Last month, I skied from Courmayeur to Chamonix in the company of French ski mountaineer and guide Pierre Hourticq. Our day was entirely tame compared to the ski lines he typically pursues — a mellow glacier descent, non-monumental couloir attempt, scratching down a surprisingly steep and rock strewn exit — and it was inspiring to observe the natural way he moved through the mountains. He had a notably simple ease in the crevassed slopes of his home turf.
And he does know the Mount Blanc massif well; it’s his training ground, and proving ground as illustrated in his newly released film FILICITE by Ivresse Films. The film chronicles Pierre and fellow ski mountaineers Jérémie Heitz and Victor De Le Rue’s recent Mount Blanc ski descent down vertigo-inducing steeps, rocks, a vertical ice sheet. It is poetry in motion and in words, narrated by the assumed voice of Mount Blanc herself. Captions on.
“Behind the veil of your dreams, who knows, the truth may reveal itself to you.”
Manasseh Franklin is a writer, editor and big fan of walking uphill. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction and environment and natural resources from the University of Wyoming and especially enjoys writing about glaciers. Find her other work in Alpinist, Adventure Journal, Rock and Ice, Aspen Sojourner, AFAR, Trail Runner and Western Confluence.