Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s skydiver Fred Fugen soaring in his wingsuit above the famous black run that’s the setting for one of the toughest Downhill racecourses on the FIS World Cup skiing circuit.
Fred, who comes from Annecy in France, is a leading member of the Red Bull-sponsored Soul Flyers team. With his friend and team mate, Vince Reffet, he’d always planned to wing the 2,830 m Face de Bellevarde this winter. The idea was to surprise and delight the skiers down below who daily tackle the demanding slope, showing them that there’s no limit to what can be achieved in this glorious mountain setting. The pair carried out a detailed recce in Val d’Isère last July and were ready to go this winter. But sadly, just four months later in November, Vince was killed in a training accident in Dubai.
This January, on a perfect bluebird day, Fred took the decision to go it alone as a tribute to his partner, even though the lifts were closed because of the Covid-19 crisis and the run was consequently devoid of skiers. Born out of tragedy, it was a flight of hope for wintersports in Val d’Isère and across the world.
The video was shot by Vincent Cotte in a wingsuit and Dino Raffault (Supersize Films) on skis. You can access it here: https://youtu.be/xCcftXML2wI