Climber celebrates getting over paper cuts
A Frenchman celebrating a life of climbing accomplished his plan to take a much-needed break from his climb of Mont Blanc when he discovered an 8-carat diamond worth almost $80,000 in rocks from the mountain’s peak.
“I was barely under 30 minutes in the mountains when I made the discovery,” 32-year-old Pascal Bouchon said on his website announcing the find. “It’s not really a discovery, more like a theft. I’d thought about stealing other things but the diamond is different. There is a story.”
As Cables.fr reports, Bouchon made the discovery on the slopes of Le Baltiste, a peak in Mont Blanc’s Haute Route which, despite being tiny, commands some of the mountain’s most spectacular views.
The great #Montblanc, 1/2#Alpinist Pascal Bouchon with 7#Dominique Paonessa, on the slope of #LeBaltiste, the small peak in Mont Blanc’s Haute Route that traverses his story of the disappearance of a soldier in 1916, which was rewritten in a novel by Samuel Ferracci in 1935 as a leading moral dilemma. pic.twitter.com/NzDdH6cacf — icelux (@icelux) March 26, 2020
So Bouchon set about digging, carefully extracting the 3.8 carat diamond from the rocks and putting it in a safe.
Last night, he celebrated the first anniversary of his discovery by proposing to his girlfriend Dominique Paonessa at the summit. The diamond is known by a number of names, including La Présidente, the French name for the Moutarde, a rock on which the brilliant-cut rock was found and also one of the gems featured in a Pablo Picasso portrait at the Mont Blanc National Monument.
Bouchon has arranged for a “legitimate” burial of the diamond, together with his family and friends, in tribute to their shared sacrifice. He is offering the diamond to the French government as a gift.
“This is a modest gesture on my part, as only the real title could allow me to profit,” Bouchon said on his website. “It will be presented on a plaque in L’Arche-Souvenir de Maurizio Serafini, a monastery on the Blois shore, on which my family and I are trying to make my daughter an altar girl.”