I remember looking for you timidly ask you for a photo at major championships. I remember your words were always amicable to young riders like me. I remember your easy downhill, always easy in all snow conditions. I remember your smile, when you were in the mountains.
I learned by your side to feel that the mountain has more than techniques. I learned to live by your side with passion, our passions, in effort, in the mountains, but also in friendship and family. I learned with you that victories are not those of the newspapers but those of our eyes, and those of our loved ones. I learned with you the value of life, to live and pursue our dreams.
I knew you as “the Boss”, the best competitor in the history of ski mountaineering, one whose participation was a winner. I’ve enjoyed you as one who loves his sport unnoticed and transmits this knowledge and values in young people rather than alone shines. I loved you for your love, your family has, for your simplicity and truth.
I am glad to have shared moments with you, I am glad to have known the incredible person who was behind the huge champion.
When we went on a mountain it was impossible to think that it would go wrong. Your relaxed, easy, inspired me with confidence, security. At your side we felt serene.
You were too strong for the mountain, Stephane, I saw you down impossible slopes at high speed, huge jump ledges without trembling, make turns in the snow … inskiables. As Messner said, “The mountain is neither fair nor unfair, it’s dangerous,” You’re gone too soon, Stephane.
You left as you lived, with a smile, with kindness, without making noise and yet in the highest. Without pain, falling like a tree falls gently.
Stef farewell. You will stay forever in our hearts.