Je ne vis pas pour la montagne. Je ne pourrais pas vivre sans elle. Je vis avec elle (I don’t live for the mountain. I couldn’t live without her. I live with her).
Le skieur de l’impossible is turning Seventy-Five this Friday. A pioneer in ski extrème, Sylvain Saudan was born on September 23, 1936 in Lausanne, Switzerland. His family moved to Martigny-Bourg in their native Valais region when he was four. Saudan received his first pair of skis at six. At twenty-five he was a ski instructor in Crans-Montana. He would teach skiing in the Winter and mountain climb in Swiss and French Alps in the Summer.
In December 1962 we would start a trip around the World where we would teach in Colorado, New Zealand and Scotland. He return back top the Alps in 1964 where a few years later we would start racking up impressed steep first descents. He was particular busy from 1967 to 1973. He accomplished major descends on every continent. Saudan has been criticized by purists for his used of his sometimes the aid of a helicopter on these accomplishments. He survived a helicopter crash in Kashmir at seventy-one in 2007.
Couloir Extreme at Blackcomb used to have to be named Saudan Couloir by local skiers before it became an official run. The name was changed after Swiss skier complained that his name was used without his consent. Now he organized heliski trips in Kashmir and spend the rest of his time in Geneva, Martigny or Chamonix.
Saudan skied down Japan’s Mount Fuji without snow for his 50th birthday. Wonder what he did today?
video from The Snaz