When I moved to Chamonix 12 years ago, even though I had taken years of french throughout my school days, it really did not sink in until I lived here for quite some time. Now I can say that my own children correct me…Chamonix is a place of a many people coming and going, tourists, skiers and climbers, but for us, we have really made it our home. Integrating into the community and the culture has made all the difference. It takes persistence, and effort. Some days you will not understand the culture and be frustrated by the mountain of paperwork or how many times you here that it’s not possible, but most days amazing connections are made like here in the sports club.
The Chamonix Club des Sports has been around since 1905 and has over 28 sections, but in 2010 when I approached them, they did not have one for ski-mountaineering. I found it kind of strange as Chamonix is the heart of alpinism. We had tremendous support from the club and still do do this day. So, off we went, and now our club has over 80 members just 3 years later.
Recently, after my World Championships silver medal in February, I was written up in the March issue of the Club des Sports Pulsations Magazine. I am very humbled to be in the Sport Club magazine. It is a huge honor, especially as I am not French, nor am I from Chamonix. I have been tagged the “la plus Chamoniarde des Americanes” which essentially means, the most Chamonix-like American. This is quite a statement coming from a small, mountain valley town that even calls the next town over a foreigner. Like in Maine, you can never say you are a native, if you were never born there even if you’ve lived there most of your life. It has really been an honor to grow and develop here in this culture of Chamonix, to make connections and create a foundation for the ski mountaineering community.
Here is the article in French. I hope you enjoy reading it.