The Border Lands: Fear and Happiness

I have already wrote about our expedition in the Tian Shan Mountains in my precedent post. But I haven’t talk very seriously about the fear I/we experienced over there. Fear is present on many of the expeditions that we take into the mountains. I’m not a big fan of feeling in danger, I’m not a big fan of feeling too much fear. At least not for too long.

On that trip, I was at the edge of my comfort zone. Terrifying rock falls at night and during the day time, piles of boulders ready to fall on us and some pitches of chossy rock to climb. All in all it was pretty stressful even though we where quite stoked to be here and climb. The worst for me was at night. I could not sleep. I was on a permanent vigilant state. The noise of the rocks fall was so loud that it gave us the impression a part of the wall was falling on us. I had to deal with this new type of fear. Not like a serac fall or an avalanche that last for less than 2 min and gives you a intense but “short” adreanlin shot. This type of fear was permanent and lasted for 5 days. Fear means tensions, tensions lead to a wast of energy and less focus. So the best was to not let my imagination making the danger bigger than it was for real. The best was to focus on the climbing and on being active.

Eventually the happiness of being in the heart of those untouched mountains with some amazing friends gained the upper hand on my fear…

Check out the video and get a little bit of fear…and happiness!


Also, Mike Libecki’s thoughts about fear on the Mountain Hardwear Blog


Chamonix life!

It’s been too long since I wrote on my blog. Life has been pretty busy since I return from Patagonia. I did not climb or ski or fly anything big. I just had some “normal” days at home. Nonetheless, normal days at home are always filled up with beautifull moments shared with sweet friends. I love being in the mountains whatever I’m going to do. Sharing the classic Vallée Blanche with friends who never did it makes me as happy as skiiing something more serious. Climbing mountains always brings me lots of energy and excitement. Flying around the Chamonix peaks is something very special. Climbing on evenings at the gym with my friends always get me psyched. Of course, skiing in the morning, flying in the afternoon and climbing in the evening is one of my favorite combo. I could do that everyday. But… I work too and I love it. Happiness is here in my life whatever I’m doing.

One of the thing I love: sharing beautiful moments with sweet friends. Here with Caroline George after descending the rectiligne couloir in really good snow ;)

The bottom part of the rectiligne couloir. Pretty cool atmosphere. Photo: Dylan Taylor

Jamie, just after the belly goat step. Skiing in Cham is not like anywhere else.

February and its deep powder. First tracks are always good ;) Photo: Dylan Taylor

Some new lines for me this winter. Lots of turns, lots of fun…

Another first tracks day above the Swiss village of Trient. No complaining ;) Photo: Julien Miller


Sharing another great powder day with Mikey after a nice skin and boot up. Sometimes, you have to earn your turns ;)

And if the snow turns out to be bad, then it’s time for climbing… Mikey leading on the “Petit  Viking” at la Pointe du Domino

One of those beautiful moment in the mountains. So grateful and happy ;) Photo: Mikey Schaefer

If snow and ice are not so good, then flying could be a good option. No big effort, but stunning view ;)

Good to be in the air again :)

In winter, training on evenings after a nice powder day is always great. Especialy when you have all the cool Chamonix chicks climbing all together! That’s so much fun ;)

Well, I also have my “bad” days… Struggling on a 2000m of elevation while I was really sick. I could barely breath due to bronchial pain but I could not resist to not go. The Bérangère peak was attractive and I wanted to spend that day out with my brother Fred, Mika, Colin and Mikey. Mika, Mikey and I wanted to fly down so we carried the paragliders. Fred and Colin skinned up further to Dome de Miage and did an amazing descent. Photo: Mika Geroni

Struggling with the cough and a heavy head, carrying the paraglider. But too windy on top to be able to take off. You can’t win everytime… Thankfuly the spring snow was great and we had a fun descent instead of flying Photo: Mika Geroni


Yes, I work too. But my office view does not suck ;)

Hush! Don’t tell anybody I fell! ;) Photo : Mikey Schaefer

Thanks to Julien, Mika, Danny, Donna, Fred, Gaby, Pierre, Emma, Greg, Kristo, Jimmy, Laurent, Marion, Dylan, Caroline, Jamie, Colin and Mikey for all the good vibes!