Benjamin Vendrines

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Benjamin Vendrines

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​I was born in the Drôme, at the foot of the Vercors nature reserve, a medium-sized mountain range. I grew up in a very small mountain village called Châtillon-en-Diois. From this village, I could go cycling on beautiful wild roads, and above all, I could go running in the mountains, especially on the Glandasse, the highest peak. And later on, I could learn to climb and enjoy the big limestone cliffs like Archiane, or Glandasse. On the other hand, we used to go every weekend with my family to Briançon, where my mother is from. It was in Briançon that I learned to ski, with my uncle, a ski instructor and guide. At first I didn't like it very much. We were in a ski resort, in Serre Chevalier, with my brothers and we went down the slopes, then up them with chairlifts. As soon as I discovered ski touring at the age of 14, I immediately fell in love with the sport. That's when the mountains never left me. At the age of 21 I started training to become a mountain guide and in 2016 I got my final diploma.

Passions

​There are many things I love. I love the mountains. All the elements of the mountain, I enjoy them. Whether it's the rock, the snow, the wind. When I feel the power of nature and I am immersed in its environment, I feel alive, I feel strong. I particularly like the Alps and the High Mountains. I live in the mountains all year round, in Monêtier-les-Bains, near Briançon. It's very rare that I go to the sea! Every day I look at the weather forecast, and I adapt myself according to it. Climbing, paragliding, road biking, ski touring, mountaineering, even walking, all these activities are a way of life for me.

Incoming Projects

​I have never competed in ski mountaineering. I have always done personal projects in the mountains. These projects are like challenges, quests. A way of expressing myself as an artist does with his work. I did a lot of steep skiing from the age of 18, especially in the Écrins massif. Then, as time went by, I equipped myself with light equipment and I wanted to do long crossings of the massif. This is what I was able to do in 2021 with a long loop in the Écrins massif. To these long distances that are not very difficult, I sometimes combine steep skiing as in May 2021 when we crossed the Écrins massif in three days with 11,000 metres of vertical drop, on historic and mythical slopes. The Écrins massif is perfect for these projects, it is a large high massif with many technical descents. This year, we completed the first crossing of the Écrins massif from south to north without stopping. 10,000 metres in 28 hours. Finally, this year again, with Mathéo Jacquemoud, we were lucky enough to be the first to successfully complete the South-North crossing of the Mont Blanc massif. 7,300 metres of vertical drop in 20 hours. I really enjoy these projects because they are not planned in advance, they are not safe, they are pure and you have to adapt to them. I find a lot of pleasure in constantly imagining challenges that combine technique, physics and aesthetics. And I love it when they come true. Later on I would like to cross the Alps on skis in fast mode. We are lucky to have this incredible mountain range, still very wild, I would like to be able to immerse myself in it for a long time.

Apparels

​I now use the Gara Wolrd Cup competition skis and Titan Gara bindings a lot. Even in the high mountains, every day, they are at their best. On days when I want something cooler, I use the Magico 2.0 with Titan Vario.2 . They are very balanced skis that are easy to ski.