FIFAD Day 8 – Sylvain Saudan and the winners

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Sylvain Saudan was at the FIFAD event on the final day from 11am onwards both to project two of his films and to speak about his experiences as a pioneer of extreme skiing. During the conference he presented his film about the Grandes Jorasses descent as well as his trip to Denali. If you go to his wikipedia page you will find information about all of his first descents with skis. The first film he showed was with music but narrated live as he stood on stage.

Rock Ski from The Snaz on Vimeo.

What I really enjoyed about his first film and his live commentary is that he brings us back to the skiing style that I learned and really enjoyed. In the olden days (within my lifetime) we learned to ski with our feet parallel and close together. We would leap to turn and it was technically demanding. The skis were longer and thinner. The whole of the edge could be used as this skiing style was before the era of carving skis. As a result it meant that skiing extreme slopes was simplified by having a longer edge.

The Denali descent and film were impressive. It took an expedition to get him to the base of the mountain and then up. The cameras were film cameras with three minutes of film before the cartridge had to be replaced. Camera operators had to ascend and wait for him to come back down. It required alpine skills to get to the top and once at the top, in the rarified air he had to change from climbing clothes to skiing clothes, put the boots on and then descend. It took him 7hrs to go from 6200 metres to 1800m. This achievement was never repeated by other skiers. In the Q&A session he said that those who attempted to do the same thing failed.

In the evening films that were awarded prizes were screened once again.





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