On 18 April, a judging panel of mountain professionals picked the winners of the 2014 Millet Expedition Project.

An essential passport for making your dream expedition happen... This year, six projects were handed this tremendous opportunity. Delivering emotions and thrills, the 2014 MXP laureates will stir our dreams of adventures and expeditions! Since 2007, more than 300 adventurers have benefited from the MXP prize package and made their dream come true in the four corners of the world. This year, there’s a new development: MXP reached beyond the French border! The news spread quickly – nearly half the entries came from abroad. After months of waiting, the MXP judges convened on 18 April to deliberate and select the expeditions that would be lucky enough to become reality. And this year’s six winning teams have plenty to set our imaginations racing – mountaineering, climbing, Nepal, paragliding, intense emotion, the Antarctic, walking, performance, speedflying, South Africa, Austria....

It took the judges almost an hour to single out the six expeditions from the shortlist. The winners – who come from France, Spain, Belgium and Iran – happened to be present in La Clusaz as shortlisted applicants, and, not surprisingly, couldn’t hide their joy when the results were announced, uttering reactions such as. “awesome”, “unexpected”, and “really happy”.

Since 2007, more than 300 adventurers have benefited from the MXP prize package and made their dream come true in the four corners of the world.

THE EXPEDITIONS IN BRIEF

This year, the judging panel was instantly wowed by the “Handi Cap au Large” project (roughly: “Disability Goes the Distance) combining a spirit of mutual aid, courage and performance. It’s an expedition to follow closely!

FIRST WINTER ASCENT OF NANGA PARBAT, THE PUBLIC’S EXPEDITION

Nanga Parbat (8126m, Pakistan) is known as one of the toughest 8000m peaks on the planet. It’s also the only one never to have been scaled in winter. Mahmoud, Iraj and Reza – three Iranian mountaineers who already have impressive track records – want to meet this challenge in January 2015. They are sure they can “set a record”. It’s a huge challenge! This expedition was also endorsed by web users, attracting more than 600 likes! From 20 March to 11 April, more than 6,000 fans on the MXP website or Millet’s Facebook page were able to vote for their favourite expedition.

HANDI CAP AU LARGE: THE JUDGES’ SPECIAL FAVOURITE

Four buddies, all paragliding and nature-sports enthusiasts, want to cross the Alpine Arc – travelling from Liezen, Austria to Monaco by paraglider and handbike. It’s their way of marking Vincent’s ‘”new life”. Paraplegic since a serious workplace accident in 2011, this young Savoyard, who’s brimful of energy, started paragliding again and has now regained his sensations and ease in space. On their programme in July 2014: 1,000 km of friendship, solidarity and the demonstration of green locomotion. The young men will then make their gear available so that others can experience the same beautiful emotions. 

1,000 km of friendship, solidarity and the demonstration of green locomotion

ACROSS ANTARCTICA

Paris lawyers Stéphanie and Jérôme Gicquel are highly experienced ultra-runners and extreme-cold adventurers. They will attempt to cross the Antarctic via the South Pole: that’s a self-sufficient 18,000km on skis. They’re motivated by the challenge and the urge to surpass their limits. Besides the performance aspect, they also want to raise young people’s awareness of the polar issue, and collect funds for a charity, Les Petits Princes, which makes dreams come true for sick children. Departure: November 2014. 

The challenge: crossing the Antarctic via the South Pole, a self-sufficient 18,000km on skis. 

MOUNTAINS SPORTS AND FREEFLIGHT IN THE TIAN SHAN RANGE

Twenty-five-year-old Laure and her cousin want to horse-ride, walk and speedfly between Almaty in Kazakhstan and Issyk Kul in northern Kirghizstan. It’s a way for them to follow in their ancestors’ steps and to discover the landscapes their grandmother told them about when they were children. They also want to fly where the wind and their desires carry them in a wild world, while also showing people their age that a wonderful project can be brought to fruition with a small budget (less than 3,000 euros) Laure, a PhD student in political science, wishes to make use of this journey to collect ethnographic data and explore the possibility of developing a local organisation to promote freeflying. Departure: 15 June 2014.

Horse-riding, walking and speedflying between Almaty in Kazakhstan and Issyk Kul in northern Kirghizstan.

FIRST ASCENT OF THE NAMELESS PEAK (6738M) IN NEPAL

A project conceived by two Spaniards: a guy and a girl. These serious enthusiasts already have several major accomplishments under their belts, including the Intégrale de Peuterey. Scheduled for April 2015.

CHADAR FROZEN RIVER

Patrick de Smet and three long-standing friends want to follow the Chadar Frozen River to Zanskar, engaging with the population and exploring remote valleys. These four Belgians are all multisportsmen and seasoned long-distance trekkers (Nepal, India, Cambodia).

Engaging with the population and exploring remote valleys.