Like everyone, we are confined to our homes. So, we have put together a literary selection to offer you a few moments of escape and a chance to dream of your next adventure in the mountains which we know, for the moment, must wait.
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Extreme adventurer Mike Horn’s story takes us on an extraordinary journey including climbing four mountains more than 8,000 metres high in the Himalayas with four friends. Undertaking oxygen-free, rope-free and "alpine style" ascents, he tells the tale in a personal and direct style which makes you feel as if you were there. It’s a breath-taking account which reveals the explorer’s innermost motivation and pays tribute to his loved ones - his father, and his wife Cathy, who was taken from him after a long battle with illness.
Quote from the book: “... It is in great trials that the spark of human creativity is revealed. It is before the vastness of the mountains that I am myself, small, but there, nevertheless. It would be an illusion to reject our modern civilization. But we must get back to the ultimate meaning of things. The miracle of leaves in spring, scents carried on the wind, the buzzing of bees, the beauty of the horizon...”
La citation : « (…) C’est dans les grandes épreuves que se révèle l’étincelle humaine. C’est devant l’immensité de la montagne que je suis moi-même, petit, mais bien là. Il serait bien illusoire de rejeter notre civilisation moderne. Mais il faudra bien retrouver le sens premier des choses. Le miracle des feuilles au printemps, le parfum du vent, le bourdonnement des abeilles, la beauté de l’horizon… (…) »
"Any slope, as long as it is white, can be climbed" This is the motto of Anselme Baud, a mountaineer and pioneer of extreme skiing. He’s also professor at ENSA - National School of Ski and Mountaineering. His story is a true tale of love for the mountains, even though the author has lost family and friends in mountain accidents. Anselme Baud takes us skiing on mythical peaks and introduces us to extraordinary characters such as James Couttet (his father-in-law), Edmond Denis and his Nepalese friends Ang Norbu and Mingma. He brings his journey in the mountains vividly to life.
Quote: “… As far back as my memory goes, the mountain has been there. She is home to the pastures of my childhood, the forests of my father, the voice of my mother calling me. The mountain shades the valley and shimmers at its peaks. Her pull is irresistible, like the trajectory of an arrow whose path is destined. She kept my dreams, drew my paths and made me the man I am. She is my roots, my land, my breath.”
In this beautiful book, photographer Christian Arnal and guide/lecturer David Déréani, Heritage Mission Officer at FACIM (Foundation for International Cultural Action in the Mountains), take us on a voyage of discovery to explore the history of the names of Courchevel Valley’s ski slopes. We won't tell you anymore, only that it’s fascinating …
Espresso, 52 semaines en montagne - Cédric Sapin Defour
In his weekly humorous chronicles for the Alpine Mag, Cédric Sapin-Defour takes us into the mountains with tales of daily life. His writing is thoughtful and full of emotion, un-put-downable! This is a book you will want to read and reread. And if you like the first volume, there is also a second installment, Double Espresso.
Quote: “… They are unknown, there are everywhere, every day, those who are called discrete heroes, who work to make the world a better place for us all without asking anything in return. It is undoubtedly to their honour that our unknown mountaineers find it natural to simply get on and not make a big deal about what they do. They tell themselves that, in the end, they do not do much for others, that there is no room for pride and that their duty is to serve. Why don't we try it? Why don't we taste that silent reserve?”
Elodie, press secretary in Courchevel
I am passionate about mountains in general and skiing in particular – and yes, I'm already counting down the days between now and the beginning of next winter. I discovered another side to Courchevel when I moved here and made a childhood dream come true. This really is an exceptional year-round playground, with ski slopes and hiking trails at the bottom of the road!