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Mont Blanc Speed Riding

4 May 2006

The Big White : Done.
On the 4th of may, François Bon has been the first to Speedride the Mont Blanc, 4810 meters.
The Speedflying, strongly motivated, is bringing some fresh air into Free flight.

Question-Why this project?:
FB-I have So much pleasure with Skiflying that I find back the taste for High mountain, alpinism.Wild areas, big space, summits. The Mont Blanc came by itself, Mythic…

-Who had the idea?
-It was in my head since the beginning. I discussed with CéBé and The North Face, who with I do videos, photo shoots. We found a good oportunity to join riders from different activities.
So we went together with Aurélien Ducroz (freeskier pro, winner of Xtreme Verbier 06) and Vivien Dotti ( Snowboarder pro).

-Speedflying promotion? Personnal rave?
- Of course the both!! This activity has a big future, it’s my job to develop and promote it.

- Climbed wich way?
- We slept in “refuge des Cosmiques”, near the “Aiguille du Midi”. We started at 2 am, passing the 3 mounts: Tacul, Maudit, Mont Blanc. 7hours and a half. It’s technicaly not so hard, but physicaly an effort…! But it’s so beautifull up there, the ambiant is particular, more etheric.. When the day is borning, when the sun is waking up…The effort is ten times paid.

-Did you prepare the itinary? Or total adventure?
-I checked the day before from the valley. I did globaly what I planned. 3800m height, the longest run I ever did, the longest ever done. More than 8mn run. Enormous

-Quality of snow?
-I met Icy and powder on the top, crusty sometimes, good snow in the noth face of “le Goûter”.

-Lot of flying, lot of skiing?
-I tried to ski amaximum even if sometinmes some Séracs made me flying long. On the last 400meters height, the “Taconnaz” glacier is a no man’s land where you should better never land!! So I kept 100m margin to be sure to reach the grass in the valley. We have to keep in mind it is high mountain, the environment is hostile.. It could become very difficult situation if you do an unfortunate “stop” there… It was good to know that the filming Héli was around, in case…
Few minutes after my track on the summit face, a big Sérac cliff broke and fell down. My collegues, skiers, were a bit stressed…

-Esay access or extreme…?
-If the pre-check is serious, if you’re always concious that between start and goal, any mistake is forbidden, you can go…Of course it’s really more confortable to practice on dedicated areas in Les Arcs, proxi of the ski patrol chalet… The ski level needed is high, managing all snow changes, ice… You have to anticipate all terrain… There is some parts where the glide ratio is not enough, you cannot make only flying.. It’s adventure style… You’re with yourself, in present time..

-Equipment? Weight?
- I had my little GIN Nano, 8sqm, and the specific Gin speedflyer harness/bag. The weight of my total material, skis, piolet, crampons, etc was under 10 kilos!!

-landed on the grass with skis?
- yes, near the “Les Bossons” Ski-jump.The final flair was more than hundred meters. Funny, but not good for the skis..

- so much beutifull mountains to ride..!!

I would like to thank my partners for this adventure. My friends Vivien, Aurélien, Shooting Staff and photos with Seb Laugier and Dan Ferrer, and our friend Thomas Roques, Mountain Guide from Les Arcs. Thanks to The North Face, CéBé, Les Arcs, and to Mister Gin Seok Song for their motivation and help. Videos and photos visible on www.acro-base.com.

Les Arcs