Patrick Ticon (F5GRZ), the initiator of the project and team leader had for years longed to climb Mont Blanc, the white mountain that — on a clear day — you can see from the cafeteria on the 15th floor of the ITU tower.
“My guiding lights in this project were an enjoyment of effort and sense of shared pleasure. I know from experience that everyone’s best is revealed through effort. It provides an opportunity to discover wonderful people through learning and succeeding together. Differences are a source of wealth that we sometimes need to cultivate.” -- Patrick Ticon
Patrick led a courageous team of ITU colleagues Michel Mbarga, Marta Nury Munoz Echeverri, Karima Benkirane-Demlek, Bernadette Maurissen and Kim Dong-Sik through a carefully planned training phase lasting a few months, to build the team skills and the endurance in order to succeed with the challenge.
Throughout the ascend, Attila Matas, OM1AM and IARC president had prepared the station to track the team using APRS (http://aprs.fi/)
At 1234 hours they reached the summit of Mont Blanc, and established VHF radio contact with ITU’s amateur radio station. At ITU headquarters, the excitement exploded in a series of shrieks and cries “Wow! Perfect timing!” Attila contacted the climbers whose progress had been tracked in real time, “Hi Patrick, congratulations!”
"I came to ITU headquarters ready to make contact with the team at 0430 hours. Looking towards Mont Blanc, I saw that it was raining, so I thought that the attempt would be called off. Then the APRS satellite tracking image started to move, and I made radio contact with Patrick, who said that he expected to be at the top of Mont Blanc at around 1230 hours.” -- Attila OM1AM
June/August 2011 edition
UN Special article, July 2011