Wednesday 26 September 2012

Tribute to Rémy Lécluse

Mika, Rémy and myself on the North Face of Tour Ronde direct 2009 (Photo: Tobias Granath)

I only got the chance to ski with Rémy Lécluse once, back in 2009 when Tobias Granath and myself met him and Mika Merikanto on the north face of Tour Ronde in the Chamonix massif. We had climbed the north face and they had climbed the Gervasutti couloir and we met at the top at the same time. Being acquaintances from before we decided to ski the line together. It was a great steep skiing season back then and Remy had thought the same thing as me, to ski the direct line without rappels that’s very rarely in conditions.

We started down the route, me first, then Rémy and Mika following us. We skied the face with great care and took our time, enjoying every great turn.

We were chatting the whole way down and I remember Rémy cursing my kick turns and arguing how I should use the double pole plant technique in my skiing. At the mixed section further down we all got quiet, concentrating while down climbing the rocky passage with skis on. At the bottom we shock hands and said we should do it again sometime.

We never did. Winters pass by quickly in a skier’s world and he was busy guiding and I was busy doing my thing. Every time we met in town, we talked about lines and dreamt away on what we could ski together.

Time flies, and so do life.

Rémy and his climbing partner Greg Costa are missing after the avalanche disaster on Manaslu, the world’s eight highest mountain, a few days ago that took 11 lives.

He was one of the best and most experienced steep skiers of all time with more than 500 first descents from all over the world under his belt. He would go “out there”, in to the mountains, often solo, to “live, think and breathe” mountain skiing.

But it’s as a guide I’m mostly impressed by Rémy Lécluse. Never have I heard clients be so euphoric by any guide as by going out in to the mountains with him. We would give his clients the best days of their lives, all the time – as a profession. If you get judged when you die by something or somewhat, then bringing meaning and joy to so many will count for a lot.

Also know for wise decisions, mountain sense and gentleness towards the others he will be remembered and missed by all who had the chance to cross his path.

Thoughts and love goes out to all the departed, their families and friends! 

Read more about the accident at:

1 comment:

  1. Ah damn. This news hits home. Thanks for your honest response and thoughtful insight. I just wish it was a better outcome.