UPC-Marathon President, Oliver Caurette Climbs Mont Blanc

“Climbing Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, has been a long-standing dream of mine. One that has lived on for many years and was finally fulfilled this month. What you read below is my journey of perseverance and resiliency towards unlocking my potential.

After 6 months of training to get fit for the climb and to my great satisfaction, I succeeded in summiting this majestic mountain in the French Alps. My sincere thanks to my family who supported me throughout every step of this journey and to my guide Jonath who pushed me at the right moments to give me that extra boost.

Success did not come easily. I attempted my first climb in 2019, but, at 4300 meters (14,000 feet) elevation into my trek, I was forced to return to camp because of poor weather conditions. With 120 km/h (75 mph) winds, a heavier than expected snowfall, and a temperature of -20°C (-4°F) and dropping, mountain conditions were not ideal. Consequently, the planned climb was stopped over safety concerns, and I dispiritedly returned home. Of course, this was not my first or last lesson in the limits of my potential. When you set yourself a goal, you want to reach it – mostly, to prove that you can. Dispirited but not defeated, I was inspired again in 2020 to succeed. While the environment in 2019 was not favorable, 2020 in contrast was amazing with early summer daylight and the summit above the clouds. Even though my efforts were similar in 2019 and 2020, the result was so very different. The 2019 experience fueled the 2020 success. There is no bad experience, just an opportunity to learn a lesson along the way. Don’t stop trying if you fail once. As professional tennis player Arthur Ashe once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is usually more important than the outcome.”

I see so many parallels between my adventure and UPC-Marathon’s journey to success. Both are driven by one strong objective, a team that helps you get prepared and is ready to help, support from experts, the ability to overcome doubts, as well as the strength and determination to keep going forward and make things happen again and again – ultimately succeeding in our day to day achievements and taking us to the pinnacles of success.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and my limits during the ascend, but also during the long descent. At UPC-Marathon, the process of transforming our company to achieve greater success and be more resilient during difficult times and situations is our common Mont Blanc. Staying in control, never giving up, trusting your guide/leader, leaving your comfort zone when needed, staying confident in your competence, and relying on your best self will open your mind to what’s possible and what it takes to succeed. By the same token, we must focus on our goals and embrace the everyday challenges to reach our personal and professional summit. Once we are engaged and appreciate the necessity and benefits of challenges, there is no barrier to stop us in the face of new and emerging challenges and our quest to seek solutions. We are the best ourselves only when we give the best of ourselves.

To sum up, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Mike Horn, the world’s greatest living professional adventurer who has repeatedly demonstrated that there are no limits to the potential of the human spirit, “The impossible exists only until we find a way to make it possible”. By expanding our view of what’s possible, we all have the potential to unlock creativity, innovation, rewards, and fulfillments.


Paul Oleszkiewicz, Jean Francois Cloutier, Olivier Caurette