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François Damilano

French nationality
58 years old
A high-mountain guide, François Damilano shares his passion for altitude with his clients in the Alps and Himalayas. With several firsts to his name (Alps, Kenya, Canada, Nepal), he is a leading glacier-climbing specialist. Passionate about writing and image-making, he has written many books and topoguides including : Chemins de gel; Neige, glace et mixte.
« Every new generation has taken possession of the playgrounds in ways that have surprised their elders! »
 
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Ice climbing, alpinism, expeditions: many first ascents with many fellows.
Everest from northern ridge, on may 25, 2014.
 
INTERVIEW
 
+ What are your three finest achievements in the mountains? : 

Icefalls : “Visa pour l’Amérique”.

Mountaineering: the “Grande Traversée des Cimes”: a solo, self-sufficient crossing of the entire Mont Blanc Massif via the summits.

Expeditions: the first-ever, one-day solo ascent of the emblematic southwest face of Ama Dablam.

 

+ Who do you prefer practising alpinism with? : 
Enthusiasts.
 
+ Your best experience, high up? : 
I can’t single one out. There are many fleeting moments, and they form a strange sediment in the memory. As a guide, I recall a sense of great fulfilment with two clients, arriving at the summit of the Eiger up the north face.
 
+ And the worst? : 
Stuck under an avalanche on Dhaulagiri.
 
+ What do you like to do when you’re not in the mountains? : 
Reading and writing. Is the rest really any concern of yours?
 
+ What’s your involvement with the Millet Design Centre and in product development generally? : 
Millet is a loyal, long-standing partner… I’m continuously involved, focusing on issues that require extensive field testing and on expedition feedbacks.
 
+ How do you see your discipline evolving in the next few years? :
It will be open, high-energy and no-holds-barred … Every new generation has taken possession of the playgrounds in ways that have surprised their elders!