Saying good bye to Salomon…

For the last 5 years I have been collaborating with Salomon and an amazing team of humans. It’s been a beautiful adventure. We worked well on projects, we had some interesting time with the products development teams and, despite the size of the company, the spirit was always like a family spirit.

Lately the brand and I started to take some different paths as can happen sometimes. Slowly, the need for some changes became more and more obvious for me. Taking such decision is never easy, but change always brings something new and makes you grow.

Behind the name of the company, there are many people at Salomon who make it work, grow and evolve. I’m extremely grateful to everyone for their kindness and the amazing work done together. It’s something we can be very satisfied with.

I really want to thank all the people I have worked with these last five years. From the sewing ladies to the product development and the marketing and communication department. It’s been a great pleasure and a real adventure to work with such a great team of humans inside a visionary brand.

I really want to give a special thank you to BB (Bruno Bertrand) for all his benevolence, vision of our sports, humanity and understanding on top of all the qualities he has as an athlete manager. There are a few people like him in the outdoor industry and I feel lucky I got to work with him, learn from him and evolve.

I can’t finish this without speaking of all the amazing athletes from the Salomon team that I got to share time with. You guys are all great, fun, totally crazy and I’ll miss you, though I know our paths will cross again in the mountains.

Let’s keep the joy and the stoke high and keep acting to protect our playgrounds.

New Adventures ahead

Video

Lots of things happened after climbing the 4000m peaks of the Alps despite the fact I did not write much here. Climbing the 82 peaks above 4000m of the Alps taught me so many things that I decided to go one step further with my knowledge in Mountains sports. I decided to try the Mountain Guide entrance exam which I passed. And I have to say I’m reallly stoked with doingI the mountain guide course now. I had also put more energy into paragliding, started my license to pilot UltraLight Aircraft. And there had been lots of changes in my personal life for the last two years who took me some energy and asked for lots of adjustments. The Covid19 made also this year (and probably the next one) a very special one with un certainties, new visions and lots on unexpected changes.

I will write more often here. For now I just post a small edit of hiking up Mont Blanc and flying off it back in march, before the we were all lock down. It was a nice and unplanned ascent with Zeb, my partner in life, and his two kids Tim (18) and Mat (16). We got also joined by David Goettler on the second day. There was no one else on the mountain that day and it was a real pleasure to see Zeb with his two kids sharing this summit and flying off it. A powerful moment that I will not forget… ,

Liv Along The Way Movie

It’s been a long and amazing journey and it’s not even finished…
So stoked I got to climb so many mountains last year, ski half of them, fly off some of them or just hike down.
So grateful I got to share all those summits with such amazing humans! Nothing would have been possible without them…
And so respectful to the mountains for all they gave and taught me.

Now there are two more summits to go, let’s keep it safe and keep it fun!

Watch the Movie on Salomon TV

 

21 !

Today is the the 21st of March, which means the first day of spring. And today we are skiing down back to Zermatt after climbing the second two highest peaks of the Alps, Dufourspitze and Nordend.

In total, and together with Colin Haley we have climbed 21 peaks out of the 82 above 4000m. Whoop whoop !

Below is what we did so far:

2nd and 3rd of March: we started with the Gran Paradiso (4061m #1) with Colin Haley and Anthony Bonello (film maker). On day 1 we got up to Vittorio Emanuele hut. On day 2 we did the summit and back down.

4th to 10th of March: we had 7 days of bad weather. I stayed at home in Cham, trained a bit, ski some powder, did some filming and spoke a lot with Laurent Valbert, our weather man ;)

11th – 12th of March: Colin Haley, Anthony Bonello and I climbed the Barre des Ecrins (4102m #2) and Dôme de neige (4015m #3) (Day 1 we got up to the Ecrins hut from Pelvoux, on day 2 we climbed Barre and Dome and skied down back to Pelvoux. Drove back to Cham the same day.

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Early morning skinning up Barre des Ecrins – Photo:Colin Haley

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Going down Barre des Ecrins to reach Dome de Neige – Photo: Anthony Bonello

13th of March: At home in Cham, resting and preparing the next days.

14th of March: Colin and I skin up on the piste to Testa Grigia and stayed at the Cervino guide hut with Guido Perrini (film maker) from Breuil Cervinia.

15th of March: Colin and I climbed and skied Breithorn West (4164m #4), Central (4159m #5) and East (4139m #6), the Gendarme (4106m #7), Roccia Nera (4075m #8) and we finished with Pollux (4092M #9) and Castor (4223m #10) going down to the Feliksjoch and then skied down to the Quintino Sella winter hut. Guido went with us at the base of the Breithorns to shoot with the drone. My carbon boot broke on the first descent and we taped it for the rest of the day.

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Colin Haley climbing up the last meters of Castor

16th of March: from Quintino Sella hut Colin and I climbed the Lyskamm West (4479m #11) and traversed to the Lyskamm East (4527m #12). On the way down to the Lysjoch one of my pole broke. We decided to change our original plans: to leave Dufourspitze and Nordend to later on and do as many as possible of the 4000m peaks on the North – South axe before to get down to Gnifetti hut. So from the Lysjoch we headed up to Signalukuppe (4554m #13) and Zumsteinspitze (4563m #14). From there we went to the Parrotspitze (4432m #15), Ludwigshöle (4341m #16), Corno Nero 4321m #17) and Pyramid Vincent (4215m #18). We ended at the Gnifetti hut with awesome food and warmth welcome.

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Myself on the south West face of Lyskamm West – Photo Colin Haley

17th of March: We skinned up to Punto Giordani (4046m #19) and down to Gressoney then back to Breuil Cervinia and drove back to Cham.

18th of March: Bad weather day and rest day

19th of March: Colin, my brother and I headed to Zermatt and skinned up the pist to Rotenboden. Then down to the Gorner Gletscher and up to the Monte Rosa hut.

20th of March : Dufourspitze (4634m #20) and Nordend (4609m #21).

Conditions were not easy. We had to go thru a big crevasse on the way up (and then on the way down). The fixed ropes of the normal route to Dufour had been removed. We decided to go up a by a shorter couloir further left. But the last 20 meters were steep and not so easy. Colin soloed it and could give me a belay from the ridge which felt much safer. The ridge to reach the Dufour summit was snowy and it took us a bit of time to reach it. We decided to go down to the normal couloir, hoping to find some old belays still in place but there was not much. 4 rappels later with two on abalakovs we reached back the Silbersattel. We thought the hardest was done but as soon as we started to climb the Nordend ridge we realized it was all icy. It took a lot of our mental energy to go up to Nordend and down again. I was mentally tired after it and hungry too. The day turned out to be much longer than planned and we not much water nor food left. We decided to sleep again at the Monte Rosa hut and ski down to Zermat the next day.

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Climbing up the snowing couloir before a short but hard section of mixte to gain the Dufourspitze ridge – Photo: Colin Haley

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Climbing the Dufourspitze ridge to reach the summit – Photo: Colin Haley

21st of March: Getting down to Zermatt from the Monte Rosa hut. And back to Cham.

Also you can check our itineraries on movescount here

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Three happy humans on top of Dome de Neige – From Left to Right, Colin Haley, Myself, Anthony Bonello

Waiting Time

I had not planned to write any post blogs during my project to climb all of the 4000m peaks of the Alps. I thought we would be busy skinning up, skiing down, checking maps, itinerary and weather. But things are going a different way. We did our first summit, the Gran Paradiso (Italy) together with Colin Haley (Alpinist) and Anthony Bonello (Film maker) on the 3rd of March and since then it’s dumping. Winter is here and this morning I shovelled more snow in one morning than I did in December, January and February reunited. It’s both great and a bummer. Great because I love snow and the mountains needed snow. And a bummer because I want to keep moving and climb more summits and this snow put us on hold.

The last 3 days had been a bit stressful with the weather, making plans and then changing plans with all the things behind that. Phone calls to collect infos on conditions, POI and tracks for the GPS, huts booking and then cancellations, etc etc… But this morning I woke up serene and relaxed. I manage to let go something in my minds and to accept we probably won’t be able to do anything this week. Too much snow. Too much wind. Too dangerous. And not much I could do about all this.
Since winter is here for real, lets go skiing powder and keep an eye on the weather.
The next go is maybe not that far away!

You can follow my long journey thru the social media with the Hashtag #LivAlongTheWay. And on the web page LivAlongTheWay
Feel free to leave a comment, a message, etc… they all give me a great energy :)

Pizzas falling off the sky ;)