Portrait (3/3) : Matteo Eydallin
SAINT-JEAN-DE-MOIRANS, Fr - Last part of our interview with 4-time Pierra Menta Champion Matteo Eydallin; this time delivering us his vision of the values of his sport and the recent popularity it benefited.
THIRD PART : Endorphines, poodles and healthy lifestyle
Dynastar: To you, what are the three fundamental values of ski mountaineering?
Matteo Eydallin: (Spontaneously) Freedom, fun and determination.
D: If you had to talk about your sport to newbies…?
M.E.: (Takes a few seconds to think) I would first talk about the self-satisfaction feeling after each workout. Sometimes it’s really hard to find motivation to go out and train but you never regret it. Never. It’s always delighful to have done it. Also, it’s an outdoor sport so there is always this feeling of freedom and it’s also a lot of fun. In a nutshell, it’s a very complete sport that anyone can practice and not just in competition. Even my mother takes her dogs out while ski touring for instance, and she likes it just as much as them!
D: Any pro tip?
M.E.: (Takes another few seconds to think)My main tip would be to wisely choose your gear. I would recommend to not only focus on the weight, whether it is for the skis or for the boots. You won’t necessarily go faster with lighter equipment. You really need to be comfy with what you’re skiing with because the main goal of this sport is to have fun. I would say it’s even a prerequisite if you want to perform.
D: What do you think about the recent evolution of the sport?
M.E.: When I started ski touring and ski mountaineering in the early 2000s, it was a really anonymous sport dedicate to mountain enthusiasts. We never forgot to party and celebrate after each race. It was all very friendly. We are now more focused on performance and I am pretty sure this is due to the growing popularity of the sport.
Another kind of dab.
D: And more generally?
M.E.: I love how the sport is growing. There is now twice or three times as much ski mountaineers in my hometown than when I started doing the sport ten years ago. But there is a difference between ski mountaineering and ski touring. When the first one gets more and more exigent, the second one gets more popular and open to newbies… Hey, you should see how many cars there are parked in front of the trails now. Come ski with me one day, it’s incredible!
D: How do you explain that?
M.E.: Well it’s easy. It’s much more affordable than alpine skiing. Of course it’s still expensive but once you have your own gear, it’s pure bliss and you don’t even need to go to a ski resort. Plus there is this trend of healthy life going on. Everybody wants to eat better and stay in shape. To me, it’s comparable to the rise of running, cycling and fitness. If you look at it, ski mountaineering is kind of the winter cousin of trail running. So, yeah, this whole thing makes all of the sports grow big.
D: And what's your opinion?
M.E.: I actually like it. I think this is great that more and more people like my sport. Mountains are big enough for all of us. But it makes me smile to see my friends comparing their stats on Strava, whereas they were the first ones to tell me: “Hey- who do you think the chair lifts are made for?”