If you want to escape to a time before Covid-19 influenced the way people move in and talk about the mountains, here are two podcasts, one recorded well before coronavirus, and one at the start of it.
TDP Episode 75: Super Frenchie Learns to Fly
Matthias “Super Frenchie” Giraud is not a typical big mountain skier. While it’s customary for pro skiers of big peaks to pursue steep, risky objectives, Super Frenchie takes it one step further: he flies off of them. Since 2011, he’s been making a name for himself in the uber niche ski BASE jumping club, having successfully skied and flown off the Matterhorn, the Eiger, Mount Hood, and most recently Mount Blanc. He’s currently waiting out the coronavirus in his hometown of Bend, Oregon. We caught up with him back in January, when it was still PC to talk about risky skiing.
Ski BASE jumping isn’t exactly a new sport. Stunt double Rick Sylvester used it in the opening scene of the 1976 James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, though it was slow to gain momentum until the early 2000’s when the late Shane McConkey started pioneering ski BASE jumps off of big cliffs including Lover’s Leap in Lake Tahoe, the north face of the Eiger and in the Italian Dolomites.
In the episode, Doug and Super Frenchie nerd out on Black Crows skis and Dynafit bindings, skiing in the Alps versus the U.S., the appeal of ski BASE jumping, which he calls the big wave surfing of skiing. “Every time you are skiing, it feels like you’re skiing to the end of the world. But you’re not skiing to the end of the world, you’re skiing to infinity. That’s what ski BASE jumping is.”
Yeah, it gets a little out there. See Super Frenchie in action on his website.
1. We’ve been working on minimizing swearing on the show, but this is not a model episode. If you prefer less profanities, this might not be the episode for you.
2. As mentioned above, this episode was recorded before the life and times of Covid. We aren’t endorsing that anyone go out and try ski BASE jumping. We’re just publishing an interesting conversation with a fascinating character about a small corner of the ski world.
TDP Episode 76: Distancing Like Friends Do
For the second installment of the double hitter, Randy Young calls in from a safe distance and the original Totally Deep duo is back in action. After a brief discussion on not talking about Coronavirus, the guys spend the rest of the episode focused their favorite topic: skiing. Doug gives race recaps from this year’s Tellurando ski mountaineering race and the Power of Four. They rehash a rare ski day together pre-Covid, and Doug recounts wallowing in the Crystal Couloir, a local line admired by many.
So this weekend, while you wax your skis (again), organize your garage, or tackle any other home projects you have no excuse to put off any longer, enjoy some good ol’ ski talk.
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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.