François Damilano

Francois Damilano profile - photo © Bertrand Delapierre
Francois Damilano profile - photo © Bertrand Delapierre

France

FRA
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Photo portrait: 
Francois Damilano - photo © Bertrand Delapierre
Date de naissance: 
30 December 1959
Lieu de résidence: 
Chamonix (France)
Formation: 
State degree in special education, Mountain guide
Statut actuel: 
Mountain guide, writer, filmmaker
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
1985

Desire and ambition: a long-term relationship
«I had the chance to experience the golden age of ice climbing and I still love to climb at the end of a valley in full winter. My life as an alpinist has been marked with an indelible seal by the world of ice climbing.  In the early eighties, I found a synthesis between sport climbing and alpinism, two practices that tended to be differentiated by separate worlds. In ice climbing, I found the movement and the pleasure of rock climbing combined with the mastery of risky terrain that is important to an alpinist. In ice climbing, I have also made some great friendships with those tied into the other end of a rope.
The image had a strong influence on me and I love to try to carry the aesthetic of a mountain that has beaten me, or escape from a line that has made an impact on me. After that it’s the stories of companionship. Those with photographers and filmmakers. Their skills have taught me to look for the best light, select the material, transcend the impatience of a climber. It’s a way to not get locked inside the intemperance of the performance. In a photograph or film, this manifests itself as the choice of the best framing to elicit an emotion, of an angle used to tell a story, for many people to see, or simply as a way to keep a memory for a few moments of our lives as climbers. Finally, later, now, to dare to make my films from behind the camera and show things differently. Perfect my view, refine the dialogue, try to let others tell their stories by combining my mountaineering experience with my passion for the image. More than stories of climbing, I love the stories of climbers.»

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«I have climbed for quite awhile now… and, as in climbing, my journey is marked by a few key passages. Feelings of discovery emerge, the satisfactions of performance, the complicities of friendship, tears from dramas and the joy of motivation. Years forced to take a turn: the loss of recklessness. It’s perhaps because of this that today I am trying to keep from locking myself in my own caricature. Certainly, the practice of ice climbing is a ‘big part’ of my life as an alpinist, but it has also allowed me to go beyond that, to see differently and to learn from practices other than my own. Without being a writer nor a filmmaker… I have actually spent a lot of time making books and films. Today, I focus my guiding practice on the people I am with, at very high altitude, which forces me to explore other ideas and take a necessary step back from the practice of the sport, in my practice of the sport. Today, breathing life into a publishing house (JMéditions) is a way to use my pen to hatch the writing projects of others. The author publisher relationship is also like a climbing partnership. Today, to swap my ice tools for a camera is to walk away from the role of a climber ‘who takes the stage’ to talk about something new and give birth to the narrative. To find the angle of a story is to sharpen the critical analysis and not be soothed by convention.
Today, I continue to live my childhood dreams fuelled by the stories of Rebuffat, Terray and Desmaison. Their books and films inspire me to leave my comfort zone. I have always been sensitive to those who find the ability to juggle their passion (climber), their work (mountain guide) and the taste for publishing.»

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Diaporama Photos: 
Diaporama Videos: 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Francois Damilano - photo Bertrand Delapierre
 
 
 
 
Francois Damilano - photo Bertrand Delapierre

Mike Horn

Mike Horn profile - photo © collection M.Horn
Mike Horn profile - photo © Ousland Borge

South Africa

ZAF
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Photo portrait: 
Mike Horn - photo © coll. Mike Horn
Date de naissance: 
16 July 1966
Lieu de résidence: 
Switzerland
Formation: 
Degree in Sports and Human Movement Science Stellenbosch University (South Africa)
Statut actuel: 
Professional adventurer / Explorer
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
1998

My favorite saying: We can make our dreams come true.
«I have completed some quite exceptional feats of endurance, determination and courage, which have pushed my own limits, if not that of human beings and their dreams. My experiences with oceans, rivers and mountains, of marshland and tundra, of ice, jungles and deserts are unquantifiable. Aquatic activities are my favorite. Over the last ten years, I have spent a long time in the equatorial jungle of the Amazon and in the Arctic. Out there, I feel totally at one with nature and the elements – it's the only way to survive. You have to respect nature and its inhabitants and learn from them. The biggest life lessons I have learned have been from the Amazonian Indians and the Inuit peoples of the Arctic. I have the utmost respect for the explorers of times past such as Admundsen and Jacques-Yves Cousteau. In my profession, first and foremost as a solitary adventurer, what matters most is determination coupled with great mental capacity and strength. I get my energy from God, my family, my close team and my circle of friends.»

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Today: transmit
«I would like to transmit a maximum amount of energy to the younger generations by taking them on expeditions with me, to give them the opportunity to explore. I would like to share my experiences with them and show them that you can learn through exploration, and through this learning, take measures to preserve our planet's natural resources.
 
This is the aim of the YEP Pangaea youth explorers program. These young people are the future. This program could become an important environmental project in the future. Having such an in-depth knowledge of nature, I am afraid of what the future holds. There will be many more things on the planet that we'll need to preserve, such as life.»
 
«What will I do next? I don't know, tomorrow is another day. I live from one day to the next. Each second of every minute counts. I am happy with what I'm doing and don't want to change a thing. I just need 36-hour days.»
 
«To conclude, it's better to try and fail than to fail to try. The impossible only exists until we find a way to make it possible.»
 
 

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Diaporama Photos: 
Diaporama Videos: 

Pangaea Expedition project introduction :

 
 
Pangaea Expedition in Himalaya :