terray, frequently with climbing partner Louis Lachenal, broke previous climbing speed records.

Terray was a member of Maurice Herzog's 1950 expedition to the Nepalese Himalayan peak, Annapurna, the highest peak climbed at the time, and the first 8000-meter peak climbed (although British climbers George Mallory, George Finch, Geoffrey Bruce, Henry Morshead, Edward Norton and Howard Somervell had reached higher altitudes on Mount Everest during the 1920s). Terray did not reach the summit of Annapurna, but together with the Sherpa Adjiba he aided summitteers Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal down from the mountain. Both Herzog and Lachenal experienced extreme frostbite and subsequently underwent amputations. Despite these events, the French team returned to Paris to huge public acclaim, and Herzog's expedition book Annapurna became an international bestseller.


Terray was also one of the main participants in the great attempt to rescue four climbers trapped on the north face of the Eiger in 1957. This mission forms the subject of Jack Olsen's famous book The Climb Up To Hell, in which Terray's skill and bravery receive special mention.

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Geographical origins

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