32T E 0334 115 N 5077 665

During the winter, Maxence Gallot lives in La Plagne, in the Tarentaise valley. From his window, he can see the south western slopes of the highest summit of western Europe. A sight which highlights the mass and altitude of this giant standing over a sea of 3,500-metre midgets. This daily spectacle has become a source of inspiration for Maxence, and this is a part of it, in text and images.

Maxence Gallot

I photograph Mont Blanc every day. It has become a habit, an unique moment. It is the first thing that I do when I get up each morning. It is the last vision that I have each evening before the darkness obscures its beauty. Seeing the highest mountain in Europe from home is intriguing, inspiring and interrogating.

Maxence Gallot

I have my nose glued to the window as of dawn. I wait until the colours from the East tickle the ears. I absorb the view. The lights which illuminate it are unparalleled. I am so drawn by the presence and charisma that it exudes. It stands before me and inspires my daily life. Everyday, it makes me want to go a little higher. Whenever time allows, I put on my skins after work and slip away to admire the spectacle. I like gaining altitude. I like this sensation of freedom. For a moment, I have the impression of being alone in the world.

Maxence Gallot

Mont Blanc has always been a source of inspiration. It guides my steps in the mountains. Wherever I am, I look for a glimpse of it to orient myself, to retain my points of reference, and without doubt to dream… Since I was very young, it has been one of the summits which has fired both my imagination and my curiosity. By climbing on its smaller brothers which surround it, I have told myself that one day, I would have the privilege of reaching its summit like so many others.

Maxence Gallot

Then often, I question myself. Mont Blanc transforms day after day into a thrill laden adventure park. When the achievement becomes king… of the social media. The climb assimilates more and more with the need of improving one’s image, of ticking the box on a list of essential things to do and to see before one disappears and sharing instantly to glorify one’s image. But by striving to achieve everything, to conquer everything, to exploit everything, we are exhausting the resources for life on earth. Rrefusing the conquest is also to preserve the environment and diminish the possible mountain climbing accidents.

Maxence Gallot

Mont Blanc is a victim of its own success. The routes which lead to the roof of Europe have become “motorways” orchestrated by agencies who offer this course in the same way as one might sell a ticket for Disneyland and who only accentuate its commercial exploitation. Advertising this summit as an “easy” expedition, is devaluing the guiding profession, increasing the number of candidates who climb it and reinforcing the feeling that the high mountains are accessible to the public at large.

Maxence Gallot

Being passionate about the mountains, in my mind, is also about taking a step back , being humble, letting the peaks breathe as much as they need to… Everywhere, man is looking to leave his tracks before bragging about it. I find that photography allows you to distance yourself. To know how to appreciate things as they are the moment you see them and witness the evolution of our space. As the seasons, the years go by, every day I will continue to marvel at this giant I have never climbed.

Maxence Gallot

If the future of our plant depends on it, if nature requires it of us to leave these mythical summits with more tranquility, will will have to accept it out of love for the mountains. I love the idea that certain summits stay inviolated. Gliding on planks in little frequented regions is just as thrilling. It is maybe the simplest vision of skiing. But what will not change where I ski, is the spiritual dimension of the ascent. Before starting out straight up the slope, taking snow full in the face, making big clouds on each turn and screaming with happiness like a kid. I hope that I will experience this sense of excitement for as long as possible.

Articles associés


Dangerous ways: the art and the means of falling